Men's mental health is often ignored in conversations or only used as a gotcha against feminism. So here are some tips for protecting your wellbeing.
Mental health affects everyone, regardless of gender. As a man it’s easy to feel isolated when you are struggling with something due to the stigma around mental health. This makes it so difficult to have those initial conversations with those around you. Unfortunately, for many men, speaking about their emotions is seen as a sign of weakness.
Although talking about it is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, there are also other great ways to look after yourself. Take a look at our suggestions for getting your mental health back on track!
Take up a new hobby
Taking up a new hobby is a great way to release stress. Spending time with something that you enjoy gives your mind an opportunity to escape from the demands of life.
They also provide a great social outlet, either by joining a group or simply by interacting with people of similar interests. You’ll be opened up to a whole new network of people who share common interests with you. It can also be a healthy challenge for people without adding any more stress and can get you out of your comfort zone.
A healthy diet will stand you in good stead as there are strong links between nutritious foods and healthy minds. Plant-based diets are said to provide more energy than a typical diet - reducing fatigue and increasing overall health. Foods with lots of omega-3 like fish are great for your overall brain function as it sharpens your memory and learning skills and also boosts your mood.
Your gut health also plays a huge part in your mental state. Fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha and sauerkraut can help you keep your gut flora balanced.
Go out with mates
Getting out of the house and seeing people is one of the best things that you can do to boost your mood. If you’re with the right group of people then time will fly and all of your worries will melt away, allowing you to properly unwind.
People who exercise regularly tend to do it for their own personal wellbeing as the feeling of accomplishment after a session provides you with a dose of endorphins. Regular exercise is said to make you feel more energetic in the day and leaves people with a more positive attitude towards life.
Just remember that there are a whole range of different sports that you can participate in - you don’t have to just run or go to the gym to exercise!
There’s no denying that sleep is essential. But sleep is also vital for maintaining good mental and physical health as when we sleep we’re healing the brain and allowing it to take a break. It’s recommended that young adults get between 7-10 hours of sleep per day for optimal function, so aim for that if you want a healthy mind.
Take a break from social media
Social media can wither us away mentally. You can get stuck in the infinite loops of scrolling through apps like TikTok and Instagram incredibly easily and become a social media zombie for large parts of your day. If it’s not scrolling then it’s messaging friends on Snapchat and WhatsApp, eagerly waiting for replies or spending ages finding your best angle for a photo. Doomscrolling isn’t healthy!
Have some days where you don’t go on social media at all and engage in something without a screen like reading or going on a walk. If a day is too long, then try setting a reasonable limit of how long you can be on your phone in a day.
And most importantly…
Listen to your emotions
Set aside a time every week to check in with yourself and write down the positives and negatives of the week you’ve had. Really try to describe your emotions and why you felt a certain way. This is a good task to do when you are feeling stable and are not in a sad or happy mood as it should merely be a factual reflection of your feelings.
If you write down your feelings continually, over a long period of time you’ll be able to spot patterns and triggers of negative and positive emotions. This is a good way of getting to know yourself as you’re able to look at your emotions from a different perspective. Feelings aren’t bad, they’re a sign of your experiences.
Do you think more should be done to encourage men to talk about their emotions? Join the Student Hut Community today and let us know in our opinion panel.