From exercise to simply exhaling, little moments of self-care can make a big difference to men’s mental health as they age
Sponsored by Healthy Ireland, a Government of Ireland initiative.
It’s a widely held belief that women are particularly adept at keeping on top of their mental wellbeing; men, perhaps, not so much. And statistics hint at a ‘wellbeing gap’ between the genders. A recent HSE report outlined the prevalence of mental health issues specifically among an older male population.
There are several factors that may explain the gap: while it’s thought that men are often reluctant to seek medical treatment in the event of a mental health challenge, other variables – geographical isolation, a relative lack of social networks, families growing up and moving away, deteriorating physical health – also have a part to play.
Yet a growing number of Irish men, happily, are becoming more aware of the importance of safeguarding their mental health. Amid busy work schedules and family life, many of them have learned the benefits of finding a mindful moment for themselves in the day. We spoke to a few of them on how they make focusing on their mental health work in today’s fast-paced world.
To find out more information and tips on how you can mind your mental wellbeing, the Government’s Healthy Ireland programme can help – visit gov.ie/healthyireland
TIPS FOR A HEALTH MIND
The HSE’s #littlethings campaign offers tips to remind us that little things make a big difference as to how we feel. Some #littlethings that promote positive mental health include:
● Keeping active – Being active every day, something as simple as a walk, is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
● Talking about your problems – Problems feel smaller when they are shared, without having to be solved or fixed. Just talking about it will do you good.
● Looking out for others – Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can change their day, or their lives. You don’t have to fix it for them, just listening is a huge help.
● Doing things with others – Taking part in a group activity that you enjoy is proven to have a positive impact on how you feel, be it a game of football, joining a choir, volunteering within your community.
Eating healthily – A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical, but also your mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
● Staying in touch – Catching up with friends and family reminds us that we’re part of a community, and has a positive impact on how we feel.
● Drinking less alcohol – For the average Irish drinker, reducing alcohol will have a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing, making it easier to cope with day-to-day difficulties and stresses.
● Sleeping well – Getting a good night’s sleep of seven or eight hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel. Protect your sleep if you can, it will do you good.
Article courtesy of Tanya Sweeney Independent.ie