Men DO want to talk about it
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
There has been a big rise in men reaching out for help since the start of the pandemic in 2020. This is a big deal because men DO need support and lockdown has pushed some men over a ‘good edge’ to actually reach out to connect with other men. Men aren’t suddenly in need of mental support, they’ve always needed it, but what’s slowly beginning to change is men’s willingness to admit that they’re not ok.
The mental health ambassador https://www.mind.org.uk have surveyed 14,421 adults aged 25+ since the beginning of the pandemic and have found that:
“More than half of adults (60%) and over two-thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown”
“Many without previous experience of mental health problems have experienced poor mental health during lockdown and have seen their mental health and wellbeing decline.”
Men are raised and taught that they need to be:
Know everything (all the time)
Hide their emotions (it's weird, don’t cry, not ever)
Leading from the front, support and/or weakness is for wusses
This model is a catastrophe, some men who are actually able to achieve the impossible go through the rest of their lives needing to be this way or else they will lose everyone and everything. The other half never measure up to the ‘grade’ and spend their lives feeling inadequate and trying to prove themselves in other ways.
Regardless of what side you are on, the sum total is a degree of isolation, disconnection and loneliness.
The pandemic, whilst horrible, has got people talking about mental health. And despite the apparent rise in mental health problems, we believe these issues have always been there, only now they are much closer to the surface and it’s forcing people to deal with it.
Men, like women, wear a lot of hats. Most of them work full time earning money in a world that seems to be demanding ‘more’ all the time. Then they return home to a busy family life where they must switch from work mode to parent mode. Whilst in this zone they find themselves noticing jobs that need doing, thinking of bills that remain unpaid, work tasks that need finishing and on top of all this, almost all men carry with them a sense of not feeling ‘enough’. The sum total of all of this pressure is unbearable levels of stress.
The dictionary defines stress as:
a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
And strain defined as:
a force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree
So under the states of stress and strain, we are accidents literally waiting to happen.
The good news / the solution
To better manage stress levels the problem can be broken down into the following areas for Dads:
Stress with money
Stress at work
Stress in marriage/relationships
Stress in the body (including mental/physical/emotional health)
When the picture is broken down into its component parts, the ball of stress called ‘my life’ becomes instantly less overwhelming. A choice can be made and progress can be made towards reducing stress in one particular area. Each element is important, but improvements in one manageable area at a time has a knock-on/ripple effect on other areas.
Connecting with other men who believe that their issues are unique and tell themselves over and over that this is stupid, are probably making the whole thing up and should just get their heads down and get on with it, continue to perpetuate the problem.
Talking is a great start, being open to change and then taking small steps to implement one small thing at a time eventually leads to feelings of increased happiness, energy and worthiness.
Some easy wins:
Make a clear and simple budget for your finances
Spending time in nature - up to 2 hrs per week
Meditation or time in silence - if uncomfortable, keep the time short 2-3 minutes conscious silence is very nourishing when compared to zero time
Cold water therapy
Better nutrition - Being conscious about what foods and drinks you are actually putting into your body. You don't need to be a health nut, but what you put in does matter.
Exercise - Nobody needs to be Goggins here, but 15-20 mins per day of being outdoors, simply walking and breathing leaving phones at home WILL help
If you haven’t yet, get on over to our podcast ‘Stress Free Dad’s’, where we tackle topics like financial wellness, exercise, nutrition, and stress relieving therapies such as cold water.
Podcast click here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/stress-free-dads/id1555065296
Or reach out to us directly via our website:
Or email the minion to get some help on your specific circumstances, we would be delighted to hear from you