Blog post written by Susan Good
You’re a man, and you’re often expected to be the pillar of strength — the rock that holds your family together. But this burden can become overwhelming, and you might find yourself struggling with stress, depression, and other negative consequences.
While it’s common for everyone to experience mental health issues, men are often reluctant to talk about their feelings, contributing to a rise in suicide rates. It’s time to break the stigma and open up about our mental health struggles. The Social Action Hub discusses how to improve your mental health and navigate challenges on your journey as a man:
How To Move Forward
It’s essential to prioritize your mental health, but many men struggle to do so because of societal stigma and expectations. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to boost your mental well-being. One approach is to seek out support from friends, family, or mental health professionals; talking about your feelings and struggles can do wonders for your overall wellness.
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep can also contribute to improved mental health. Further, you might try mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It’s crucial to recognize taking care of your mental health as a sign of strength — not a weakness — and that seeking help when you need it is a brave and courageous step toward living a happier and healthier life.
The WHF LIFE
Working from home can yield several mental health benefits. For one, it eliminates the stress of commuting, which is often a significant source of anxiety and frustration for men. Being a remote worker also allows for more flexibility in creating a personalized work environment that’s conducive to productivity and comfort.
You’ll also notice more opportunities for work-life balance since you have more time to engage in self-care activities like exercising or spending time with loved ones. Plus, working from home can reduce feelings of social pressure and distractions from coworkers, contributing to a more focused and less stressful work experience. Just remember to establish a consistent schedule and find your rhythm!
Family-Related Financial Stress
One of the most significant sources of stress for men is the inability to provide for their families. This pressure is especially challenging in times of economic uncertainty, and it can lead to a feeling of failure and guilt for not living up to expectations.
To cope with this stress, you must remind yourself of your worth outside of your financial contributions. Spend quality time with your family, and focus on building relationships instead of just providing money.
Helplessness and Depression
Men often struggle with expressing their emotions to others. Over time, this can cause feelings of helplessness and depression, among others. It’s OK to ask for help, whether from a therapist or a friend. Whatever path you choose, don’t let outdated societal expectations hinder you from acknowledging and addressing your mental health struggles.
The Pressure To Be "Manly"
Societal standards of what it means to be “manly“ is the driving force behind toxic masculinity. In other words, it’s not considered “manly“ to express emotions or seek help. You can’t let these antiquated standards stop you from prioritizing your mental health and emotional well-being. Balancing assertiveness and vulnerability is critical to your overall health and success.
Neglecting To Get Help
Many men fail to speak up about their mental health issues because they don’t want to be perceived as weak. But this is a dangerous mentality that can worsen your struggles quicker than you might think. Resolve that you will communicate with your loved ones and ask for help anytime you need it. Relationships require vulnerability, and communication is a key part of that process.
The Bottom Line
Men’s mental health has long been a taboo topic. But the times are changing, and it’s time to break that stigma and prioritize our mental health. The struggles above are only a few of many you might face, but implementing these proven strategies in your own life can help you navigate your difficulties.
Remember that it’s never too late to get help or make healthy changes in your life. It’s OK not to be OK. Speak up, reach out, and take care of yourself!