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When it comes to discussing and admitting to issues surrounding mental health, it seems as though guys are getting the rough end of the deal. While the stigma around mental health issues is slowly being broken down, male suicide and depression are still somewhat taboo subjects, and there is still a significant lack of support over issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, insomnia, and other associated conditions. Whether you are a man affected by mental health problems or are supporting someone going through a crisis, we have put together some top tips and warning signs to help you offer support, reduce stress, and stay healthy.
Watch What You Eat
The idea of ‘diets for guys’ is a popular concept in many magazines and social media platforms, but the focus for most of these is on building muscle and definition with protein-based diets. This may help you build and sculpt your body, but it is just as important to feed your mind and keep your brain healthy with a balanced diet. This includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, a healthy balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, vitamins and minerals, and good ‘brain food’ such as fish. Taking care of your body can also offer psychological advantages and be good for mental health.
Stress is often referred to as a silent killer, and it can have a devastating impact on your mental health if it is ignored over a long period. Stress can come from a variety of different sources, such as the workplace, your relationships, money worries, or health concerns.
There are healthy ways to deal with stress, and it is vital that you discover the best option for you. This may include exercise, meditation techniques, talking therapies, or creative engagements and distractions. One significant element is being aware of stress, and easily able to admit to it. Recognizing you are stressed better enables you to delegate tasks where possible or be open and honest about needing to take time out for yourself.
Talk It Out
One of the hardest things to do when suffering from mental health issues is to be able to talk to someone about it, but this is an action which has the potential to save lives. Whether you turn to a professional, such as a counselor or therapist, or have a trusted friend or family member to confide in, a sympathetic ear and an outlet to vent to are essential. This helps you to realize that there is a perspective to be gained, and talking through the problem can sometimes help you to come to a solution which previously seemed impossible.
Break The Stigma
We are doing a lot of work to break the taboos regarding mental health, but there is still more to be done. The best way to help is to be supportive and encouraging of anyone who confides in you, and to assist them in whichever way they desire—whether that is accessing additional support, being a friendly ear, or simply helping with practical tasks.