5 Ways Men Can Prioritize Mental Health in 2020
It’s no secret that we are dealing with a mental health crisis. Though many men suffer from mental health issues, the topic is still stigmatized within our society. Unfortunately, men are also less likely to seek treatment than women. But even if it might take a lot of effort, improving your mental health is a long-term investment that will benefit you later on. Here is a guide to how you can prioritize your mental health in 2020.
Maintain healthy relationships
One study showed that people who are more socially engaged are generally happier. With so much of our lives happening at work, it can be difficult to prioritize maintaining healthy relationships. You should try your best to foster positive relationships with not just your coworkers but friends and family.
A great way to sustain a social life is to reserve one day a week for relaxing with other people. If you are having a hard time meeting new people, you can join exercise classes, hiking groups, or a book club. The best way to find people that you could potentially get along with is through actively engaging with activities that you’re enthusiastic about.
In addition to making new friendships, it’s equally important to detach yourself from any toxic relationships. Though you should try your best to work out any issues you have with someone, there comes a point where drama, gossip, and lies can actually weigh you down.
The best way to end a toxic relationship is to gradually detach from them and be open and honest about your intentions. You may find that instead of communicating face-to-face, it can be easier to write an email articulating your feelings. That way, there is no potential for miscommunication.
Another part of maintaining happiness is having a healthy sex life. Although it’s not often discussed, erectile dysfunction is pretty common amongst young men. If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, there are treatments out there that can help you.
Practice mindfulness meditation
Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and memory loss. Online, you can find plenty of guides on how to practice mindfulness meditation. With apps, you can practice mindfulness meditation whenever it’s convenient for you. In addition to helping your well-being, mindfulness exercises can give you more insight into emotions, boost attention, and concentration. Getting into meditation can also be an opportunity to make new friendships. You can strike up a bond with a colleague at work who also enjoys meditating and coordinate breaks together to unwind.
While many people associate exercise with simply getting into shape, it’s been shown that working out can have tremendous benefits to your mental health. It can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress while simultaneously boosting your self-esteem and cognitive function. If you haven’t found a form of exercise that you’re passionate about, you should try some new ones! Here are a few cool ideas:
- Spin class
- Rock climbing
Some people really enjoy working out as a group. However, others might find it kind of intimidating or overwhelming to exercise with other people. Especially if you are inexperienced, a group class isn’t ideal. If that’s the case, you can always sign up for a gym membership and go 3-4 times a week on your own accord. Additionally, you can download an exercise app and set up your own routine that works for you. Regardless of what you choose, you will be taking a positive step towards happiness and mental health.
Be mindful of media consumption
One study found that Americans spend a whopping 10 hours a day in front of a screen. And out of that time, a good chunk is devoted to cruising social media. Social media offers numerous positive things. It can help you feel connected to friends that live far away, network, and find exciting new social and professional opportunities.
But on the flipside, it can also distract you from the present and make you feel like you’re always missing out on something fun. When you just got out of a relationship, social media can be particularly toxic — seeing photos of your ex-partner smiling on a beach is far from ideal. Just because social media is remarkably popular, doesn’t mean you have to take part in it.
If it’s making you feel bad or draining a lot of your time, you should consider taking a break. There are tools you can use that can help you block out whichever apps or websites you find distracting. On top of that, there are ways to measure your own screen usage so you can gradually reduce your digital habit over time. Since many of us use computers for work, it can be particularly relaxing to spend your time off away from a screen.
Here are a few activities you can do that don’t require any screens:
- Art classes (painting, drawing, pottery, calligraphy)
- Writing in a journal
- Read a book, magazine, or newspaper
- Going for a walk
- Volunteering at homeless shelters or animal rescue centers
You shouldn’t feel pressured to quit social media completely — just consume it in moderation, and you will notice an improvement in your mental health.
Get extra help
Though exercise and cutting down on screen time can surely improve your mental health, there is only so much you can do by yourself. If you notice that the way you are feeling on day-to-day is getting worse regardless of what you’re doing, it is crucial for you to seek help from a licensed professional. There is no reason to feel ashamed: plenty of people deal with mental health issues and find a way to not only cope, but thrive.
You should confide in a trusted friend, partner, or family member to help you seek treatment. Chances are, there is someone in your life who has overcome their own mental health issue. Find a psychiatrist and psychologist that can help you and never forget that you are far from alone.
When you are struggling with your mental health, it can be tough to feel optimistic. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can prioritize your mental health and achieve happiness.