Men’s health week runs from 10 – 16 June

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Providing the opportunity to heighten awareness of preventable health and wellbeing issues, support healthier lifestyle choices and to encourage early detection and treatment of health issues

The theme is Men’s Health Matters – Make the Time. Take the Time.

Research shows that Irish men die on average up to four years earlier than women, with males having higher death rates than women for all leading causes of death. And while late presentation to health serviced can lead to a large number of problems becoming untreatable, men still find it especially difficult to seek help or talk about issues that may be affecting them.

BY making the time to consider our wellbeing and by taking the time to think about how best to look after our health, mind and attitude, we can start making healthier lifestyle choices to address some of the issues.

Taking care of ourselves is an important part of maintaining our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Here are seven practical tips to get you started:

Eat well
Nutrition is important in maintaining our wellbeing, with recent evidence suggesting that good nutrition is essential for mental as well as physical health. Studies suggest that vitamin C, for example, can curb levels of stress hormones and strengthen the immune system, while certain mineral deficiencies such as iron and vitamin B12 can contribute to a low mood. Eat fresh, unprocessed foods and drink plenty of water as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

Sleep well
Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain which play a role in managing our mood and emotions. If we don’t get enough sleep, our ability to concentrate, reason, remember, regulate our emotions and make good judgements can all suffer. Quality sleep helps boost energy levels, and your immune system helps you to manage stress and improves overall wellbeing- it’s time for your body and mind to rest, recover and recharge.

Exercise
Getting out and becoming active is key to our wellbeing. It not only gives a sense of achievement but it can also help to reduce anxiety, stress and feeling tired or disengaged. Exercise doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon – it just means finding an activity that you enjoy, such as gardening walking, cycling, or playing football, and making it a regular part of your life. IT is recommended that we try to get about 150 minutes of activity per week.

Be Mindful
With so many competing demands and such busy lives, although our body is in the ‘hear and now’, often our mind is not. As a result, we end up worrying or stressing about things in the future or get stuck in the past with feelings of regret. We often forget to stop to take notice of ourselves and the world around us. Mindfulness practice can help to deepen our sense of wellbeing and fulfilment, allowing us to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment, with an attitude of openness and can help us to, ‘come back to our senses’ – that is, being in touch with ourselves, with others and our surroundings in the present moment.

Watch what you’re drinking
Consuming too much alcohol can have both a short and long – term effects on your body, mental health and lifestyle, including poor quality of sleep, weight gain, exacerbation of depression/anxiety and social isolation. Even moderate alcohol consumption is known to have negative impacts on the human brain and our cognitive functions- within the workplace, this means that we could struggle to concentrate and stay focused on tasks, making out work life more challenging for us (British Medical Journal, 2017; 357).

Connect
Feeling connected to other people is important for self-esteem and for giving us support and new perspectives when we need them to spend time connecting with friend and family – even a text or a call can make a difference. And, if we don’t have supportive people around us there are other ways to make connections, like going to groups or events when we have some interest in common with others.

Ask for help
Men, in particular, can find it difficult talking about or seek help for issues they may be experiencing. Ignoring the problem isn’t going to help. We all experience times in our lives when we don’t feel as good as we would like, and talking about issues that are affecting your mental health can really make a difference. There is no shame in starting a conversation about how you are feeling. At times talking to friends or others that’s can help, speaking with someone who is trained to listen who can offer support, guidance and a fresh outlook.


Article from Inspire.

More information on Men's Health Week     

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