The prevailing perceptions of “macho” masculinity and what it means to be “a man” in America have long overshadowed critical issues related to men’s mental health -- until now. NoStigmas wants to talk about you, guys!
We know that mental health issues do not discriminate by gender. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and other major mental health issues similarly affect both men and women. So why are men, on average, three times more likely than women to die by suicide?
Accurately recognizing the warning signs of a mental health condition is sometimes difficult, and sometimes men (and women) are not in-tune with their emotions. Men may feel added social pressures to be bold, confident, and stoic. Popular culture reinforces the image of the “masculine man” as powerful, courageous, competitive and successful.
While these traits are admirable, they are deserving of compromise. The social construction of masculinity is problematic because it does not leave room for anxieties, doubts, misconceptions or struggles. Reality tells us that life is full of little (and big!) anxieties and struggles. We want to help our men prioritize their mental health habits and manage their “emotional teaspoons”. Let’s #RedefineNormal and let our men know - You are not alone.
- DO talk to a loved one, a trusted friend, or a professional health provider at the first indication of a mental health issue. Talk to us, even! You can request a NoStigmas mentor here.
- DO maintain a healthy diet and engage in moderate physical activity 2-3 times a week. Watching your waistline and other key health numbers (like blood pressure and cholesterol) will also benefit your long-term health. Check out the 6 biggest trend shifts in fitness here.
- DO reflect on yourself. This is essential to self-management! Take time out of your day to think and reflect on present irritations, hopes and pleasures, and immediate or future plans. If a journal isn’t quite your style, try taking this step and installing this personal health template from Microsoft Office to your personal computer. It downloads directly to Microsoft Excel, and the rest is health history!
- DON’T consume excess alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For men younger than age 65, alcohol consumption is considered moderate if individuals consume up to two drinks per day. One drink is equivalent to a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or a 1.5 oz. shot (80 proof).
- DON’T mess with your sleep schedule. Our quality of sleep influences how much food we consume, our metabolism speed, and how well we cope with our stress. Check out these 7 steps to better sleep.
- DON’T use tobacco products. Smoking is among the unhealthiest vices known to man. To pick up a healthier habit, try these mediation tips for beginners.
Visit our Learning Center to learn more about men's mental health! Also, check out some other "manly" support systems: