November is Men’s Health Awareness Month. This was a movement that was set up by the charity, Movember.
The charity aims to raise awareness and money for health issues that impact men across the world. One of the main issues is mental health. In the past, we’ve written about general tips for looking after your mental health.
We spoke to our clinical team who run our male only health sessions to see how we could play our part this month.
One of the most popular topics for our male clients is how to deal with stress. Here you’ll find tips from our expert team on the best ways to manage stress.
Stress is made worse by how we think and what we worry about. A lot of us worry about things we cannot control or do anything about. To help combat these thoughts and feelings, it can help to write a worry tree. This is where you make a list of everything that’s worrying you. Then consider: is there anything you can do about this worry? If the answer is no, try to let the worry go. Or if the answer is yes, think of practical solutions for your worry. What can you do to resolve it?
Getting into the habit of writing a worry tree can help you see which of your worries you can and cannot control. It gives you time to process letting go of unhelpful thinking styles, alongside letting you think of solutions for practical worries.
When dealing with unhealthy levels of stress, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong rather than pay attention to what’s going right. So, try to put the time in every day to find something positive. Ask yourself, what went well today? What are you grateful for? These questions don’t require big answers. The most important thing is you’re taking the time to find something good, rather than purely focus on what’s causing your stress.
Stress has a huge impact on sleep and vice versa. Establishing a sleep routine for yourself can help you manage stress. The NHS shared their best tips for creating a sleep routine. The emphasis here is routine. Sleeping at regular times helps your body clock adjust to a schedule. It’s also important to try and wake up at a similar time each day to keep your sleep pattern regular.
Try to include an unwinding time as part of your routine. This could include light stretches, reading a book, or listening to music. Try to avoid going on a screen an hour before bed, as the light can impact your sleeping pattern.
Break Down Tasks
Stress can be caused when we’ve got a lot going on. Whether it’s a big job at work or tasks at home that you’ve been meaning to get done for ages. It can be tempting to procrastinate, however, this can lead to more stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a big job you’ve got to do, break it up into smaller, more achievable tasks. For every part you complete, take the time to acknowledge your efforts. This can help you feel more motivated and encourage you to get to your end goal.
Asking for Help
You may feel under pressure to sort everything out yourself. However, it is very important to ask for help, and have others look after you when you need it. You can speak to your family and friends. Or, you can reach out to support services. Movember provided a list of mental health support options in the UK. There’s always somebody you can speak to if you’re having a hard time.
Self-care does not have a gender. It is about making time in your week to take care of yourself. You can do this in whatever way works for you. It’s good to find activities that you can make part of your routine. Particularly good activities for stress are exercise, going out into green spaces and talking to other people. All healthy ways to deal with stress have one thing in common: they involve doing something for yourself.
Our programmes can help give you more understanding of managing stress and how it fits into a healthy lifestyle. If you’re interested in finding out what MoreLife services are available in your area, check out our services page.
If you’re concerned about your levels of stress, please speak to your GP about more in-depth support options.