Written by Rich, our Digital Officer.

Not to state a massive generalisation but us men aren’t always the best at working through our emotions, so for Men’s Health Awareness Month, I just wanted to talk a little about mental health.

It’s been a challenging year for all of us. Our mental strength is constantly being tested, regardless of gender, thanks to the looming threat of a deadly virus and all that comes with it.

Here’s a list of just a few things you may have had to worry about:

  • Avoiding contracting coronavirus
  • Keeping those you care about safe
  • Job uncertainty
  • Financial insecurity
  • Parenting challenges
  • Social isolation

Yep, it’s been a tough year and we’re about to dive head first into winter with its cold days and dark nights. So now more than ever, it’s important to shine a light on mental health and do everything we can to try to look after it.

Mood

First of all, your mood can and will fluctuate. It’s ok to be sad, in fact it’s completely natural. But it’s also important to figure out why, and if you want to, to look to do something about it.

Sleep

Getting a decent night’s kip can change everything. Studies have shown that sleep is incredibly important and it can often be something we overlook. So this winter, make sure you’re getting the right amount of shut-eye and see how it can help you both mentally and physically. For tips on how to sleep better, just click here.

People

While we might not currently be able to see the people we love spending time with in person, that shouldn’t stop us from seeing them. We can chat over the phone, video call via WhatsApp, Zoom over the internet, Meet over Google and use many other digital options. Staying connected to people who make you smile (and who you make smile), is so important during a time where we need to physically stay apart.

Exercise and food

I know in winter, it’s much harder to motivate yourself to exercise and much easier to convince yourself that you don’t have the time. But if you exercise, you’ll reap the benefits. Not only will you receive a boost of endorphins, be able to sleep better and become more energised, you’re also freeing up space to eat more delicious food over the wintry period. So get moving (and get eating)… it could be as little as a 20-minute workout with Wicks or you could hit the streets and get running and explore your local area.  The choice is yours.

These next few months are going to test us and we have to rise to meet them. The situation we’re in doesn’t define us, we define the situation. So bring it on winter, we’re ready for you!

For Men’s Health Awareness month, if you’d like to find out more about how mental health affects men, please visit the Mental Health Foundation.

If you need support, or want to learn more about men’s mental health, the below organisations are sources of further information and advice.

Mental health is a huge part of hospice care and goes hand in hand with physical health. One of the first things we ask our patients is…what is most important to you? It’s from there, we build your care around you.

Find out more about our Hospice services, or to find out how you can help us raise the vital funds we need this Christmas, please click here.

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