Health and wellness for men was once an obscure topic as many men didn’t want to talk about their health and wellness issues. However, as mental health and self-care have become greater topics of discussion, the awareness of the need for men to take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally has also come to the surface. Here are a few areas of health and wellness that all men should be mindful of for themselves.
Too often, men ignore trouble signs and symptoms that there is something wrong with them physically. In a recent study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, 60% of men reported only going to the doctor if they were having a major medical issue. Over 50% of men reported that they don’t like talking about their health.
The top two causes of natural death in men are heart disease and cancer, both of which can be treated if caught early. By going to the doctor for an annual check-up and physical, men can reduce their health risks by identifying potential health problems early when they can be treated with changes to diet and activity or with medication.
Diet and physical activity are two significant factors in men’s health. Too often, men are not mindful about how they care for their bodies through diet and exercise, which leads to obesity, heart disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, respiratory problems, and other preventable health complications. Seeking advice on healthy eating and fun ways to stay active can be significantly beneficial to overall health. Check out resources like the Quintessential Man website that’s filled with a vast array of articles covering men’s nutrition, exercise, and building self-esteem.
Talking about men’s mental health has been and to a degree still is even more taboo than talking about their physical health. Men are supposed to be naturally strong, secure, and confident. However, understanding mental health issues and the many factors that may lead to them allows people to understand that mental health is important for everyone regardless of gender or identity. When you are active on social media, you may see many people, who appear to be thriving in ways you only dream of, and that can be difficult for many. Working towards goals under the constant pressure to perform and be okay is also difficult for many.
Men need to learn effective methods of self-care. When you hear the term self-care, you may be thinking of women who take bubble baths and get massages, but it is far more than that. Self-care includes taking time to yourself and saying no to prevent feeling overworked and overwhelmed. Self-care means taking care of yourself physically, going to the doctor, eating well, staying active, and managing stress through counseling, meditation, activity, hobbies, or downtown. Everyone faces stresses in their life; the difference is how you learn to mitigate stress and continue moving forward. You can become a quintessential sunshine man by simply learning how to effectively manage your emotions.
Mental and emotional health are interconnected, but there are ways men can care for themselves emotionally that some may view as different than mental self-care. For example, learning how to communicate within a relationship and protect yourself from unhealthy behaviors within a relationship is critical to your emotional well-being.
Emotional health issues can be worked out through counseling or a program like Codependents Anonymous (CODA) or Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Homes (ACA). These are peer-to-peer programs that allow individuals to take a hard look at why they act the way they do and address the core thoughts and beliefs that endanger their mental and emotional health.
For example, many men become people-pleasers in their intimate relationships without even realizing it, so they are forsaking their own wants and needs in an attempt to make their partner happy, but they lose themselves in the process. This behavior can be corrected, and emotional health can be improved when men are willing to take an honest look at the underlying thoughts and beliefs that lead them to act the way they do.
Physical, mental, and emotional health are all connected, and they each impact the others. It may seem overwhelming to try to improve all three at once, but the others will naturally improve when you start working in one area due to the interconnectedness.