Mental Health Awareness Month - Start Climbing Towards A New You

May, a significant time for us at MESOA. As the world embraces Mental Health Awareness Month, we are reminded of the importance of addressing the unique challenges faced by men in their mental well-being.

Beyond societal expectations and stereotypes, we acknowledge that men, too, experience a range of emotions and struggles that deserve attention and support.

Throughout this month, we come together to amplify the conversation surrounding men's mental health, striving to create a safe space where vulnerability is celebrated and resources are readily available.

Together, we can foster a stronger, healthier future for men everywhere.

In our lifetimes we will all experience some sort of  mental health pressure. We've all had our moments, big, small, long term, and short term. Whether the culprit is work, relationships, confidence, or lack thereof, we’ve all felt it.

As much as you may feel totally alone when you’re experiencing these negative, detrimental, and soul-slaying feelings when you feel there’s no one there, no support, no one that understands, we are far from playing solo.

In the UK, one in four adults suffers from at least one mental health illness. Depression, stress, bipolar, and anxiety, to name a few, but the list goes on. Mental health includes the emotional, social well-being and psychological behaviours of a person that affect their well-being and the way they live their life.

The stigma associated with mental illness is reported to be the biggest barrier preventing people from seeking care, treatment, and even talking to their family and friends. However, in recent years with the help of organisations and companies, we’re breaking the taboo, and we’re talking about it, and the attitude of people toward mental health has seriously changed.

For us to deal with all the stressors life throws at us, good mental health is essential to help us cope. If we want to survive this period of our lives unscathed, we must start by looking after and looking out for ourselves.

We all know that talking about our problems with others is helpful. Telling our stories, letting people in. Others may have a different perspective on a situation, show it to us in a different light, and help change our frame of mind. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or therapist, talking aloud to someone who will give us their time to listen is a big win, and you will reap the benefits. So make it a regular thing.

Just as you need to talk, you also need to listen. Listen to the feedback and advice your people give you, and take it onboard. Also, listen to your questions. Can you change things up? Can you do things differently that will benefit you and your mindset? How can you improve your days, which will change your week, month, and year? What is it you don’t like about yourself that you can fix? Podcasts are good for learning about how others are dealing with it and people who have been in your exact position. How did they get out the other end?

When mental health issues arise, thinking is all we seem to do, but always the worst. As hard as it may be, making an effort to switch it up and think positive thoughts is the way forward. Think about the ways you can get an upgrade. Think about one thing you can do each day to lift your mood. Close your eyes and visualise your happy place. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you wearing? What can you see up ahead? What’s the weather doing? What sounds can you hear? Switch off just for 5 minutes a day and take yourself away. Also, think about what you want to achieve, grab a journal and write down some goals you want to reach. Reconnect with that friend, finish the days chores, and mow the lawn. Whatever it may be that will make you feel accomplished, do that.

Routine is good for us all, mental health issues or not. Lack of structure can make us feel unmotivated and distracted and often leads to you doing everything at the last minute. Flexibility is also important, but the structure is necessary for creating a sense of stability and balance in your life. Start some new habits. Create a skincare routine to keep you looking and therefore feeling good. Silence the mind and practice meditation. Read a book and learn. Switch off devices at a certain time every night and learn to love your own company. And be sure to laugh, you should always laugh.

It’s time to build the new you, and talking, listening, thinking, and adding new practices into your day will certainly help get you on your way. Exercise, eating well and sleeping well are, and always will be relevant to your recovery process, too, so add those in and challenge your mindset for a brighter future.

It’s not about the whole ladder, just the first step.