World Health Day is celebrated around the globe on April 7th every year. It’s a day for questioning our health, comfort, security, and welfare. Diseases like cancer, asthma and heart disease are on the rise, as are anxiety, stress, and depression, all of which we want to avoid at all costs, so knowing our body and mind and what we can do to protect them is key.
Mental health issues such as depression affect people of all ages, from all walks of life, genders, and countries. It causes anguish and can impact people’s ability to carry out even the simplest tasks, leading to a breakdown of relationships and self-harm.
At MESOA, we are joining the campaign this year and bringing attention to World Health Day to help people like you and me with our daily struggles. Life can be difficult, and it can be physically and mentally hard to deal with the things thrown our way.
While every day should be a day to talk about and work on your mental health, today on World Health Day is a powerful reminder. You need to take the time to look at your life and how you can improve areas of it to give you a more fulfilling ride.
A little self-care can go a long way. To support you in supporting yourself, we have some tips you might like to try:
Maybe the simplest form of looking after yourself, no strain required. Be sure to drink at least 2 litres of water a day to keep your body hydrated. If you’re a busy person, your body will lose fluids, so keep topping up.
Another obvious one. Exercise. Doing some form of physical activity a minimum of 3 days a week will improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Plus, the endorphins your brain releases will make you happy. Regular exercise will improve both your wellbeing and mental health. Getting your heart rate up is the goal, don’t stop ’til your sweating!
A regular, decent night’s sleep is right up there with the must-haves, just as important as eating and breathing. It allows our body to repair itself from the day’s troubles and helps our brains, and therefore our mental health stay strong. Sleep disturbances can be one of the first signs of distress, that something’s not right, so making sure you get rest is vitally important. Early night, dark room, the right temperature, no noise. It’s time to switch off.
It goes without saying that a healthy diet is good for you, but it’s good for your brain too. The foods you eat play an important role in keeping your brain healthy. Colourful foods are the way to go, and green, leafy vegetables too, which are rich in brain-healthy nutrients, perfect for mental strength. So you know what’s good for you and not, take the ‘bad stuff’ in moderation.
That’s the thing about saying no; we don’t really like to do it, but it’s the only answer when it comes to your health. If you’re a smoker, it’s time for a change. Nicotine transfers to your blood and is carried to your brain, where it causes the release of chemicals that give you pleasurable feelings for a short period of time, but let’s change that up and find something that gives you satisfaction for longer. We all know that smoking isn’t good for us, so today is the day you need to start the journey to a cigarette-free future that will positively affect your health. Cut back on your alcohol too, and feel the win.
>Manage your stress
Stress catches up with us all, we’re all guilty of letting it take over, but there are ways we can keep it at bay. Slowing down and taking a break will help for sure. If there’s things that can wait until tomorrow, then let them wait, don’t overload yourself. Meditation is a big helper in switching off the mind and learning to focus on what’s ahead, allowing your mind to reset and realign with what’s important. Deep breathing is another trick, sit for a minute and listen to your breath. Finally, taking time off to unwind can do great things for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem.
To be sure that your body is in tip-top shape, be sure to get regular GP check-ups. Get your bloods done, your blood pressure and weight measured, and do it regularly to keep a check of your vitals and ensure you’re as fit and healthy as possible.
>Talk and listen
Taking time out to spend with your family and friends and talking to them about your issues whilst listening to theirs will 100% help your mental health. Opening up, sharing your stories, and sharing your feelings is what needs to happen to help alleviate the stresses you’re feeling. Listening will give you a purpose, something to make you feel worthy like you’ve made a difference. Taking time out to sit, grab a coffee and just talk will get your mind in a much better place, and with that, your mood will instantly change.
That is the selfish thing people do, right? Wrong. Self-care is one of the most important things you can do: spend time on yourself, make sure that you’re ok, and have all you need. Self-care can be anything from taking a long hot bath, having a long session at the gym, getting a close shave and a haircut at the local barber’s, and creating a morning and evening skincare routine. Self-care makes you feel good, physically and mentally, in your body and mind. You must make time for self-care, even if only once a week. If you’ve not got time for it, you’re the one that needs it the most.
>Say yes to new habits
If you go ahead and take on the above tips, you have just started new habits. New behaviours are linked to improving or preventing anxiety and depression, reducing stress and generally increasing your mood. If you have a new challenge, something to focus on, you can trick your mind into thinking it has a new lease of life. Sleeping, eating, exercising, hydrating, meditating, talking, and building your self-care and self-confidence are all ways in which you will become a healthier person physically and mentally.
MESOA is here to make every man comfortable in his own skin. We want you to be healthy and thrive; we want you to be successful; we want to help you find your perfect style to boost self-confidence. We want to help educate every man to know it’s ok to open up and talk about wellbeing and mental health, it’s ok to take care of yourself and put yourself first.
Take time today to think about some aspects of your life that you know need attention and make the changes you need to get yourself in a good place. The future is bright.