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Men's Mental Health: 6 Tips for Improving Your Mental Health

Published June 9th, 2022 by Mfarin42

Men's mental health statistics say that about 30% of men have at some point struggled with a period of depression. The number is likely higher because men's mental health struggles are often underreported.

Are you struggling with your mental health?

You're not alone. Men all over the world struggle to find support for their mental health, but things are changing quickly. The stigma against mental health care is, slowly but surely, going away.

We're here to talk about a few tips that can help you take control of your mental health. Read on to learn more.

1. Prioritize Self-Care

When life is always so busy and chaotic, self-care doesn't seem like a worthwhile priority. You have so many things to do and so little time. Why waste time on things that make you happy?

There's nothing inherently feminine about self-care. People of all genders should feel free to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and do something relaxing. 

So what does self-care look like for you?

For some men, self-care is just laying down on the couch after work and playing a game. Other men want to go hiking or bird watching on a day off and absorb some sunshine.

Consider more luxurious self-care options, like an at-home pampering session. Take a long bath and read a book in the tub. Taking care of yourself is gender-neutral. 

2. Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep

Did you know that sleep has a huge impact on your physical and mental health? If you've been mentally out-of-sorts lately, your sleep schedule (or lack thereof) may be the culprit.

The average person needs over seven hours of sleep every night. Are you meeting that goal, or have you been pulling late nights at work? 

When you don't get enough sleep, you're not giving your brain or body enough time to rest and recover. You'll wake up feeling irritable, anxious, and fatigued. You may find that you have extreme mood swings after a sleepless night. 

During REM sleep, your brain gets to process emotional information. It evaluates your memories and stores them. Without sleep, you may find yourself struggling with unresolved emotions that would have otherwise faded away during the night

When mental health worsens, sleep gets more difficult. This means that the problem is cyclical. The less you sleep, the worse your mental health gets, and the worse your sleep gets. 

3. Learn How to Set and Maintain Boundaries

Boundaries have been gaining traction as important communication tools, and for good reason.

Boundaries are how we teach other people how to treat us. If you're not setting and maintaining good boundaries, your mental health might start to suffer (especially if you lean towards people-pleasing behavior). 

When you set boundaries, you tell people what you do and do not consider acceptable behavior. This can be in the context of romantic relationships, your family, your friendships, or even your workplace.

For example, you can set a boundary at work by refusing to answer work calls or work emails when you're not on the clock. This boundary can reduce work-related anxiety and improve your work/life balance. 

Setting boundaries feels difficult and scary at first, but once you get used to it, you'll be shocked at how much your relationships improve. 

Remember that if someone doesn't support you in setting boundaries, that's their problem and not yours. Never feel guilty for protecting your emotional and mental health. 

4. Start an Exercise Routine

It's true: exercise is good for your mental health (much to the chagrin of many of us who don't love hitting the gym). If you've been struggling, consider finding time in your day for exercise.

The best type of exercise is the one that you can keep up with. This means that you don't have to force yourself to do an exercise that you hate just for the sake of your mental health.

Do something that you find fun or engaging, even if it's not high-intensity. 

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Those endorphins give you an energy boost, improve your sleep, and soften feelings of depression and anxiety. Endorphins are natural "happy chemicals."

Consider exercising with a friend or a group. Join a group class, like rock climbing or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so you also get a social circle out of your new exercise habit.

Your body and mind will thank you. 

5. Evaluate (And Maybe Reject) Gender Roles and Expectations

This one is tough for many men, but we think it's important during men's mental health awareness week. If your mental health is suffering, evaluate your internalized gender roles and expectations and decide which ones are no longer serving you.

Men often feel pressured to be "stoic" and "strong" for the people around them. They may be discouraged from crying or showing emotions, and they may feel like they have to be non-stop breadwinners for their households. 

How many of these things actually align with you? Wouldn't you feel better if you shed those gender roles and expectations and allowed yourself to be more open and honest about your feelings and struggles? 

6. Learn How to Ask For and Accept Help

You don't have to handle your mental health on your own. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help from partners, friends, and professionals.

There's nothing shameful about letting people know that you're struggling. Your friends and family members want to see you thrive, and if they don't, they're not worth your time.

Reaching out to a mental health professional isn't feminine or weak. It's a sign that you're trying to improve your own life situation. What's more powerful than that?

Men's Mental Health Is Important

During men's mental health week, we want to make it clear that mental health has no gender. Men deserve mental health care and support when they're struggling.

Are you ready to start seeking out support for men's mental health? 

At New York Therapy Placement Services, we aim to connect our clients with licensed mental health professionals that can help them grow and thrive. Contact us so we can start helping you today.

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