The state of duality is universal. The serene nature on which we write poetry shows its violent face at times; A loving elephant that follows every word of the trainer transforms into a furious attacker occasionally. If elements and beings around us show extreme emotions, why can’t humans exude so?
The stigma around mental health
In general, mental health is always brushed under the carpet. For ages, we never gave importance to our mental health similar to a physical ailment. The hush-hush thing that people don’t want to speak about is touching the surface of the vernacular now due to COVID-19 and its various psychological, societal, and economical consequences. But the awareness about men’s mental health is still in the back seat.
A man is often portrayed as an undaunting and unruffled personality who bears it all. They are never allowed to express themselves. And if they do, opinions come thick and fast. As a result, men bottle up all the emotions which ultimately add up as depression and anxiety.
On the other hand, women are allowed to cry, express, and vent out emotions. These gender-based stigmas as old as hills continue to exist even in these modern times. Mental illness is non-selective of gender. It affects both men and women. It is high time we give due importance and treat both of them equally.
As stoic a man can be, a starkly different and vulnerable side of him can also exist. We need to create space in our characteristic glossaries and treat it normally. Men coming out of this behavioral trap is the need of the hour!
What causes mental health issues in men?
No two days are the same. Likewise, many factors contribute to the disarray of mental health. Family problems, financial troubles, relationship issues, work pressure, physical illness, sudden loss or separation of loved ones, etc – These day-to-day factors affect one’s mental well-being. They can start as subliminal moods of change to showing some of these symptoms as well:
- Feeling down or numb
- Lack of concentration
- Aches, pains in body parts
- Reduced hunger
- Suicidal thoughts
- Panic attacks
If you notice any of these signs, it is time to take a break and fix your mental well-being.
Ways to take care of your mental health:
Go easy on yourself:
When you are going through anxiety or depression, it is completely okay to be unproductive. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not meeting the deadlines or not accomplishing the tasks. You deserve a temporary hiatus and you are sure to bounce back soon.
Talk it out:
When it goes overboard, it’s okay to let it all out. Speak to your family, friends, or a therapist whom you can trust. Cry, shout, scream and pour out everything. This creates a sense of belonging and reduces your loneliness. When your worries are listened to, automatically your mental weight is offloaded.
If you are still left alone with no one to listen to, join trusted online/offline communities and share with peers who are going through the same phase. There is always a way out!
Food and sleep:
The favorite food on the plate and a wholesome sleep can cure any disease in the world. Take nutritional food, follow a proper diet, give yourself screen-free time and enjoy a sound sleep – This simple routine can create a positive lifestyle change.
Setting aside a ‘ME’ time is never a selfish activity. Many times, doing something you like will reduce anxiety and restlessness. Simple things like going for a breezy walk, playing guitar, listening to songs, gardening, spending quality time with your pet, and such can create a huge positive impact on your mindset.
Yoga and Exercise:
Workout is not just good for your body. It doubles up as a booster for your mind as well. Yoga also does wonders for mental health as many attain peace and mindfulness. Set up a routine to involve yourself in simple exercises to stay fit mentally and physically.
Let’s normalize being mentally abnormal at times. Like every physical sickness, mental disorders can be cured too. Humans aren’t robots. We cannot be monotonic; Different emotions are supposed to cross your lives and let yourself experience them, learn from them, and finally, you’ll have the courage to let them go.