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The facts about men’s mental health: No.7 Creating a healthy lifestyle

It’s a fact that creating a healthy lifestyle can help you stay mentally healthy. What does this mean exactly and what are some of the activities you can include in your lifestyle that might also be good for your mental health?

Be A Man Who Takes Care Of Close Relationships

Close relationships are essential to our happiness and well-being. Decades of research has also shown that they are predictors of physical health. By close relationships, we are referring to those people who matter most in a life: a spouse or partner, family, children and close friends. Maintaining these relationships takes effort. Checking in, initiating a catch-up, doing something nice for someone, just because. In the busyness of life, relationships can be neglected but those who prioritise social connection with a core group – even one or two people – have a greater chance of boosting happiness and reducing negative mood cycles.

Read: How close relationships keep us happy and healthy with Professor Richard Slatcher, who led the US study “Love in the time of COVID-19”

Be a Man Who Does Things He Loves

Making time to do more of the things we enjoy, can help us be happy and mentally healthy. Your interests may be creative, athletic, academic, or something distinctly personal. You may choose a hobby that you can do alone or as part of a group. According to Health Direct, taking some time to do the things you really enjoy can boost your mental wellbeing as “pleasant events can lead to positive emotions that can cancel out negative feelings”.

Be A Man Who Spends Time Outdoors

The power of being outdoors is universally accepted as nature’s way of creating mental health benefits. Which is why so many successful mental health programs are taking men out of their living rooms, away from the distractions of a ‘normal’ routine. This might be by way of a weekend gathering out of town, joining a cycling club, or camping with family and friends. But you can also get outdoors in a more localised way. A walk, long or short, brings mental health benefits, hence the rising popularity of the Man Walk movement which has groups springing up Australia-wide.

According to the Queensland Government, spending time in nature has big benefits for your mental wellbeing, with studies showing improvements to mood and reduced stress levels. One of Qld Governments’ key mental wellbeing initiatives is to encourage people to embrace nature.

Be A Man Who Gives And Who Receives Help

We know helping others can keep men mentally healthy. If you have a mate who appears to be facing challenges of any description, let him know you have his back. Offer to help, listen to him, check in regularly, do something practical depending on what he needs. Small gestures go a long way. It’s equally important to get help and support from people you trust or a mental health professional when you are struggling or doing it tough.

All of these factors contribute to creating a healthy lifestyle, one where you are maintaining close relationships, staying connected with mates, exploring your passions, getting outdoors and asking for help when you need it as well as giving an ear to others when they seem troubled.

Know Your Man Facts

The Australian Men’s Health Forum developed the Know Your Man Facts campaign on Men’s Mental Health to bring more awareness to key issues about men’s mental health.

In a tailor-made presentation for International Men’s Day 2021, KYMF looks at some of the actions you can take to stay mentally healthy, how you can help others and maybe even save someone’s life.

Also in this series:

Read: The facts about men's mental health: No.1 - 75% of suicides are male

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.2: Out of Order

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.3 Men at Work

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.4 Home Alone

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.5 You Gotta Have Friends

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.6 Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

If you would like to learn more about this topic and give a Know Your Man Facts presentation on men’s mental health, please email your request to [email protected]

You can access all other resources to share across your networks here.


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