Men’s Health Tips
Here at Perennial we want to highlight the importance of men’s health – both physical and mental.
If something is worrying you or someone you know, then don’t wait. It’s important to get it checked out or talk to someone and not just put on a brave face and carry on.
In 2021 we carried out a survey within our horticulture community so we could better understand some of the issues and challenges for all those working in the industry. The following eight top tips have been created based on what you told us.
But there’s loads more advice, information and tools to help on our Health & Wellbeing platform/app , as well as 24/7 telephone support, all of which is open to everyone in horticulture for free. So. if you haven’t already, take a look today.
8 TOP TIPS FOR MEN’S HEALTH
1/ Seek support early
Strength, bravery, the breadwinner. These are some of the traits some men feel are necessary to provide for their family, friends and while at work. But sometimes these expectations can be damaging to men, specifically their mental health. Men take longer to report health issues to family and friends and less men will open up about struggling with their mental health. But it’s okay to not be okay.
If you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing, seek support early on. Here are some suggestions.
Look after your sleep but don’t fall asleep on the couch! When we sleep, we go in and out of sleep cycles and get the most restorative sleep in deeper parts of the cycles. Falling asleep on the couch means you enter the first cycle of sleep but doesn’t actually help you sleep any better in bed.
So, it may sound simply but if you feel yourself drifting off on the couch, take yourself off to bed.
3/ Burnout and Boreout
Burnout and boreout are the result of two extremes – long-term stress, overwhelm and over-working versus feeling bored, fed-up, and underwhelmed. Burnout builds when we experience too much stress for too long, work long hours and show up at work when we are too exhausted to work.
Boreout occurs when there is too little challenge, too few opportunities to get a sense of achievement and do well. This may happen with shorter days and less work, the come down from the busier, brighter months can leave you bored, restless and uncertain about what to do with yourself.
All these feelings are normal. So think about and plan something new to do. What’s that one new thing you’ve been wanting to do?
4/ Be big hearted
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in men. Studies suggest that the high levels of cortisol from long-term stress can increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
To support your heart health, it’s best to make health changes gradually such as changes your diet or exercising. Also try to find simple ways to reduce stress in your daily life such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, exercise, talking to a friend or writing down how you feel. Our free Health & Wellbeing app holds loads of ideas and inspiration to help.
5/ Debunk the myth
It’s a myth that you don’t need to exercise if you have a physical job. In horticulture, many workers have to be physically active all day long, but the type of activities you do at work are different from how you exercise in your own time. At work, you can be active for many more hours and be lifting, digging and doing a lot of repetitive movements, as well as not having many periods of rest.
Outside of work, you don’t exercise for as long and you can rest as you need, and get the cardiovascular benefits of say, going for a run. So, to get the benefits of being physically active, make sure you exercise outside of work too.
6/ Build mental fitness
We know that a good level of physical and mental fitness is necessary in this industry. Low mood and feeling down are emotions we can all relate to. You can start to build mental fitness through these simple techniques:
- When you see a situation a lot worse than it is, this is ‘catastrophising’, but you can stop this by adding “but luckily…” to the end of your thoughts
- Add the simple three letter word “yet” to sentences which you start with “I can’t”
- Calm down your nervous system when anxious, by asking yourself, “But am I in immediate danger right now?”
- Feel more grateful by changing “have to” to “get to”, such as “I get to deliver that talk, what a privilege.”
7/ Rest is not something you have to earn
Taking breaks during work and taking time off from work allow our brains and bodies to rest. This rest is not something you earn but is essential for your health. Rest is even more important during busy periods to stop us becoming unwell, run-down and stressed.
It is important to take breaks when your energy levels are dipping, like a phone battery at 60%, rather than pushing through until your battery is almost empty. The longer you push through and the lower your battery becomes, the longer you will need to rest to restore your energy levels.
8/ Be a role model
By living a lifestyle based on the above tips, you’re well on the way to being a positive role model for the next generation. Take an objective look at your approach to your health. Ask yourself, do you want the next generation to emulate your behaviours? If not, start by leading by example.
Take a look at our free Health & Wellbeing platform/app which also offers 24/7 telephone support