We want to hear from you. Please take our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) survey to help St. Luke’s better understand your health needs. Take the survey >

Articles of Interest

5 Practical Steps Men Can Take to Improve Their Mental Health

Did you know that 1-in-10 men experience some sort of mental health challenge? Feeling depressed or anxious or stressed is more common than you think. Men – it’s important to prioritize your health now more than ever. This includes your physical health and your mental health.

For many men, discussing your mental health can be particularly challenging due to societal norms and stigmas. You have probably been conditioned to adopt a “tough” exterior, which can make you feel like you can’t reach out for help when you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, on edge, or just not quite yourself. Maybe you don’t realize that what you are experiencing is pretty common.

If you find it hard to talk about your mental health, that’s ok. Here are five practical things you can do on your own to improve your mental health.

  1. Regular check-ins. Identify a consistent time that you can regularly assess your mental health. Reflecting on your emotions and stress levels in the morning or evening, or even when you have a few minutes in the car alone, can help you better understand the things that strengthen or drain your mental wellness. You may not always realize that you’re struggling, especially if you’re not used to caring for your mental health.
  1. Get active. Exercise is a natural mood booster. You don’t have to hit the gym, run a half-marathon, or lift a ton of weights. Just take a walk or jog, swim some laps, hit the links for a round of golf, or simply do some yardwork. Move your body. Being active will keep your body – and your mind – in a positive place.
  1. Take time to chill. We’re all so busy with work, family, housework, and keeping up with texts, emails, and more. It can be overwhelming. Carve out time for yourself every day, even if it’s only five minutes at a time. Take some deep breaths, take a short walk, listen to your favorite song, and limit your screen time. You don’t have to be hustling all the time.
  2. Make healthy choices. In addition to trying to maintain a balanced schedule, it’s important to eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, and avoid excessive alcohol and substance use. Maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce symptoms of depression and fatigue, improving your overall mood. Getting enough sleep improves concentration and productivity, your emotional responses, and social interactions. A lack of sleep is also connected to depression and an overall decrease in cognitive ability. Remember, small changes go a long way. You don’t need to change everything at once. 
  1. Maintain social connections. It’s important to maintain social connections, whether that’s family or friends. Turn off the TV, put down your phone, and spend time with people you care about and who make you feel good. Don’t be afraid to initiate social plans – ask your family or friends to see a concert, watch the big game, take a hike, grab dinner, workout at the gym, etc.

If lifestyle choices and changes still aren’t helping you manage your mental health, it may be time to reach out for additional support. Growing up, you may have been taught to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But here’s the thing – asking for help is actually a sign of strength. Don’t let your fear of being judged prevent you from seeking the care you need. Counseling or support groups can provide valuable tools to help you manage your mental health so you can get back to enjoying your best life. Call us at 215-257-6551 or click here to learn more.