Keeping fit and healthy when you’re a fella usually comes down to a couple of things. Making sure you eat right and getting lots of exercise. As guys, health very often falls into a couple of categories; having energy and stamina, and a well-kept physique.
There is nothing wrong with that. But when was the last time you visited your general practitioner for a bit of a check-up? Or what about getting those little niggly health problems checked out?
Wasting The Doctors Time
Sure, we know that a doctor has a very limited time. They have waiting rooms full of people with genuine illnesses that need help much more than you do. You can barely turn on the news and not hear stories about how waiting times are on the increase, and how the health services are being squeezed more-and-more for resources. You’d be forgiven for not prioritizing your own health over anyone else’s when your concerns feel quite trivial.
But often putting things off may mean that they become and much more significant problem later on down the line. These minor annoyances could be symptomatic of the early stages of something that could get worse.
However, doctors are there to help you. And while you might generally be in the prime of life, it does not mean that you can’t get ill, or don’t deserve the support of your doctor.
So when you get a niggly problem, go and see your GP about it, don’t put it off. Your health is as important as anyone else’s.
Dealing With Prescriptions
For many, the idea of having to go and get medication, and then deal with taking it can be a bit of a saga too. However, here is an easy way of getting your prescription online. You won’t have to lift a finger, it’s discreet, and needn’t get in the way of your daily routine.
Get A Check-Up
Go and see your doctor and get a check-up. Have your blood pressure checked, because getting a headstart on dealing with issues here will save your life. Don’t wait until you’ve had a heart attack, or stroke to change things about your life. A regular trip to the doctor can keep you on the toes in this regard.
A check-up might also look at your cholesterol levels, looking for kidney disease, or diabetes. It can look for signs of prostate cancer, and also look at your hearing and vision.
If there is nothing wrong with you, it is not a waste of time. Getting yourself checked over from time-to-time is no bad thing.
Check For Cancer
Regularly checking your testicles for signs of testicular cancer is essential. It takes thirty seconds and can be done easily when showering or dressing each day. Simply roll your testicle in your fingers and feel for any changes, such as lumps or nodules. Get into the habit of doing it. Hopefully, you never find anything, but if you do, get it checked out straight away.
Talking About Male Mental Health
A huge area of stigma surrounds male mental health. From a young age, boys are repeatedly told to ‘man-up’ or that crying is girly. There is a whole set of barriers that guys build up throughout their lives that prevent them from healthily dealing with their negative emotions.
This can lead to pent up frustrations and anger. It can cause depression that cannot be expressed or understood fully. And it might have a substantial impact on other areas of your life such as relationships, or career.
Understanding your mental health is vital. It is as important as your physical health, as getting bogged down with depression is debilitating in its own way.
Connect With Your Friends
The chances are, you have close friends who have gone through, or are going through mental health problems right now. If you are facing them too, finding ways to support each other can be beneficial to you both. Open up and talk about it. If you are not feeling okay, say so. Being honest with others will help you be honest with yourself about it.
Often mental illness can leave you feeling lonely and isolated. At the best of times, it is hard to reach out and talk about your problems, but when you have been taught from a young age to bottle them up, it can be very dangerous.
Even just meeting up with friends for a coffee can have a significant impact on your condition. Sometimes, having a regular reminder that you have someone who cares about you, and supports you will keep you going from one day to the next.
Seek Professional Help
If you really can’t bring yourself to open up with those around you, go and see a professional who can. You will not get judged for seeking help, and it certainly is not a weakness. There are plenty of trained practitioners out there who will deal with people in your situation day-in-day-out. You are not alone.
Your doctor is the best place to start. You may get offered help in a few different ways, and it is essential to talk through all of the options to work out what the best course of action is for you personally. Remember, a doctor only has a limited time to make an assessment, so try and give the important facts first.
You may be offered medication to manage your condition. Some people find this helpful as it can allow you to function better. Others may feel as though their problem goes more in-depth, and that a range of therapy may be needed.
There is a range of talking therapies available, including cognitive behavior therapy, which seeks to redress negative thought processes that can inhibit you. You may be offered counselling, or to see a social prescriber who may recommend activities that can help your mental state.
Stress management courses are often available too and can be useful for changing how you deal with specific situations.
Check out any local mental health charities that might be able to help. Often, they run services to assist people who are struggling with depression and anxiety. These might be support groups, classes, or one-to-one support.
Find online articles or books that talk about stress, depression, and anxiety. Having a good understanding of how they work will allow you to see ways of managing your situation.
Look After Yourself
One of the best ways to deal with mental health is through eating well and getting plenty of exercise. Stress levels can be significantly reduced when your body produces endorphins, so even just getting out every day for a brisk walk can make you feel much better.
Avoiding drinking and smoking, as these can be depressants and will make you feel worse.
Try and get plenty of sleep each night. If you can aim for eight hours, and keep a routine, then this will be beneficial.
There is no shame in looking after yourself. And talking about the things that get your down, or how you feel does not make you any less of a man. Look after yourself and support those around you. Check-in on mates who you feel may be feeling the pressures of mental health issues, and learn to identify the signs in yourself.
Remember that your doctor is there to help you and that any small concern should be dealt with so that you avoid bigger health problems in the future.