- Fresh air, instead of the recycled climate stirred up by air conditioning
- Fresh scenery and the chance to top up our vitamin D reserves
- Fresh perspectives and space for mindfulness, not the time suck of incoming messages that keep us nailed to our desks
I know life isn’t easy and the struggle to be successful can be exhausting. However happiness is sometimes about the little things that connect us to other people:
- Seeing some’s face light up when you show them you are grateful for their work.
- Taking a minute to help a stranger find their destination when they are obviously lost.
- Making time to share a funny story with friends and enjoying their laughter.
What is your secret to finding happiness in your busy day? Feel free to share your experience on Twitter @RogerD_said and tell someone else you like this discussion if it would help them out.
Today is World Mental Health Day.
The goal for #WMHD is raising awareness that 1 in 4 of us will personally experience mental health challenges during our life.
Yes, that is even true for us guys. Although getting us talking about our feelings can be hard work (that’s why it is worth asking us twice ‘how are you’ just to check what is really going on).
Having poor mental health sucks, believe me: It might be back in the early 2000s but I remember that feeling alone; being unable to get out of bed; seeing the world in black and white made no sense at all.
Today is is also time to remember we can overcome the rubbish feelings caused by stress, anxiety and depression with the help of family, friends and maybe professionals.
How do we start to change our situation?
By talking about our feelings with our family, colleagues and mates today.
And keeping the conversation going tomorrow.
And the next day.
And the next.
What Are Your Next Steps?
This isn’t an easy conversation to have. If this post rings bells here are some questions we can ask ourselves to get started.
- Who can we talk to about what is really going on inside?
- What isn’t working in our life?
- What is the smallest step that might help us feel just a bit better?
- Do we need professional help?
Thanks for reading this post. How will you use the information to make your life, or someone else’s better? Follow the link to Time For Change if you want to know more https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/asktwice
Finally, remember to Like, Comment and Share so others can learn how to help themselves too.
A new year means we can take stock and make time to change our lives. We can make time to pursue goals that improve our work performance and our life outside the 9 to 5. So, this is a great time to talk about improving our (mental and physical) health and well-being.
With life being a hectic mix of commitments and claims on our time, it is important we practice self-care. Doing that helps us care for customers, colleagues and community too. Here are 3 good reasons that show how time devoted to self-care helps us reduce the pressure that contributes to mental health difficulties:
No one achieves all their goals alone. We are social beings and when we help others we are keeping the door open to ask for help for ourselves. By being part of a healthy community or team, we are investing in our own well-being.
When we respect our own boundaries, we make self-care a priority. When we make time for ourselves we can be calmer than when we are overwhelmed by others’ requests for our time.
The time we earmark for ourselves is the resource we can devote to reviewing our goals, forming support networks and sharing the benefits of our personal growth with loved ones and friends.
How Will You Use This Knowledge?
Thanks for reading this post. I hope it makes a difference to your performance this week. What is your secret for safeguarding your mental well-being during a busy time at work? Add your comment and deepen this conversation.
Feel free to add a Like too if this has been a useful discussion and please share this post with someone who could benefit from reading it.
One Thursday morning commuting on the train, I picked up a copy of Shortlist magazine left on the seat next to me. Flicking through the pages of the latest shiny, products I was expecting I got emotionally ambushed by Andrew Dickens’ deeply personal story about depression* (there’s a link below).
I couldn’t finish reading this unexpected article in public. It struck a chord. It was too emotional for a Men’s lifestyle magazine.
Bottom line: I didn’t want to be upset in front of other people.
Men and boys face unbelievable pressure
Fast forward to now and according to the Standard newspaper almost half the men in London feel like crying once a month* (more than anywhere else in the country).
The emotional challenge isn’t a London thing. It is universal. There is just something challenging about being a 21st Century man.
The Movember Foundation understands that. The Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier and longer lives. You might be aware of their November campaign to encourage men to grow mustaches for the cause.
Interviewed by The Standard their UK director Sarah Coghlan said
Men and boys face unbelievable pressure to live up an archaic stereotype of what it means to be a man, and in the process they neglect their own mental and physical health.
Release The Pressure
It is ok to feel what you are feeling.
In fact neglecting your health has bad consequences. I have coached guys who have been tearful with frustration about their lack of career progress, or lack of life purpose. Who wants to feel drained by the demands of their working day?
Paying attention to health related goals makes more sense. You gain confidence. You feel better. You start performing better. Your work improves. Everyone is happier.
The first step is taking stock of what is going on in your life.
6 Ways To Start Helping The Man In The Mirror
- Ask yourself what is the source of the burden you are carrying
- How does the burden disrupt your time at home and at work
- List the worst-case consequences if you continue to do nothing about it
- Write down all the results that could come your way if you take action
- Decide who is the best person to talk to about tackling that goal (doctor, therapist, coach)
- Get in touch with that person and start making your life better
Want To Start Changing The Way You Experience Work?
If you are ready to start improving your life you can click the link, leave your contact details and download a FREE report. It will help you pay attention to your self improvement goals and get you connected to someone who can help you move forward.
Here is a sobering statistic.
This year 75% of people in the UK taking their own life will be men.
That is 3 men for every 1 woman.
Strong And Silent
Generally men in mid-life say ‘Yes’ if you ask ‘Are you OK?’
It is best to be strong and silent. Man up. Keep working. Or get wasted. Or withdraw.
Tears are best kept for football. That’s a crying shame.
Those 40 somethings are the ones at greater risk.
Potential To Grow
I am lucky enough to have supported some men working through their personal development goals (and received support myself).
It seems obvious that men’s actual inner state can be weighing them down while outwardly there are no signs of distress.
Behind the facade there can be turmoil. Turmoil does not lead directly to self harm. It doesn’t help though.
Life is better with fewer obstacles to growth. It is hard to believe that you can grow if you don’t feel like you can exercise leadership in your own life.
What Could Men Learn From Women?
As a rule women will look for and find support. Women talk about their stuff, where guys will keep their hurt to themselves.
Maybe part of masculinity is being open to help?
Benefits Of Being Listened To
Today seems like a good day to start talking about the benefits of receiving help if you are carrying a heavy burden.
In my experience being listened to deeply can be an intense experience. It changes things. It is a big victory for some guys to take action on their goals.
Here Are 3 Ways Guys Initially Benefit From Support
- caring help as they set priorities
- more confidence as they tackle priorities and move past long standing blockages
- fewer burdens and more happiness
After their confidence increases it becomes easier to keep moving forward. Doors keep opening once they practice their action-based skills.
Share This Information
Thanks for reading this post. Comment below if these ideas have struck a chord with you. Use Twitter @RogerD_Said if you perfer.
If you are sharing the post with your followers on Twitter you can use the hashtag #RUOK to be included in the wider conversation.
Finally, follow this link for more information on 10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day
I’ve recently been posting on LinkedIn and elsewhere about the feel-good benefits of taking action. Action can mean getting an enterprise of the ground, or encouraging others to make effective use of your time
If you follow the links you will see the context for those posts is making the most of yourself in the world of work. However, in the real world work and life co-exist. Making any kind of change in one part of your life opens up the possibility of a positive outcome in the other.
Starting an exciting new work project adds spice to your social life. Getting people to respect your time at work increases your confidence generally. Having a reserve of confidence to draw on helps you prepare, step forward and change.
How Do You Know That You Are Ready To Change?
Being mindful about your inner state and your readiness to change something significant in your life involves knowing what is in both your head and your heart. Procrastinating about change goals is understandable Taking action on a change goal involves accepting the discomfort you will experience.
Starting a social or commercial enterprise involves making connections; sharing your ideas; overcoming problems; being resilient. It is not a head-based issue. Your heart is involved too. The big question is: How does the idea of changing your situation make you feel? What small, but important, step can you take to increase your confidence levels?
What’s Confidence Got To Do With It?
Like I said you need a reserve of confidence to call on to help you picture your success. You won’t take the first step and plan – let alone undertake – effective action without it. Some people are too low on reserves of confidence to make the first step. Their life goals are low priority items. Their goals lie low on the list, behind the day to day pressures of an agenda topped by paying the bills.
If those pressures persist for long enough they can contribute to health problems. Those problems can escalate to an extent that they become mental health issues (according to the Mental Health Foundation 1 in 4 of us will have a problem like this in the course of the year)
Tackling Mental Health
Great then to see that Sport England is directing £2m ($3.2m or 2.5m Euros) into improving the lives of people with mental health problems.
Their project director (a former boss of mine) Mike Diaper says:
There is compelling evidence that participation in sport and physical activity has a positive influence on mental wellbeing and mental illness. This includes enhancing day-to-day moods, reducing the impact of stress and enhancing self-esteem”.
Obviously there is a long way between under-confidence and serious health conditions like anxiety. I’m just glad some work is being done on these debilitating issues.
How Do You Ensure You Are Taking Good Care of Your Health?
What’s your secret for remaining healthy under the pressure of your personal and working life? If you are preparing to make a major change in your life how do you build up your energy reserves?
- Is it by ensuring you eat healthily and sleep well?
- Do you make time for your weekly mind and body work out of Tai Chi?
- Is your main priority relaxing with your family over the weekend?
Share Your Secrets To Getting Stuff Done
In the pressured world in which we live it is good to know how people maintain their day to day balance. If you are ok sharing your story please add a comment below. You can continue the conversation on Twitter @RogerD_Said too.