World Mental Health Day Means We Can Do More Than #Asktwice

Guys Laughing

We Can Count On Our Friends To Help Us Feel Better – Picture by Nappy at Pexels dot com

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.

3 Reasons To Make #TimeToTalk About #Wellbeing

Basket Ball Game

Time To Talk About Health And Wellbeing (Picture Credit Pexels dot com)

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:

Connection

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.

Protection

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.

Reflection

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.

 

Thanks Roger

6 Ways To Help The Man In The Mirror

Start Change With The Man In The Mirror - Picture From Jusben From Morguefile.com

Start Change With The Man In The Mirror – Picture From Jusben From Morguefile.com

True story.

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.  

https://experienceyourlife.coachesconsole.com/

References*

http://bit.ly/Shortlist_Andrew_Dickens_Depression_One_Mans_Struggle

http://bit.ly/The_Standard_Hannah_Al_Othman_Half_Of_London_Men_Feel_Like_Crying_Once_A_Month

 

Are You OK Mate? 3 Ways In Which Receiving Support Lifts Your Mood

Road Signs Showing Men Working

Men At Work From Morguefile.com

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

They experience

  • 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

 

http://www.samaritans.org/wspd

Goals 2014: How To Be #Mindful And Confident Before Tackling A Change #Goal

Tai Chi Exercise

What New Challenge Will You Take This Week? Picture credit The Tai Chi Club on Morguefile

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.

Goals 2014: What Can You Do To Improve Your Sense Of #WellBeing ?

Robin Williams

How Are You Taking Care Of Your Own & Others’ Well-Being?

I first came across Robin Williams’ work on the 1970s US tv show Mork & Mindy.  I remember liking the cartoon energy in his performance.  He was larger than life, well my life in the UK anyway.  I was young though, so the subtle side of his work went over my head.  I grew to appreciate the breadth of his talent over the intervening years.

Robin Williams’ death, at 63 years of age, made me cry.  It was shocking.  Shocking in part because he was relatively young, much loved and hugely talented.  Shocking mostly because of the link to mental health.

What Is Your Well-Being Strategy?

You can never tell what mental health challenges someone might be facing.  According to the Mental Health Foundation  1 in 4 of us in the UK will have a problem this year.  These challenges cut across age, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other barriers.  Men in particular can end up stoically suffering in silence.  Men’s Health magazine offers a unisex slideshow on actions that result in feeling happier  What is your strategy?

Well-Being Goals For Leaders And Managers

The ordinary pressures of life can have a very hard impact on some people who are already feeling vulnerable.  The concepts of austerity and more-for-less are permanent features of the employment landscape now.  What impact do they have on your sense of well-being?

As the Men’s Health slideshow suggests being mindful of our own mental-health needs and taking action is important within the workplace and outside of it.

Leaders and managers also have an important role to play in contributing to healthier workplace outcomes.  They can create an authentic workplace culture which supports staff engagement; a sub-set of which is well-being.

As a large UK employer the Civil Service outlines their engagement strategy here for their 463,000 plus members of staff and millions of customers.

Staff in any sized organisation are more confident if they know that their bosses support their well-being as they are seen as people, not just workers.  There is a relationship between confidence, resilience and productivity.  Confident leaders make it possible for colleagues to have conversations about managing workplace pressures more effectively.  What are your leaders doing to facilitate those conversations?

How Do You Help Others Through Their Day?

Finally, I like the idea of positively influencing others.  One of my goals is to treat others as I wish to be treated myself.  Being thoughtful towards others feels good.  Plus, it might lighten the strain on anyone who is having a tough day.  How do you help the important people in your life manage the pressures in their life?

Here are 10 quotes courtesy of Mashable  related to Mr Williams.  I hope you find them inspiring.  Feel free to share this post, comment below and keep the discussion going @RogerD_Said

Rest in Peace Robin.

Goal 2014: 3 Questions to help increase your well-being in the Year of the Male

Plug In To Access  Support

Plug In To Access Support

Have you heard the one about the man who asks his best mate for emotional support during a difficult period, and receives consistent, empathic care from his friend?  Chances are you haven’t.  Women may follow Sheryl Sandberg’s example at Facebook and ‘Lean In’ supporting each other, men don’t traditionally plug into their networks like that.

In fact British men may be spending nearly £1800 on making themselves look good outwardly according to 2012 research , but they aren’t making similar efforts to connect with their inner feelings and improve their emotional well-being.

Luckily there are new options men can adopt to tackle their well-being goals.  Those options are being explored by CALM , the mental health charity.

The charity is focusing on suicide prevention this year.  Here’s a sobering number CALM comments on , taken from a recent Office for National Statistics bulletin: suicide is the leading cause of death for British men under 50.  Such men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women.  That rate is comparable to the United States, where men are nearly 4 times more likely to take their own lives than women, according to the World Health Organisation .

Under the Year of the Male banner – that’s @yearofthemale on Twitter, or online at www.yearofthemale.com – the UK organisation is looking to challenge the range of influences which contribute to men’s less positive life experiences.  Perhaps we can all recognise that modern life has the potential to lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

If you are a man and the experiences above ring bells, ask yourself how do your age, class, disability or employment status, ethnicity, family situation, religion, sexual orientation and upbringing affect your well-being?  What are you prepared to do change your well-being status this year?  Here are three more questions for you to reflect on.

  • What can you include in your health and well-being goal to make it more achievable?
  • In what ways will your goal help you live life with a greater degree of authenticity?
  • How will your goal add value to your dealings with the important people in your life?

Good luck with your actions.  Remember to check out the Archive section for more inspiration.  There are further ideas On Facebook and Google+ too