Today is International Men’s Day, which focuses on making a positive impact on the wellbeing and lives of men and boys. This falls during the same month as Movember – an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during November to raise awareness of men’s health. This month has caused Colt’s Vice President of Reward, Rob Green, to reflect on his health and wellbeing, and he shares his tips for prioritising health during what has been a difficult time for many.
These past few months have seen our daily routines change dramatically.
Where we once may have been able to focus on our health and wellbeing by seeing friends, going to the gym, or simply going to dinner with extended family, for many these options have been taken away.
This has had an impact on so many, myself included, and it’s led me to reflect on some of the coping mechanisms I have employed, but also why International Men’s Day is particularly important this year.
For me, connections have remained critical. Even though I can’t connect with colleagues or friends physically, I have been trying to do this virtually. I know this isn’t the same, and there can be fatigue associated with the virtual world, but, the same level of connection can be achieved; it just relies on people communicating openly and honestly with how they’re feeling. If you’re not doing great and someone asks – be honest, and if you’re asking the question and you think the other person is glossing over how they feel, then continue to check in with that person. Letting them know they can share their feelings with you means you’re creating a safe space for them to do so, even if they’re not ready to share right away.
Another coping mechanism I have used in recent months is getting out in fresh air and changing my scenery where possible. I am lucky to live outside of London, and I can watch the birds in my garden, which I love. I also have become friends with my neighbour called Cloudy. Cloudy is a donkey, and we’ve become great friends over the past few months. Most days, come rain or shine, Cloudy, and I chat for around 5 to 10 minutes – she lifts my spirits for sure. This interaction also gives me the breather I need to take on the rest of my day.
So why am I telling you this? Many studies highlight that men often delay seeking help for physical ailments, which impacts their long-term prognosis. Statistics also show that globally, on average, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day. It’s for these reasons we need to have an open and honest conversation about the importance of men’s health. This is why I wanted to share how I try to prioritise my health and wellbeing and why it’s important for others to do so as well.
We know this is a conversation that many men may feel uncomfortable having, but I hope that others feel as though they can use today as a way to take stock and truly focus on their health. We can’t stay silent any longer.
Rob Green is the Vice President of Reward at Colt Technology Services.