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Men’s health throughout the Coronavirus pandemic

Men’s health throughout the Coronavirus pandemic

30 November 2020

As we continue to live through the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s vital that we all look after our physical health, mental health and wellbeing as best we can.

While we don’t know everything about coronavirus yet, we do know that men are twice as likely to die from covid-19 than women. So now, more than ever it’s important for men to stay safe and take time to look after their health and wellbeing.

In the same way we have physical health, we all have mental health. How we feel physically or mentally at any given time can vary from good to poor. Our mental and physical health are linked and if something affects one of them, it can impact on the other.

Taking more time to look after our wellbeing is a great way to help manage both our physical and mental health. It also helps improve our ability to cope during times of crisis or uncertainty as well prevent issues that can affect our overall health.

The good news is that there are lots of simple things you can do to look after your mental health, physical health and wellbeing during these challenging times.

For more general information on issues that can affect Men’s health click here.

Ben’s top mental health tips:

1. Increase your physical activity – Exercise is not only good for our physical health, but our mental health too. Exercise also releases endorphins which makes us feel good and is great for improving mood. Aim to do around 30 minutes of exercise per day, whether that’s just a walk or something that really gets the heart pumping!

2. Stay connected and keep in touch – There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face (in line with distancing guidelines) but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

3. Be in the present – If we take time to be aware of ourselves and be in the present moment, noticing our own thoughts and feelings, and the world around us, we can gain a better perspective. Sometimes this is known as being more mindful.

4. Boosting resilience – When there are changes, or anticipated changes, it can be unsettling. Building resilience is essential to help us not only cope with change but bounce back quicker. Click here for Ben’s top tips.

5. Take time out – Life can be stressful, especially during uncertain times like right now, and juggling work and family responsibilities can take their toll. It’s important to take time to unwind from your stresses – whatever that means to you. That could mean doing anything that relaxes you, such as going for a walk, listening to music, reading or watching your favourite comedy. Check out Ben’s top tips for coping with stress.

Ben’s top physical health tips:

1. Increase your physical activity – We might not feel comfortable with going to the gym at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – check out NHS 10min workouts or couch to 5k. Here are some other great ideas to get physical.

2. Nutrition is important – Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is very important for our physical and mental health. The saying, “you are what you eat” really is true – if all you eat is rubbish, you’ll probably feel rubbish too. We should try and aim to eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables per day. Try Miguel Barclay’s £1 meals or SuperCook for recipe ideas, or try Jack Monroe’s healthy foodspiration! Find more general information about eating healthy and how what you eat can affect your mood.

3. Get enough sleep – It’s recommended for adults to aim for around 8 hours of sleep each night. Even in lockdown, aim to go to bed and get up at the same times each day and make enough time to unwind before going to bed. Sleep allows the body to restore itself, cells to repair themselves, and the brain to reboot. If you’re struggling with sleep, Ben have lots of tips and advice available here.

4. Keep hydrated – We should try to drink 6-8 cups of water each day (or 2 litres). Not drinking enough water can cause headaches, issues with concentration, hunger and tiredness, as well as affecting mood. If you find yourself losing track of how much water you’re drinking, get yourself a 2 litre bottle and focus on finishing that each day. Find out more about staying hydrated here.

5. Prioritise self-care – Ever heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? This is about self-care. Self-care is about looking after yourself and making sure that you are OK first. It isn’t selfish – it’s necessary. Find out more about self-care here.

About Ben

Ben exists to provide support for life to the people of the automotive industry and their families. Their coronavirus hub provides a wealth of advice and support on specific areas of health and wellbeing that may be affected due to the current pandemic.

If you’re struggling, Ben can help. Visit ben.org.uk, chat with them online here or call their helpline on 08081 311 333.