June is Men’s Health Month! People often talk about early detection and prevention of physical illnesses, but what can be done to prevent mental health issues?
There are three pillars of health. Physical, mental, and nutritional. These all connect to each other and when there is an issue with one, it can influence another. Improper nutrition can make it difficult for the brain to process faster, creating brain fog. The same thing happens if you lack physical activity; your body will produce less testosterone, which can cause depression. Conversely, excess and prolonged stress can cause the body to continuously produce cortisol, which can slow testosterone production, which influences your physical health.
It can be difficult to focus on the three pillars when we have our families, careers, and various day to day activities to worry about. I’m no doctor, nutritionist, or a physical trainer, but I have a few rules of thumb I follow to make sure I balance these important pillars:
Nutrition: I make sure my breakfast and lunch are “healthy” and eat the same thing every day so it is just part of my daily routine. I get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies, so later I can eat tacos or whatever else I want at night!
Physical: I go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour, four times per week. If I don’t feel like going to the gym, I do some sort of free weight exercise at home with dumbbells. There are some bodyweight alternatives to get your muscles active as well!
Mental: I make sure I give myself time during the week to do what I love. I’m a gamer, so I make time to play some video games! If you enjoy music, take time to play your favorite instrument! I had a roommate that would play the piano for a half hour once they got home from work, while my other roommate would read a book.
Sometimes we will still have mental or physical health issues, but taking care of these three pillars will make it easier to deal with any issues that may arise. If you think you or a loved-one may be experiencing signs of a mental illness then take a quick and confidential screen for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and/or Alcohol or Substance Use problems. Take care of yourself guys!