The month of November is now widely recognised as Movember. A month to zero in on men’s health issues – from mental health and suicide prevention through to prostate and testicular cancer. The Movember movement recognises that it’s often an unwillingness to talk to others – whether it’s a friend, family member or doctor – that leads to a number of preventable deaths in men. In fact, men are dying on average six years earlier than their female counterparts. That’s why Movember is so important. It gets men talking, removes stigmas and ultimately saves the lives of fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, partners, neighbours, or work colleagues.
While you know it for the mo, there are plenty of great ways to get involved in raising funds for Movember:
The classic Movember mo
Let your face do the talking with a hipster handlebar, patchy pencil, statement walrus, or epic horseshoe. Movember is an opportunity to put down the razor for the month and just see what sprouts, so go on, grow a mo to save a bro.
Make a Move for Movember
Movember challenges you to get moving this November by racking up 60 kilometres (representing the 60 men lost to suicide every hour across the world) of cumulative walking or running across the month. Whether you turn it into three half marathons, take it slow daily, run by yourself, or join a team, the challenge is set for you to conquer in the month of November. Here’s how to get involved
Host your own Mo-ment
After another tricky year, hosting a Mo-ment is an opportunity for you and your friends or family to let your hair down and have a good time for a good cause. Whether it’s in person or online in your slippers, the team at Movember have plenty of roof (and fund) raising ideas.
Mo your own way
This one is all about picking an adventure of your own that raises brows, and of course funds! Whether you pick one epic challenge or challenge yourself to complete something every single day, it’s yours to create. Here’s what you need to know to get going.
While acknowledging that everyone’s health is important, last year we compiled some tips specifically for men in recognition of Movember. This year, with the pressure of lockdowns and impacts of COVID, we’re seeing unemployment rise, financial pressures mounting, and those all-important social interactions being limited. All this takes its toll on physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are some simple actions you can take for a brighter November. Here are our top 8:
Most of us are time poor, but carving out five minutes to check in on someone you care about is something we can all commit to – and we’re not talking messaging or emailing, we mean ACTUAL talking. With physical catch ups still somewhat dicey, a quick chat on the phone or scheduling a video call can really make the difference in someone’s day (particularly for those who are currently feeling socially isolated). So, pop it in your diary and commit to at least one weekly chat. It’s guaranteed to be a mood booster for both you and your mate.
Get walking (or running)
Whether you’re getting behind Make a Move for Movember or just want to let off some steam, walking or running with a mate is both good for the soul and for the six pack. In fact, studies have shown that people who do regular moderate exercises (that’s 30 minutes daily) are 30% less likely to become depressed. So regardless of your age or fitness level, pop on your runners and head on out. You’ll even get a little mood and immunity boosting Vitamin D while you’re at it.
Book in a boy’s night
Good news for the fellas, you can now tell your significant other that a night out or weekend away (restrictions permitting) with the boys is scientifically approved. Forming those strong social bonds are critical in reducing stress-related diseases, and having a good crew of friends is one of the best ways to do this. Whether it’s getting together at a mate’s house for a game of poker or hosting an online pub-style quiz, book it in and make it a regular feature in your social calendar.
Give stimulants a miss
Often, we mask how we’re feeling with a beer, whisky, or coffee rather than dealing with the problem at hand. Not only can stimulants mess with your sleep, but sweeping things under the rug are bound to trip you up down the track. Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to seek out alternatives. There are plenty of appealing alcohol-free drinks coming on the market. Choose from the Monday Distillery Classic Non-Alcoholic G&T, Lyre’s Classico Prosecco Style RTD and the delectable Seedlip range. To swap out your daily coffee or energy drink, check out these delicious alternatives. Remember, trips to the pub aren’t the only way to catch up with a mate. Try grabbing a juice and heading out for a walk instead.
Unplug and find your release
Prioritise taking the time to seek out and take part in activities that bring fun and joy to your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the weekly grind, but regularly participating in things you enjoy ensures you always have something to look forward to. It might be a round of golf, a regular chat with a mate, kicking a ball around with the boys, a games night, or even a date night. Whatever it is that helps you unplug, try, and practice it safely and more often.
Don’t skimp on sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated ingredients when it comes to forming healthy life-long habits. It’s been proven as an essential element in mental and physical performance, with numerous flow on effects like concentration problems, weight gain and a fizzling sex life all indicators that you’re not getting enough. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, most adults need between seven and nine hours a night. Not sure how to catch some quality z’s? Follow these Ten Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep from the Sleep Health Foundation.
Get to know your family medical history
If your dad or other family members have a history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer or any other chronic health conditions, there’s a chance you might be at a higher risk of developing these yourself. It pays to know your family medical history and pass this information on to your doctor. They can help you to minimise risks and increase your chances of early detection.
Find enjoyment every day
Rather than saving up fun for weekends or holidays, try and do something for yourself every day. If you find it difficult to schedule in leisure, look for creative ways to squeeze in some ‘me time.’ Things like listening to podcasts while commuting, blasting your favourite tunes while you hit the gardening, or finding five minutes for a quick guided meditation are easy ways to inject enjoyment into your daily life.
So, whether you’re Movember-inspired or just ready to make a few simple changes, take this month as
an opportunity to check in with yourself (and others) and tweak your lifestyle for the better. Hungry for more life-enhancing tips? Revisit last year’s blog – Men’s Health Matters.
Please remember it is normal to feel sad and stressed from time to time, and that everyone’s circumstances are unique to their situation and it’s ok to see medical help, support, or advice. If your matter is serious, on-going, or even if you are just unsure, please reach out to your GP or preferred medical professional for advice and counsel. And remember, it is ok to talk to a mate.