Brother Be Well Wellness for Boys and Men of Color

Research states that men are less likely to admit that they are feeling depressed. They tend to view it as weakness or fall prey to the negative stigma associated with depression.  Some men hide their depression for years, suffering in silence and/or self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

If you’re a man who struggles with bouts of sadness or chronic depression, know that you’re not alone.  And, you don’t have to keep the façade that “everything is fine”. There are some excellent, effective treatments for depression these days. You simply have to do some research and discover what resonates with you.

In addition, there are things you can do for yourself that can help you feel better.  You may hear women talk about “self-care” by taking warm baths, getting a massage, and so on. But do you know that men can and should practice self-care too?

This simply means putting your needs first and caring for yourself so you can be filled up before trying to tackle your days. It’s not just about caring for your physical body either. Your emotional and mental health matter too.

The following are 5 self-care musts for men who have or are experiencing sadness or depression:

1. Take Time For You

It’s easy to get up in the morning and hit the grind on autopilot. You’re off to work and then home for your home duties.  But what about time for just you?  Time for some rest and rejuvenation? Time to feed your soul? 

Part of self-care is taking time every day to take care of you.  This is not selfishness. It’s essential time to invest in yourself in ways that give you fuel.  It’s taking time to fill your cup up so that you have nourishment to give others. 

Even if it’s just ten minutes of solitude every day, practicing “me” time can help you in various ways – including decreasing symptoms of depression. 

2. Invest In Your Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health

Self-care to help alleviate depression means you’ll have to take time regularly to invest in your overall health. It’s easy to focus on physical health. You may hit the gym, go jogging, golf, or do some other physical activity. 

But what about your mental and emotional health? These are just as important. Get in the habit of checking in with yourself and taking inventory of how you’re truly feeling.  Invest in nourishing your mind with things that inspire and motivate you regularly. Listen to a podcast, watch a great video, read something that moves you, practice relaxation, meditation, and so on. 

3. Spend Time With Positive People

You tend to become like those you hang out with. Therefore, be sure you’re practicing self-care by spending some time with positive people.  This could be fishing with your buddies, attending a workshop with like-minded guys, or having family or friends over for dinner.  If you’ll invest in cultivating deep and meaningful relationships with your loved ones, it can help you feel better every which way. Therefore, take the time to make this happen. 

4. Rediscover Your Passion

Feeling depressed can make it tough to get up and do those things you once enjoyed.  But self-care means you make the effort even when it’s tough.  What are you passionate about? What have you put on the shelf that you once loved to do?

It’s time to make a list and start cultivating passion in your life once again.  Maybe it’s nature that gets you feeling amazing. Or attending your favorite sporting events with your buddies.  It might feel hard to get up and actually get going, but know that once you do, you will feel better. That passion will be reignited and could very well break you out of that depressive cycle.  

5. Ask For Help If You Need

Self-care also means that you recognize when you can’t get out of the depressive state on your own. In this case, you simply reach out for help from a professional.  It’s alright to ask for help. It’s actually quite healthy and in doing so, you’re honoring yourself.  So, if you need help, reach out. You’re worth the investment. 

Be sure you’re taking time regularly to put yourself first, filling yourself up in ways that matter to you.  As you practice self-care, you’ll likely see some depressive symptoms decrease and levels of joy increase. And that will feel super good!

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