Men's Health (cont.)
Men's Mental and Emotional Health
Healthy living involves more than physical health, it also includes emotional
or mental health. The following are some ways men can support their mental
health and well-being.
- Get enough
daily; the CDC recommends the following by age group (naps inclusive):
hours from birth to 2 months,
- 14-15 hours from 3-11 months of age,
- 12-18 hours
for 1-3 years of age,
- 11-13 hours for 3-5 years of age,
- 10-11 hours for 5-10
years of age,
- 8 1/2-9 1/2 hours for 10-17 years of age,
- Those 18 and above need 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
- Elderly men (commonly
defined as 65 years of age or above in developed countries) need about 7 to
9 hours but do not sleep as deeply and may awaken at night or wake early, so
naps (like kids need) allow them to accumulate the total of 7 to 9 hours
- Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several
times per week to sharpen powers of observation.
- Try something new (eat a new
food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display) to avoid living
by habit and keep or sharpen adaptive skills.
- Do some mind exercises (read, do a
puzzle occasionally during the week) to practice problem-solving skills.
- Try to
focus on a process intensely and complete a segment of it over one to several
hours, then take a break and do something relaxing (walk, exercise, short nap).
- Plan to spend some time talking with other people about different subjects; this
helps socialization skills.
- Try to make some leisure time to do some things that
interest you every week (hobby, sport); in short, have some fun. Learn ways to
say "no" when something occurs that you do not want to do or be involved with;
occasionally compromise (on things that are not vitally important) because it
will allow for better or more workable relationships with many people
(significant other, family, coworkers).
- Have fun with someone else (go on a trip
with someone you love, go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip
- Let yourself be pleased with your achievements, both big and small
(develop contentment). Have a network of friends; those men with strong social
support systems lead healthier lives.
- Seek help and advice early if you feel
depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or consider harming yourself or others.
are more effective in completing suicide attempts than women.
- Men taking
medicine for mental-health problems should not stop taking these medications, no
matter how "well" they feel, until they have discussed their situation with
their prescribing doctor(s).
The above are ways to form a good foundation for men's physical and mental
health. They do not cover every aspect of men's health; the following section
offers some "fine tuning" of men's health.
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