National men’s health week generally begins with the end of Father’s Day and extends for the week. It is celebrated internationally, intending to educate, celebrate and recognize the importance of health and wellness of boys and men.
This week can also be viewed as an opportunity to make people realize what can be done to support men’s health in terms of providing free health services to those men who do not have access to it due to a lack of proper infrastructure.
However, before delving into the various opportunities to make the national men’s health week a success, let’s discuss its origin.
The history of International Men’s Health Week
In 1993, the number of men suffering from prostate cancer had crossed the bar of 120, 000 out of which, 1/3rd of men had died. Despite the advancements in technology and research in the medical field, it was discovered that men live an average of seven years less than women. Not only that, in 1993, 85 percent of men out of 100,00 had died after contracting lung disease.
These health issues among the men made the representatives of the elected government of the USA worry and take preventive measures. One such measure was the creation of Men’s Health Week in 1994, which was a part of certain bills sponsored by former Senator Bob Dole and former Congressman Bill Richardson.
The Men Health Week was sponsored solely to spread awareness regarding men’s common health problems and ensure early detection and treatment. The emphasis was laid on shifting the concept of treatment to prevention, ensuring cost-effectiveness, and extending healthy surviving years of men.
From 2000 onwards, Australia started celebrating Men’s Health Week on a more small and localised level. In 2002, the second World Congress Of Men’s Health was conducted in Vienna which was attended by six leading men’s health organisations.
These leading organizations resolved to launch together the International Men’s Health Week (IMHW), to elevate the health issues that men face daily on a global scale and take preventive measures regarding the same.
With that said, let’s know more about what you can do in the coming men’s health week and how you can make a difference in your community.
What can you do this men’s health week?
This year’s International Men’s Health Week theme revolves around the ‘Can Do’ challenge, which asks men to participate in different self-care activities five days a week. Here’s the list for your reference.
1.Monday: Build a connection
On the first day of the week, start by building a connection with people around you. Be it your friends, family members, relatives, or maybe just a passerby, stop and talk to them for a while.
After all, humans are social animals and building meaningful relationships is necessary for existence.
Research states that having social connections reduces your susceptibility to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It also makes you more empathetic, more approachable, helps you develop higher self-esteem and self-confidence.
2.Tuesday: Be active
On the second day of the week, it’s not necessary to wake up early in the morning and physically exhaust yourself till the end of the day.
However, it is important to pick one or two physical activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc which give you pleasure and help you stay more sportive.
Even though you have a busy schedule where it seems impossible to fit any activity, try to fit at least walking. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways that you can try this week. Simple, but effective.
3. Wednesday: Cultivate mindfulness
Wednesday is one of the most important days as you stop whatever you’re doing and be mindful of your surroundings. You try to stay more present, more alive in the present moment. You are aware of not only your surroundings but also your internal thoughts which constantly clog up your mind.
By cultivating mindfulness, you can feel positive changes happening in your life and your outlook drastically changing towards challenges.
This is only possible when you will do so. You cannot practice awareness when you are constantly engaged on social media. You’d have to put your phone down for this one and be more aware of your external surroundings and internal thoughts.
4. Thursday: Learn, learn and learn
Put a pause to your binge-watching routine or any routine that you are accustomed to on Thursday nights. Replace it with developing a new hobby, a new skill. By doing so, you’re inculcating a sense of achievement, self-confidence and perseverance to grow.
Maybe, you can start painting, learn a musical instrument or start journaling. This can help you learn some immense and deep things in life which will only help you in the future.
Developing a new hobby or a skill also has an additional benefit. It helps take your mind off all the stressful situations in life and give your mind the peace and tranquillity that it badly needs.
5. Friday: Be generous
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one act of kindness is not only a boon for the person you’re helping, but it is also a divine opportunity for you. One act of kindness will help you stay in a good mood and facilitate your self-esteem. This one-act can be anything from working for an NGO to checking upon your neighbors.
Being kind is one of the most attractive things and no one can take that away from you. It does not take much time or effort. You just have to be there for the other person, as you would want someone to be there for you.
A simple smile or a thank you, can create an indelible impression on the minds of the people you meet. Start by these small steps and one day you’ll realize how far you’ve come.
These are some of the things that are included in this year’s International Men’s Health Week. No matter how insurmountable or insignificant they seem, try to inculcate them in your life and see how your life transforms for the good.
Recommended reading: 9 Best Meditation Apps Of 2021 For Better Mental Health