This is a sponsored post.
last year i worked with Kaiser Permanente on a post about Great Tips for Mens Health. it got a great response from many of you thanking me for the information, and also wanting to hear more. apparently there are far less articles written about mens health than women's health on blogs such as mine. so i decided to that i would love to further explore the topic of mens health on here. i met with Dr. Michael Hanna, head of the mental wellness programs at Kaiser Permanente Orange County' s Center for Healthy Living. Dr. Hanna and i discussed one of the biggest things he sees a lot in men – stress. he was able to share with me some great Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress, because at the Center for Healthy Living, they provide some great quality stress workshops.
Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress
often, when people hear the word stress, they think bad. but did you know that stress can also be good? some things like welcoming a new baby, a wedding, a project, things at work, a family reunion – these would be considered positive stresses with a positive goal. Negative or “bad” stress would be things like tragic events, financial problems, illness, life struggles. sometimes you hear something like “up to 85% of stress is self-imposed.” mental health professionals tell us that is referring to “subjective stress” versus “objective stress”. objective stress are stressors that most people would consider bad or unfortunate such as the tragic school shootings these days. subjective stress are the stressors or situations that are not so obviously painful or sad, yet we read a lot into them such as not being invited to something or certain words that are spoken to us. we often give way too much power and worry to these things. so a lot can be said about what we do and where we go with these non-essential and really non-important distractions.
stress is seen more in large metropolitan areas – that includes Orange County. we live in an area where life is faster paced, there is more traffic and the costs of living is higher.
men have a lot of stress…just like women. some of this stress is the same as what women feel, and some is unique to them. mens have a lot of expectations put on themselves by others and by themselves of what should they be doing. many times they feel they should be doing more. this causes the stress, and when they feel stress, they often deal with it different than women. they hold in their feeling and needs, feel like they have to be strong and stoic. this is not a great way to deal with stress and can lead to detrimental behaviors and sometimes breakdowns. men often don't have the friend support as women do, so it's important that they find someone, a personal contact that they can confide in to let go of stress. 1-3 people that they can talk to – a close friend, someone of the same sex, who they can have a man to man conversation with.
12 Ways for Men to Deal with Stress
(i must say that these are also great for women.)
1. Decide what is most important. deal with the major problems not the minor problems first. Put effort on the important stuff – Prioritize. write a stress list and break it down to what is most important. this will put things in perspective so that you can let the small things go. this is the "key to healthy successful living." for example: an ill child would be the most important, and politics,…not that important.
2. Learn to say no. it can be freeing. only take on what you can, sometimes you need to focus on yourself and not others.
3. Do one thing at a time. our culture has us multitasking all the time. but this is counter intuitive from how our brains works (within reason). women tend to deal with multitasking better, so don't be so hard on yourself to do to much at once. it is better to lock in on one thing at a time.
4. Get organizing. write things down (using apps, tablets and computers are great for this). set alarms, create a system and streamline tasks. as a family, sit down an organize your life. do your best to stay on track.
5. Don’t put things off. do your worst task first. when you put things off, things get further behind. do as much as you can in one day that you can handle. this will help you stay more control.
6. Self Care. save time for yourself. it is important to have date nights, alone time, and time to reflect on your life.
7. UnPlug. put the phone down. you only got this one time of life with your children. savor the moments and be intentional. make an effort with the family and have individual time with each of your children. even just for a day, weekend or a short time is beneficial for all. decide what you value the most and focus on that. the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey is a great book to read to refocus yourself. and always stay to your values. invest in what is important so you have no regrets in the future.
8. Physical care. get sleep. it needs to be enough sleep that you feel refreshed and restored. not enough sleep will wear down your body, cause you to be vulnerable. make sure to prioritize sleep and also wake up at the same time each day (within reason, and not too late).
9. Food. Moderation is key. eat and enjoy many things, but in moderation.food can beenergizing. food can help with sleep, for example cherry juice is great for melatonin (a hormone which controls sleep). eat therapeutic food groups in balance – such as protein and carbs, cheese, and crackers, milk and cereal, fruit and granola.natural foods…things that are closer to orignal form in nature. take a food plate: half should be fruits and vegetables (think “colorful”), one quarter protein such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy or beans, final quarter grains(fiber)and carbs. food deprivation isn’t good for stress.
10. Hydrate. Not enough fluid can cause brain to shrink making it harder to function mentally. not being hydrated can cause leg cramps.
11. Be mindful. be in tune with your body and it's needs. meditate. exercise. breathe.
12. Home is home and work is work. Men, the most important task is to create a hedge between work and home. bringing work home can bring stress into your safe place.
remember to tell yourself when life gets stressful, that it will pass and you will get through it. breathe, meditate, get some sleep, and rely on others to confide in. i hope that men (and women) can take this advice from Dr. Hanna to better deal with their stress and hopefully enjoy life to the fullest.
as i mentioned at the beginning, Dr. Michael Hanna, is head of the mental wellness programs at the Center for Healthy Living. it's one of the great resources that Kaiser Permanente Orange County provides to their members and patients. at the center, you'll find resources for educating and empowering people with the tools they need for life skills, diabetes, heart disease, smoking, sleep, etc. they focus on mind, body and health. the hub of the Center for Healthy Living is at Kaiser's Orange Health Pavilion. there are also satellite resources at Kaiser's medical offices, clinics and hospitals. all the information provided is very updated and almost always FREE. the yoga classes have a minimal fee since they are equipped with certified instructors. the centers provide educational handouts, interactive materials for each individual's needs.
i have really loved working with Kaiser Permanente Orange County this past year because i have learned a lot of great healthy living information that i've been able to use daily. if you have missed some of the other healthy living posts that i have written, check them out here:
My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones
Tips on Raising Boys
Sun Safety in Orange County