Making the Connections: Mens Health 2021

Author : Sean Connolly, Health Promotion Officer

Making the Connections: Mens Health 2021

This year, the theme of Mens Health Awareness Week will be Making the Connections.  Every year a unique theme gives all men the opportunity to take the time remind themselves that they matter in society.  They matter: regardless of race, orientation, class, physical appearance, performance, they all matter!

In the past, society constructed a form of man that is still stereotypical in today’s world.  One of coldness, show no emotion, forever strong and never weak, stand alone.  Boys were brought up with these “values” that in turn brought men into the world that kept their true feelings locked up within themselves.  Unable to express how they felt.  No understanding of what it meant to love and be loved.  Focusing on extremes, catastrophising about a future that doesn’t even exist and going to extreme measures to prepare themselves for something that will never happen, or end it all because of it.  Expending energy that could be used on themselves in a positive way and for the world around them.  Intentionally isolating themselves to feel safe without admitting that that it was they are actually doing, shutting themselves off because of who they truly are.  Brought up in a society that says standing alone is a good thing….it’s not!

As men…as humans, we need connection.  The first connection starts from within.  Accept who you are and be proud of who you are.  Accept that we will not please 100% of people 100% of the time.  Accept yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself and above all else, be patient with yourself.  Don’t be so quick to cast negative self judgement on the person you are.  Once you establish this inner connection you will find that you can project this energy to the world around you.  Create a butterfly effect that spreads throughout your community and society and casts aside the chains that have held you and others back.

Being yourself takes courage, not everyone will like the path you are on in life and will throw negative energy your way, accept that….and to be honest, that’s their problem.  You have to accept that you cannot control the reaction and perception of those that want to drag you down, that is their sign of weakness, it does not represent strength.  But by being yourself and having the knowledge of who you are then their opinions do not matter, do not lower yourself!  You will ultimately lift yourself and others!

The connections you make within yourself and in the world will be made stronger by those on a similar path to you and there are a lot of us out there.  Connect with the positive people, not the negative!  If this scenario is playing out in real time, for example, at a pub/club/party just face these negative projections with patience and understanding, do not be drawn in by them….again….be sure of who you are, not what they perceive you to be!  You are not bound to these negative people so make the space and liberate yourself mentally and physically!

The freedom you gain through your own liberation through positive practice and training will reinforce your will to be true to yourself.  Remember that the connections you make along your journey need to be maintained so take the time and energy to not only check in with yourself on a daily basis but every now and then, check up on those who help to keep your foundation solid, try it once a week with a trusted friend or family matter by simply asking or texting “How are you?”.

If you feel at a loss right now and feel disconnection and isolation do not lose hope and feel that you have no one.  Professional organisations are set up to provide the assistance you need.  It could be a simple talk or something more and that’s fine.  Just be sure to check it out!

In closing, for Mens Health Week 2021 (and the future) be sure that you are Making The Connections!

  1. CHECK IN with yourself to see how you are coping / feeling, and to identify any health worries that you might have.
  2. CHECK UP on your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues to see how they’re doing and to offer support.
  3. If you notice anything worrying or which needs medical attention, CHECK IT OUT and seek information / help / support / treatment as soon as possible.