cover

Men Managing Mental Health - what our SOF boys do

When November rolls around each year, things start getting hairy. Suddenly cheeky ‘stash’s start appearing on every second man you walk past and you’re wondering why everyone is channeling their inner Ron Burgundy. Well, we can confirm that Anchorman is not the latest style icon. The mo’s are in support of Movember - the biggest charity for men’s health.

It’s all fun and games to grow a mo, but behind the new crop of facial hair is an issue that seriously needs our attention. Men are accustomed to bottling things up and maintaining a ‘tough as nails’ mentality. However this closed-off approach and lack of conversation is having detrimental consequences.

“Blokes make up an average seven out of every nine suicides every single day in Australia. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.” (Beyond Blue)

This statistic is alarming and painful to digest.

At SOF, we feel it’s our priority and responsibility to take action. We want all men (inside and outside our gym) to know they’re not alone. 

We sat down with our SOF boys and asked them a couple questions to get their take on what they do to manage mental wellness. If you’re having personal struggles or want to check-in with someone, these questions can be a great place to start.

 

What do you do to maintain good mental health?

Kieran: Get things done. The easiest way to overcome feeling down is to tick something off your list. I believe in a sacrifice/satisfaction scale. Enjoy satisfaction first, sacrifice some later (a big night out = a slow morning after). Inversely, make a sacrifice and enjoy satisfaction after (waking up early to exercise, eating healthy food, saving money). It’s a little less instantly gratifying, but the process fills me with a sense of self worth and that is where mental wellness starts. 


Joe: The most important thing for me is regular training and challenging yourself within the workout. Anything that involves competition!

 

Rory: Make sure to stay on top of my training/exercise and see my mates whenever I get a chance.

 

Sam: Making sure I schedule and prioritise down time. I usually couple this with exercise of any form when things get overwhelming.

 

Brandon: Maintain a consistent exercise routine & talk through any issues that may occur with friends or professionals.

 

Paddy: Training plays a pivotal role. It not only gives me a great sense of achievement for the day, but also rekindles my energy. I enjoy pushing my body and leveraging off the electric energy and enthusiasm from the SOF community and trainers. I also keep in constant contact with friends and the people around me, whilst grounding myself to be in the present.

 

Luke: Spend an hour a day doing something I find genuinely enjoyable and spend time with people that help contribute positive energy to my day.

 

What have you learnt from a time when things were more of a challenge?

Kieran: Things could always get worse. I have learnt that when things are challenging it is a great opportunity to rise to it and take it on head first. With that, I turned to people and asked for help - a little later than I should have, but it made a huge difference and helped me get the momentum I needed.

 

Joe: Consistency and routine are essential during challenging times. Stick to what you know.

 

Rory: That I'm more resilient than I give myself credit for. While the old adage ‘things always get better’ seems hard to picture at the time, it has always ended up that way and I’m glad I had the ability to persevere.

 

Sam: Don’t be afraid to seek help. I often like to do everything by myself however when times are tough there’s nothing wrong with leaning on those around you.

 

Brandon: That you don’t need to grind through it and there are tools and people out there that can help and assist you through it all.

 

Paddy: That the challenge will help you grow as a person and make the next mountain easier to climb. A favourite saying of mine is by Theodore Roosevelt - Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

 

Luke: Not to take for granted when things are going right and that challenging times are always temporary.

 

What would be your advice to anyone struggling with mental health?

Kieran: First, identify and communicate with someone as early as possible. Secondly, take action. Pick one thing, and focus on executing it frequently, be it getting up and making your bed perfectly, or going for a run, or eating well, or calling your parents, even just giving someone a compliment, pick something that you know will make you feel better and do it.

 

Joe: Celebrate the wins (something that I don't do enough of). It's easy to beat yourself up over what you could be doing - so it's nice to reflect on what you've actually achieved (however small or big) and celebrate those.

 

Rory: At the end of the day, the best people to talk to are the professionals. It just takes one bold step to reach out and get back on track.

 

Sam: We use professionals in all aspects of our life. Use a professional to help with your mental health. It can be daunting at first but it’s an important service that we should all use more. And of course, get your body moving!

 

Brandon: You can only grit your teeth and get on with it for so long. Make sure you know what you can handle and seek assistance before you need to.

 

Paddy: Follow four guiding principles:

  • You have only one life, make it count for what you value
  • Follow the passion that stirs your soul
  • Care for others and focus on the people that care about you
  • Do things for yourself, and not for how others may perceive you.

 

Luke: Spend time with people who influence you for the better. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

 

 

Guys, we hope this sparks a heart-to-heart chat between you and your mates. Check in with those around you - not just in Movember. This is important all-year round.

 

If you are struggling or would like to chat to someone, our team is always here to help. Give us a tap on the shoulder or send through a message. The first step is the hardest, and we promise to help you however we can from there on in.

 

***

 

This Sunday 14 November we are hosting THE MO ROW at HQ from 7am onwards. Together, we will row 500km across 10 rowing machines. Everyone is welcome to come along - you can jump on a machine for a row, or cheer us on to reach the target. 500km is a long distance, but it's a small feat compared to the mental fight others might be facing. Let's rally together and dig deep in support of this important cause.

 

The day will include music, snacks, drinks, vibes and more. Free entry for everyone - check-in on the Mindbody app or via Eventbrite here. 

 

Donate to our Movember campaign here.

mo