Let’s face it, COVID has impacted us all. The anxiety about not knowing what will happen next, the isolation from friends and family, and/or trying to figure out working from home while everyone else in your family is at home too takes its toll on men. Or perhaps you live alone and now you’re barely even leaving your apartment or home, and the days are starting to run together. Kind of like the movie “Groundhog Day’, the monotony of the sameness of your life is hard to break. Men are less likely than women to notice when things are “not right” with yourself, and also less likely to do something about it. But if you’re able to get ahead of the downturn, and catch yourself while you’re still able to make some positive changes in your life, you can learn to thrive and be happy again.
COVID Statistics for Men
There is a lot of extra support out there for women and families, but a definitely lack of resources and support for men. While statistics show that men are not as affected emotionally and mentally as women since COVID began, the numbers are still similar:
57% of women vs. 50% of men report negative mental health impacts due to worry and stress from the coronavirus
So that means that half of the male population is worried and stressed, and it is impacting your mental health. Perhaps it is your mood that is being affected, and you’re more irritable or down than normal. Or maybe it’s your normally healthy habits that have disappeared, replaced by unhealthy eating, increased alcohol use, or just sitting around the house watching TV. However you have changed since COVID, it is most likely not for the better.
Happy Wife, Happy Life?
In our family, it’s actually “happy husband, happy life”. When my husband is not having a good day, or week, or month, it affects us all. He’s snappier at us (unintentionally of course), feels more “blah”, and just stops doing things around the house. I encourage you, as a man, to take control over what you are feeling and doing. The situation that the pandemic has caused with so much less personal interaction, socialization, and recreation, you cannot change. You cannot change the status of your county and state with Safer At Home or Stay At Home orders. But, you can change your own perspective on things and how you handle the external world. You can put into place changes in your daily routine that will make you feel better, create new and novel experiences to look forward to, and start to get back to your healthy coping skills.
What Does Healthy Look Like?
Maybe it’s been so long since you’ve been excited and motivated to do new things, you may have forgotten what it’s like to feel happy and fulfilled. Try this:
Write a list of all the things you used to do that you enjoy and are healthy for you
Put a check mark next to each item that you still do
Pick one thing from the list, that is not checked, to do each day in the next week
Get started on your new daily self-care plan!
Of course, this might not fix the fact that you just don’t want to do anything. But, I guarantee that if you try this, you will most definitely not feel worse. And, perhaps, after several days or a week, you might even get into a routine of doing things every day that you enjoy again. You can return to being the healthy, happy you that you were before COVID, even if it takes a bit more effort than normal!
Men’s Support Groups
Another great option for getting back your mojo is to join a men’s support group. If 50% of men are worried and stressed right now, then you’re not the only one going through this! There is a deep satisfaction that comes from not feeling alone in your struggles, and hearing from others on how they are working to feel better. Catalyss Counseling offers an Online Men’s Support Group to help men like you reach your health goals, get mutual accountability, and share ideas in how to meet life’s daily challenges. You do not have to go through this alone.
As a man, you are deserving of options and opportunities to take care of your personal wellbeing and your own mental health during COVID. Lack of access to your normal support system (office buddies, workout partners, or neighborhood gatherings) means that you have less options of talking troubling things through with others, or arguing about sports games, or commiserating about your lives together. Get the support you need so that you can return to your normal, completely awesome self, and become a better friend, partner, or father in the process.
How We Can Help
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety related to COVID-19, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxing life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.