As Father’s Day approaches, the shops fill with cards, chocolates and tokens of affection to show the men in our lives how much we love them.
The stereotypical role of a father figure is to provide practical advice and guide us through life’s everyday challenges, from fixing broken items and finding the best deals on insurance to celebrating exam success, playing chauffeur for teenagers and providing a shoulder to cry on during break ups.
Regarded as fonts of knowledge, protectors of the family and trusted to always be there, it is easy to forget that the men in our lives can also be vulnerable.
This year, Father’s Day also falls at the end of Men’s Health Awareness Week, a global campaign promoting prevention and early detection of illness specifically in men. From both a mental and physical health perspective, men are less likely to ask for help than women. It has been reported that less than one in four men (24%) (Mental Health Foundation, 2018) who have experienced high levels of stress discussed their concerns with a friend or family member. On average, men are less likely to visit a GP or Pharmacy than women and, sadly, suicide is still the biggest killer in men under 45.
In some cases, you may already be aware of something that could impact your dad’s health and wellbeing. Perhaps it’s an old knee injury or concern for his weight or even worries that he isn’t coping with grief. However, there may be more on his mind that he is keeping to himself.
Always looking to support people to lead happy, healthy and wholesome lives, we find that talking is the most effective way to promote wellbeing. Simply taking the time to ask someone how they are and listening can make all the difference. And, what’s more, it’s free!
If your dad / husband / step father / friend is not particularly chatty and is a little more reticent to open up, try organising an activity to share that allows you to speak to each other but feels less intense than sitting across a table from each other. Gardening, taking a walk or even watching a film at home that addresses health and wellbeing can help get the conversation flowing – there is plenty of advice about approaching difficult subjects on NHS.uk.
So this Father’s Day as well as the card / Toblerone / new socks, make time to chat.
To learn more about our professional massage and wellbeing services, get in touch via our team address: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7129 7310.