Health has an important role to play for a man to be at his best. The physical aspect can easily be conditioned by having an active lifestyle and not succumbing to laziness. Favourable muscle groups can be seen within months if you're disciplined enough.
But what about mental wellness? Often overlooked and stigmatised by society, mental health undeniably affects an individual's productivity and judgement. If stress and apprehension are not recognised and managed well, it leaves us vulnerable to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorder.
World Mental Health Day is observed every year on 10 October. Introduced in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, the objective of the day is to raise global awareness of mental health issues through various themes and efforts in support of mental health. This year's theme, 'Young people and mental health in a changing world', focuses on building mental resilience at a young age and adapting to situations beyond our control.
At Esquire Singapore, we understand that constant pressures may lead to physical and mental health problems. Here's how the team chases the blues away:
Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief
"When I was in year 9, I was really depressed. I found myself suddenly bursting into tears throughout the day, and had to constantly excuse myself from class to 'go to the bathroom' because I didn't want to cry in front of everyone. It's not cool to cry, but it's even worse when you attend an all-boys school in Melbourne."
"What helped me feel better? Playing tennis. With anyone. There's a lot to be said about being active, releasing endorphins, and just socialising. Also, for me, going to church and worshipping God. I seriously don’t know how people cope or push through tough times without faith.”
“But you know what didn't help? People telling you to 'man up'. Most times I didn’t even know why I was sad, yet alone choosing to actually be depressed; if I could ‘will myself out of it’ I would have done so. For anyone who knows of someone that is feeling down, just be a friend and offer a listening ear without judgment. Just be there. Just be present. You don’t always need to give answers or offer solutions."
Wayne Cheong, Features Editor
"I'd go for a run. There's something about being alone, to be in a state when your legs are pumping and your lungs are bellowing air into your system, that your mind centres itself. Plus, exercise gives you endorphins, which gives you a dose of the happy."
Eugene Lim, Associate Fashion Editor
"I have a cigarette, then listen to music from the band, Cigarette After Sex."
Asri Jasman, Senior Fashion Writer and Stylist
"A good cry. It doesn’t matter if what I’m crying about is related to the issue that I’m dealing with but I find that just letting it out and cry (over a sad movie, or watching YouTube videos of pets reuniting with their army owners) helps."
"Because there are times when you don’t really know how to feel about a situation and your emotions get kind of blocked, so having that outlet to just let go is freeing. And then once that’s over, you’re back to feeling ok."
Joy Ling, Writer
"EXERCISE. I still find it necessary to find a friend and talk shit out of the system emotionally, but physically working out helps take the mind off the issue before recalibrating. Plus we all know you get free hits of endorphins and dopamine—all while doing something good to the body!"
Derrick Tan, Junior Writer
"I'll treat myself to a hearty meal. A delectable and visually appealing dish instantly lifts my mood."
Daryl Lee, Contributing Writer
"The easiest fix for when I'm feeling down is to fire up some shooting genre video games. Nothing more cathartic or therapeutic than blasting some fools to oblivion."
Vanessa Caitlin, Group Digital Creative Producer
"I'll float and surround myself in the carefree sea. The buoyancy and sea salt has a calming effect on me."
Crystal Lee, Marketing & Content Strategist
"When I feel uncomfortable, anxious and scared, I tell myself that I've been in this place before, and I've survived. That I can sit with debilitating pain, breathe, and allow it to pass. It's something that I've learnt through months of furious meditation with Headspace. The app is a lifesaver—it has a variety of themed packs that aim at issues such as depression, stress, self-esteem, plus quick SOS sessions for emotional meltdowns."
Shelton Chang, Intern
"I’d online shop, add the things I want into my cart but never proceed to checkout. To get ready for the day where I can purchase whatever I want without looking at the price tag."
Audrey Wu, Sales Director
"I will dial up my close pals, drink with them till my spirits are up, and wake up feeling better the next day!"
Melvin Tan, Marketing Manager
"Most people go to see a doctor when they have the flu. However, a lot more people don't see anyone when they're mentally unwell."
"I have been through depression and I feel that speaking to a few close friends or trained professionals really help. The key is that these people should be objective and not be biased in their advice. When that person is objective/unbiased, you see things that you normally don't see from your point of view. It's very illuminating especially when you're going through a lot of shit and you've got this sort of tunnel vision and recurring bad thoughts.
(1) Some friends may desert you. Some people may laugh and mock you. And that's all okay. (They're just not your real friends.)
(2) Leave social media. Do not see other people's well-curated feed and feel even worse about yourself.
(3) Speak up! Let people know you're having an off-day and you're just a vulnerable human being. The more people see it as the norm, the less stigma mental well-being gets.
(4) Do more things that you like—I like to binge watch TV shows, so that kind of helps me escape from my own reality."
Looking for a helping hand or a listening ear to your mental-related troubles? Visit Samaritans of Singapore, or you can dial 1800-221 4444.