Men’s Health Week: Healthy Body – Healthy Mind
Guest Blogger, Kiel Brown, Psychologist and Resident Boarding Supervisor
It’s Men’s Health Week, and this year’s theme “HEALTHY BODY – HEALTHY MIND: KEEPING THE BALANCE” explores the different ways men and boys are managing to keep healthy, physically and emotionally, in a busy and sometimes challenging world.
The theme is certainly relevant to our students at this time. Many of our Year 10 – 12 students are currently undertaking examinations, dedicating significant physical, psychological and emotional resources to their preparation and completion.
For our Year 12 students in particular, balancing workloads with extra-curricular activities ahead of their final ATAR Exams can be difficult.
So how do we encourage our boys to keep the balance?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important! Around 70% of our overall health is controllable through lifestyle. Let’s aim to:
- Be physically active – physical activity has wide ranging physical and mental health benefits! Remember to keep it simple and make it fun! It doesn’t have to be a 30min run, a walk around the block or kicking the footy with a mate can be just as effective.
- Maintain a balanced diet – remember ‘fresh over fried!’, especially around exam time.
- Stay hydrated – the recommended intake is approximately 2L water per day, and the consumption of energy or sports drinks should be limited.
- Budget your time – create a study schedule, which includes allocated breaks, and stick to it. Targets are like milestones, the achievement of each target provides motivation to achieve another.
- Avoid distractions – put phones away during study and no social media or games, particularly before bed.
- Sleep – 8-10 hours is considered to be the gold standard for adolescents! Adequate sleep has been shown to improve memory, problem solving, mood and recovery.
Remember that all our students will encounter periods of high demand and high stress throughout the year. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, let’s help them recognise and plan for the predictable periods i.e. multiple assignments due, exams. If we build good study and work habits early on, we can hopefully reduce stress.
It’s also important to reach out and offer support to someone if you know they’re struggling. Only 13 per cent of young men seek out professional help when times are tough. We encourage parents to start conversations with their child to let them know that it’s okay to talk and get support.
Check out these handy infographics on how to maintain a healthy body and mind, especially during exams: