International Men’s Day is our chance to take a moment and appreciate all of the contributions that men play in our lives and talk about issues that are important for men. It’s fitting that the day falls in November when we’re also observing “Movember” or "No Shave November" - the time that shines a spotlight on men’s health. You might have noticed a few new mustached or bearded men this time of year, and that’s no coincidence - it’s a movement to help spark conversations about men’s health - just like October is a time we focus on Breast Cancer Awareness.
History of International Men’s Day
International Men’s Day has had many versions observed in the past, but Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh started the current annual event we know from Trinidad and Tobago, a two-island country in the southern Caribbean (where they also grow some excellent coffee, BTW). Teelucksingh was profoundly appreciative of the positive impact his father’s good example had on his life; so naturally, he chose November 19, his father’s birthday, to create an event for families to come together and celebrate all men - not just fathers - but also young boys, adolescents, and men without children. His goal was to help reduce some of the negative stigmas associated with men's health and also to highlight the importance of strong male role models for young men to be able to emulate.
And, just like that, one father’s excellent example that started as a University-based community event became a worldwide movement that highlighted issues relevant to men.
Six pillars define the objectives for the day:
- Promote Positive Male Role Models - not just stars but every day, working men who are live decent, honest lives.
- Celebrate Men’s Contributions - in society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
- Highlight Men’s Health - like Movember as a whole, this day is focused on men’s health and wellbeing; not just physical but also social, emotional, and spiritual health.
- Challenge Discrimination - highlighting areas where males face unequal treatment or expectations in social services, attitudes, expectations, and legal processes.
- Improve Gender Relations - and increase overall gender equality for all people.
- Create a Safe World - take responsibility to help develop a community and world that is safer and helps people grow to realize their full potential. Highlighting areas where males face unequal treatment or expectations in social services, attitudes, expectations, and legal processes.
You can give a man who made a difference an official International Men's Day Appreciation Certificate for ‘Men Leading by Example’ through their free program here.
Movember is a movement that is most recognizable from a mustache. However, there’s a reason for that. The beards help to spark a conversation about men’s health and men’s issues. Most people equate the awareness with prostate cancer awareness, but Movember also aims to highlight additional health and wellness issues that affect men; and especially, the movement also stresses testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.
Raising awareness is a great start; but if you want to go a step further and help make a difference through fundraising during Movember, it’s easy to fundraise through their program that integrates with social media to help you share your cause.
Men’s Health & Wellness Tips from VitaCup
Watch What You Drink.
Men experience higher rates of alcohol-related health issues and deaths than women. Besides, men can often be more reluctant to seek help if they do have a drinking problem.
Take Care of Your Skin.
Men’s skin health is important and often overlooked. Protecting your skin with sunscreen and protective clothing is as essential for men as for women; especially for men who might spend much time working outdoors in warm or cold weather. Keeping skin healthy is crucial; and simple routines like exfoliating, moisturizing, and even adding collagen to your routine, like the collagen in our Beauty Blend. In addition to the collagen in Beauty Blend, you can also get folic acid; and deficiency in folic acid can lead to changes in your hair, skin, and nails - so getting more folic acid is part of making sure you’re able to grow your head-turning Movember mustache.
Don't Ignore Your Mental Health.
For some of us, taking care of our mental health means doing routines that help us stay in a good rhythm. Great examples are getting exercise or clocking a regular 8 hours of sleep. Having a healthy social circle and getting plenty of social interaction is also crucial; especially when we can have supportive conversations. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Anxiety are common for men; and sometimes they need even more support than a supportive ear can provide. You can talk to your doctor, seek out a counselor, or call a hotline if you think you might need more support to overcome mental health issues that are interfering with your ability to enjoy life to its fullest.
Get Regular Checkups.
Some of us wait for something to be wrong to see the doctor, but we should be going when we’re healthy too. Regular checkups and physicals can help keep us healthy through prevention or early detection of underlying issues. Besides; it can be an excellent time to bring up smaller items with your physician that usually go unmentioned because they aren’t emergencies.
Take care of your prostate.
As men age, the prostate inevitably grows, making it more likely to have prostate issues that reveal themselves with symptoms like urinary problems. Keeping a healthy, low-fat diet that full of vegetables, plenty of water and even some Green Tea helps to reduce issues down the road.
We hope that you'll spend some time today to show a positive male role model in your life some appreciation!