Adulting is hard. Facing the stresses of adulthood today is posing a unique mental health challenge to young men. Today’s younger generations are facing peculiar crises both personally and on a global scale. It makes “being a grown up” very unappealing. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, Jack Nicholson famously repeated in the thriller movie The Shining. Despite difficult times, men need to balance their lives between work and play. Though we grow up, we never grow out of having younger versions of ourselves within us, each with needs. Learning to take care of and manage our inner children is a beneficial practice in recovery. When our basic needs go unmet in childhood, we experience fear, neglect, abandonment, and trauma. Meeting our own needs does not change with the adoption of adult responsibilities. In fact, it becomes more important than ever.
Pay Attention to your Stress
Stress can manifest and/or somatize in different ways. Knowing your stress, i.e. “I’m stressed”, is different from feeling your stress. Headaches, migraines, upset stomach, insomnia, irritability, and even depression are symptoms of some form of stress. Physical stress symptoms can also include weight loss, weight gain, skin rash, and night terrors.
Cut your Screen Time
France has passed multiple laws in recent years limiting people’s after-hours work communication. Employees cannot be contacted after hours through email or phone. If they receive email or a phone call, they are not required to answer it. America works around the clock, with expectation of more. Our lives are lived through the many screens we use each day. Work, pleasure, reading, entertainment, can all be done through interaction with a screen. Multiple studies emphasize that too many hours looking at a screen damages the eyes and interacts with the brain’s chemical makeup. Try to limit your screen viewing, or take breaks during the day. Avoid looking at your phone before or in bed.
Get More Playtime
What do you love to do to play? Playtime can’t include something that is “required”, though you are now requiring yourself to play. Having unrelenting fun is good for the body, mind, and spirit. Traveling, turning off the phone for a day, taking a trip to the beach or a hike in the woods– whatever disconnects you from stress and let’s you have a good time is a thing you need to do more often.
Refuge Recovery understands the importance in finding harmony with every facet of ourselves in order to detach from addiction to drugs and alcohol. We welcome men and women who are seeking a Buddhist based approach to their recovery. For more information call 323-207-0276.