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November 19th of every year is earmarked for the celebration of men: International Men’s day.  This is totally different from Father’s Day which is marked with the exchange of cards, gifts and pampering. The essence of International Men’s Day is just far-fetched from gifts.

The aim of International Men’s Day is to celebrate positive male role models and to raise awareness on men’s issues which are often overlooked. So on this day, the focus is placed on men and boys health, how to improve and promote gender relations and equality, celebrate their contributions and achievements and raising awareness to the fact that men are also discriminated against. The day is also one used to raise awareness to the challenges that men face in life.

This year’s day fell on Monday so many men and boys may not have been able to mark the tenets of the day. Here are a few tips on what you can do to mark the day this weekend.

  1. Prepare breakfast for the family.
  2. Call a good friend you have not spoken to in years to check if he is fine.
  3. Don’t drink, smoke or indulge in any habit that is unhealthy.
  4. Play your favourite sport with your friends.
  5. Visit your parents or relations and give them your full attention for some hours and do not check your phone while at it.
  6. Do some house chores with your kids, wife or siblings.
  7. Have a good healthy lunch. Be an example for your colleagues, friends or children.
  8. Teach your 10-year-old child how to iron a shirt properly under supervision.
  9. Sweat it out at the gym.
  10. Get some alone time with your wife and talk about stuff you used to talk about before the kids.
  11. Make a list of 3 people in your life with whom you can speak freely, about anything that is bothering you. This should be your support group made up of 3 trusted people.
  12. Teach your son or any young male child an activity you used to do as a child. E.g. flying a kite or pushing a tyre with a stick.
  13. Read at least 15 pages of a book you like.
  14. Stop discussing women with your friends. Rather, discuss philosophy, sports, or even politics.
  15. If there is something on your mind or something bothering you and you have it all bottled up, open up and speak to someone about it. Being a man doesn’t make it wrong for you to be emotional about something. Sometimes, opening up is the hardest thing to do, but there is only this much pressure you can handle before it starts manifesting in other forms, like anger or for it to push you to consider suicide. Talk about it.


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November 20, 2018

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