When I think of ‘Men’s Health’ I think of the magazine cover I see sometimes where the guys are all ripped and it’s all about extreme exercise, extreme health, diet, workout, etc.
That’s not what I’m writing about. I’m an ordinary guy, out of shape, not driven to work-out and not great at eating healthy. But I’ve been asked to do something for Men’s Health Week, and the Can Do Challenge, so here’s goes. CAN DO is an acronym for ‘Connect, Active, Notice, Discover, Offer:
Connect: I’m part of a 12-step recovery community which has helped me learn that connection is key to my wellbeing. In fact, it’s the main question that I ask myself in my daily recovery: “How am I connecting, who am I connecting with, what am I doing to connect?” This can be connecting with others in recovery through a simple phone-call, participating in a meeting or group (recovery based or otherwise). Even connecting with myself is part of my aim here.
Active: This is the one I enjoy the least. To be honest, I’d prefer to sit in front of a screen and read or learn that walk around outside or exercise. But I’ve found that going for a jog does me a world of good. I prefer to call it a ‘shuffle’ rather than a ‘run’ because I go really slow. But I do get sweating and I do move my body, so it’s good to be active. I especially enjoy jogging when the warm bright sun is beating down–like it has recently. It’s important to find out what I like and make the most of it.
Notice: Every morning I spend around 30 minutes in quiet or listening to a talk that inspires me and helps me to remember the things that are most important to me. This noticing in the morning involves appreciating beautiful trees and awesome clouds. After doing this for long enough, I find I can notice and appreciate similar amazingness while in the car or out and about on foot too!
Discover: I really do enjoy learning (although I probably forget about as much as I learn). I’m learning about the vegus nerve and how this very physical part of the human body is related to stress and trauma and therefore addiction and recovery. I’m learning to practice being kind and looking for something to appreciate in the people who annoy me the most. It doesn’t happen right away, but with a bit of practice I can find something lovely and impressive about people who have so far mostly frustrated me.
Offer: mentoring people is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Being a father to three sons has been a 20 year long relationship that’s involved every emotion and so much to be grateful for. I am glad to be in this role working for the SUN Network where I’m able to talk and listen to people’s stories of addiction and enthuse and grapple about recovery. People are so courageous and resilient and offering a chance to share is one of the things that makes my job great. Contact me if you want to talk about addiction and/or recovery and why not have a look at these ideas for inspiration for some CAN DO actions you might decide to take?