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Life in Lockdown

Life in Lockdown – The Book of Man’s new initiatives

Masculinity

How we're tackling the changes in work, life and relationships with a series of new projects to positively support men...

The Book of Man is launching a number of new campaigns over the coming months under the banner of Life and Lockdown. Because, let’s face it, life is going to be in some form of lockdown for the foreseeable future.

Of course, we don’t want to be doom and gloom about things but nor do we want to shy away from the truth about the stresses and strains we are all facing to some degree; rather, we want to actively support men through the difficulties ahead.

Mental health charities, eating disorder charities, and addiction charities are all flashing warning signs about spiking statistics during the pandemic and which are certain to continue whenever we get beyond it, due to the kind of employment and financial stresses which are known to be very much tied up with economic crashes (the 2008 banking crisis and subsequent austerity measures in the UK have been linked to an increase in early deaths through suicide and drug-related deaths).

Here are some stats from various pieces of research from our friends at CALM, Movember, and Jacamo:

 

  • 38% of men feel lockdown has had a negative effect on their mental health
  • 31% feel more anxious during lockdown
  • 47% increase in calls to suicide prevention charity CALM’s helpline
  • Over half of men are showing an interest in taking positive action

 

In the immediate future with working from home, restrictions on socialising and the threat of the illness itself, there is a genuine risk of dysfunctional behaviour – over-training, for one thing, has been noted as a male risk by recent research.

We want to help people approach this environment in the best way possible – How can we best manage the strains on our mental health? How can we make working from home more pleasant? How can we maintain physical health in a way that’s good for all round well-being? What new skills can we learn and what new knowledge can we attain? What new things can we teach our kids? What else can we do other than complete Netflix?

How, in short, can we turn the negatives into positives and in some way come out of this crisis showing some growth as individuals?

In some way all the current difficulties men find themselves in – crises of identity, of masculine expression, current working culture and social media pressures – are coming home to roost right now. And we, as a media operation delving into such issues facing the modern man, we feel it’s truly time to get to work. As such, we will be launching:

 

  • Homeland – a new initiative looking at men’s role at home. From creating a home office which looks & smells (& tastes?) great, to beneficial home exercise, to cooking & baking (with a bit of burning, naturally), from mindfulness and slow podcasts, to studying and teaching children….all that a man needs to thrive at home. And yes, that includes cleaning, washing, DIY, all the practical necessities and mental load required to help the Homeland run as a thriving, peaceful (!) nation.

 

  • The Kind Men of the Year – a look at the men who have done admirable things for other people this year…and some new idols have emerged in the troubled circumstances.

 

  • Self-Care Christmas – we’re going to be supporting folk throughout the Xmas period with mental health and all-round health, in what may very well be a more isolated holiday period.

 

  • Get Real Project – our campaign to change the representation of men in the fashion and grooming industries will be continuing with new faces and initiatives giving diverse messages about what a man can look like.

 

Of course Jason Fox’s Wild Tales podcast will keep going in its run, and there’ll be one or two further surprises happening too. Watch this space, and indeed keep updated on our activities by following us on Instagram and Twitter.

Let’s make the future of men something we can grab and shape ourselves – towards an expanded life of masculinities…

Movember 2020

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