Making Strides in Mental Wellbeing
Ben Edusei, lululemon Ambassador & Mo Bro, shares how he is changing the face of men's health
This year, Movember and Major Partner lululemon are proudly uniting for the third year, to improve men's well-being through movement, mindfulness, and connection.
We sat down with Ben Edusei - Running Coach, lululemon Ambassador, and Mo bro, to chat about his mental health journey, what inspired him to get involved with Movember, and how he supports communities to change the face of men's health.
Along Ben's journey, he has faced grief-stricken moments that have ultimately fueled his ambition to make strides in prioritising his mental well-being and make it his life's purpose to support those around him.
lululemon: Tell us about your personal journey with your mental well-being - what do you do to care for yourself and in turn, work towards healing your past trauma?
Ben: I lost my dad at 54 and my father-in-law at 58, so have endured the pain of losing influential men in my life well before their time. Coping with grief and navigating my own physical and mental challenges over the years has meant my journey with personal well-being continues to evolve daily.
I am beginning to understand that something as simple as sitting in the sun for five minutes, calling up a friend telling them that I miss them, going for a run, or just giving my son a cuddle is often all I need. How I try to work through the past is by talking, listening, and occasionally writing my thoughts down. Coping with grief and navigating my own physical and mental challenges over the years has meant my journey with personal well-being continues to evolve daily.
My main objective is to give myself permission to know that past events don’t define me today, that it is okay not to fully understand why events happened, and to try and be thankful about my past because without it I wouldn't be the man I am today.
Simply put, I give myself the space I need to help identify, address and heal from past trauma.
lululemon: Any advice for someone wanting to support a loved one?
Ben: Be the example, telling people what to do is easy, however showing people that you also do it yourself is a lot harder. Be empathetic, not sympathetic if someone is struggling. Give them the space they need or be an accountability partner to ensure they are addressing the issue instead of running away from it. However, do not force anyone to do something they are not ready for.
lululemon: We’re so inspired by the way you’ve been able to support those around you suffering and lend a hand to those in need. Who is there for you in your life to support you with your own personal mental health?
Ben: My partner is my rock. My son is my inspiration. My community is my commitment. My family is my motivation. My friends are my support. My work is my purpose. My deceased father is my reason. I am my legacy.
lululemon: What have you learned from your support network?
Ben: That I am enough. That I am loved regardless. That I am important. That I am a good person. That I can make a difference. That I am needed. That I matter. That I need to keep fighting and showing up, especially when times are tough. That I deserve to be here. That there is no such thing as failure. That the journey is more important than the destination.
lululemon: You mentioned that your next piece of work is helping combat community loneliness - can you share a little more about this and what you’ve hoping to achieve?
Ben: I’m currently working on a project called Zone Blue - a running group where community is the key and running is the journey that gets you there. Right now, loneliness is on the rise in New Zealand.
"Zone blue is a Run club with a difference. Where running is simply the vessel of connection. It is a community of men who want to connect in a healthy environment allowing them to get clarity amongst the chaos."
The aim behind this project is to create a community of all different backgrounds and build a squad of people who want to connect in a healthy environment to get mentally and physically fitter to take on the curve balls life throws at us. At the same time, create an environment of meaningful connections because a problem shared is a problem halved.
lululemon: As a long-time Mo Bro, how are you participating in Movember this year?
Ben: I am challenging myself to take part in two events in 2022. The first one is the 444 challenge. This is where I will Run 444 minutes during Movember, the reason behind this is that it connects into the 444 men who take their life in New Zealand in 2021.
The second challenge is [Mo]re than a run. [Mo]re than a run is an opportunity for runners from all over Australia and New Zealand to authentically connect and come together to make a meaningful impact on men’s health, mental health, and suicide prevention. Last year team Wellington made $20,000 and this year our aim is to go for $50,000 and get over 200 to take part in a community event all over Wellington.This year, you can join us in the movement for change.
Learn more about how you can contribute to this year’s campaign by visiting our community page.
The topics we are discussing may trigger feelings and thoughts that may or may not be expected. If you’re concerned about your mental health, or a mate’s mental health, Movember recommends encouraging them to see a doctor, or to call Lifeline on 0800 543 354
You can also find more places to get help at Movember.
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