For generations men would simply have been told to ‘man up’ to get through difficult times in their lives.

Men are not often the best at talking about their problems and how best to deal with the stresses of daily life.

That has changed in recent years with the rise of wellness retreats becoming increasingly popular to help give people a reboot.

Jon Grant founded Man Out in 2023 following a bout of long-term stress. 

He came to realise how men including himself are often reluctant to seek out therapy, counselling and self-help. 

Jon created Man Out Wild Wellness Day Camps at Coastal Valley to give men an opportunity to take time out and enjoy a day for themselves, mentally unwind, and experience wellness through fun, mindful activities.

Participants can leave their troubles at the door or share them with the group, express their inner demons in a supportive male environment and connect with a group of men who have experienced similar life circumstances.

Jon offered me the opportunity to attend one of his day camps to spend the day connecting with nature and learn the tools for stress management so I can see the benefits for myself and help spread the word. 

The day camp started off with an icebreaker to give everyone taking part the chance to introduce themselves.

Jon spoke about the six pillars of mental health, which people can use to boost their physical and mental health.

By tweaking your day-to-day life to include more social connection, better nutrition, movement, regular exposure to sunlight, good sleep and stress control can led to better physical and mental health.

He refers to studies which prove there is a drop in testosterone generally in recent years, which he believes could play a role in men's mental health.

Jon states there are things you can do increase your testosterone such as taking part in activities to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

There are other methods that can be deployed to reduce acute stress relief such as widening your gaze rather than having a narrow vision.

Breathing techniques are also important, writing a gratitude journal and replacing negative thoughts with a positive one. 

The Day Camp is not all about a lesson in how to stay positive.

It also puts a lot of the theory into practice with archery and log chopping tutorials and a walk in the countryside to experience the healing power of nature.

Log splitting helps burn off stress and promote wellbeing (Submitted)

I had a go at log splitting, which has been proven to help burn off stress and promote wellbeing.

Some of the larger logs were a challenge and when they’ve been chopped there is sense of satisfaction.

Archery aims to create mindful fun and it was great to learn a new skill.

All in all, there was a lot to take on board and be mindful of to ensure I can stay positive if things around me start to feel like they are out of my control.

Jon has also started up a new mental health group for men in Newquay.

Newquay Men’s Circle is held at The Big Sugar Café in Beach Parade every Tuesday between 6pm and 8pm.

The free sessions give participants the opportunity to listen, share and reflect on various topics including relationships, work, goals, fatherhood and vices.