Do You Have Your Man Shed

man caveIf the notion of a man shed is new to you, it seems to be a concept that is getting more and more interest. Positive Psychology News has an interesting story about Kevin McCloud and his attempts to build a shed in woodland in the southwest of England.  The basic formula is: Man + Shed = Happiness.
It may not be the same in other countries, but in the UK there is a long running joke about the importance to a man of owning a shed of his own, a shed he can call “home.” Apparently it’s what every grown male wants. The shed represents a refuge from the stress of work, from noisy, demanding kids, from the responsibilities of adult life. It’s a place where a man can be happy with his own company, alone with his power tools.
There is an associated TV series about Kevin McCloud and his project The main challenge for McCloud is that the cabin should be sustainable and eco-friendly, so all the materials have to be recycled, or “repurposed,” in other words stuff originally built for one specific function but now used for another. Oh, and he has to do all the work himself. This project is about making and doing, rather than buying and consuming.


The author of the article, Bridget Grenville-Cleave, suggests that McCloud’s project is a great example of Martin Seligman’s PERMA model of well-being in action. PERMA stands for:
  • P – Positive Emotions
  • E – Engagement
  • R – Relationships
  • M – Meaning
  • A – Achievement
Clearly all of these factors can be found as McCloud builds his shed and achieves a state of well being. MacLeod is not the only one thinking about creating his own man shed. A handyman haven can be just what a man needs to help him recharge. Man cave, shed, den or garage – call it what you will, but every man needs a place for his toys. A place where he can be by himself or with an invited friend or two to relax and muse on the issues of the day.

Many Men And Their Sheds

Not everyone has the space or time to build their own man shed. However there is an international movement that is developing to help men gain the benefit of having their own man shed. The Australian Men’s Shed Association was founded in 2007. The theory is that men will gather with other men to bond, form their own rules and take time out. There are more than 900 “men’s sheds” across Australia with more than 100,000 members – there is even a Men’s Shed Conference.  The Australian Men’s Shed Association is funded by the Australian Federal Government to provide initial and ongoing practical support for the development of all Mens Sheds. In Ireland the Irish Men’s Sheds Association‘s vision is for all men to have an opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing by being part of a community Men’s Shed. Whether your man shed is a solo effort or is done in concert with others, you will undoubtedly reap many benefits from getting involved. Photo credit: man cave image courtesy of OSU Master Gardener via photopin cc
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