Self-care has been a bit of a buzzword lately, hasn’t it?
But when you break down what it actually means, it is all about taking some time out to rest, relax, and make sure that your physical and mental health is being taken care of. And when you’re a parent, taking some time out to yourself can be a much welcomed holiday! When we as parents (or more specifically dads here), are better focused and rested, it means that we can be more present with our children, present with our partner, and enjoy the time that we have with them. It also shows an example to our children that looking after yourself is important. So here are some self-care tips for dads in particular, but they will work for pretty much anyway. It sounds cheesy, but self-care certainly isn’t selfish. It can help you to be the person and parent that you want and need to be.
There are many problems that exercise can solve. If you’re lacking in energy, overweight, or can’t sleep; exercise can help. If you’re unhealthy, have a high blood pressure are just generally feeling stressed; exercise can help. Exercise isn’t all about looking the way that you want to; it goes much deeper than that. It can strengthen your body and your mind, as well as it being a good release. It is time out to do something where you are just you and not dad, and can help you to feel happy and less stressed because of those good old hormones that are released when we exercise. So for a clear mind and a happier dad, exercise needs to be on your self-care list. From walking to running a marathon, there are different things that you can do.
If you need a time to really rest and relax and clear your mind, then getting a massage can be a really great thing. There are things like reflexology or acupuncture that could have the same impact as well. So why not make more of an effort to schedule these kind of thing in? It can help you to feel more relaxed after, and can give you some time out to chill and get things into perspective.
Having a hobby as a parent can seem like something that was in the distant past; who has time for that? But in reality, making time is something that can help you no end. Hobbies don’t have to be anything big or extreme like training for an ironman (unless you feel so inclined). Instead, it could be something like making time to read a novel a month, or craft, cooking, learning a new skill or simply gaming on sites like www.slotathon.com. What hobbies gives you is a focus on something other than you or your family, and time out to do something that you find enjoyable. When you’re having fun, you’re happier and it will show in your attitude and in your health.
Watch What You Eat
The food that we eat can have a large impact on how we feel overall, so it is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re lacking energy, for example, then have you checked what you’ve been eating when you feel that way? Eating a varied and balanced diet can help you to have the energy to do all that you need to as a dad, as well as helping you to stay healthy so that you can be around and be there for your children. That isn’t to say that you can’t have a treat from time to time; you just need to limit it or make sure that you’re exercising alongside. You’ll feel much better overall, and that is all part of self-care.
Time with Family
A lot of self-care can seem quite insular as they are just things that you do by yourself. But part of self-care can be being around others, such as your family. There can be times when the kids might be driving you mad with their bickering, but there are those quality moments when you have a lovely day out or afternoon together doing something fun. Those memories are important for you, as well as your children, so don’t underestimate the importance of them. It can be hard to fit it all in, so the best thing to do is to schedule it all in. Make it a time where you ditch your phones and screens, and really make the best of each other.
It’s Good To Talk
Something that men as a general rule find quite hard to do, is to talk, especially when it comes to talking about feelings, much like this article from Good Men Project describes: www.goodmenproject.com/men-okay/. But in order to make sure that your overall health is taken care of, your mental health is all part of that. Talking can help to ease a burden or to share with someone how you are feeling, especially if they have no idea that was how you are feeling. Communication is a really important part of any relationship too, whether that is with a spouse or partner, kids or co-workers, it is good to share how we are feeling. It can be hard, and you need to know what is the right thing to say and when, but it can make a difference.
What are the things that you like to do to help with your physical and mental health? Is there anything that you are already doing that you have found makes a difference in your life? It doesn’t even have to be a daily thing, but choosing to do something from time to time can really help you to be the best dad that you can be. Being more intentional and mindful is a good idea too, then you can make sure that you’re not trying to do too much at once and overwhelm yourself. It would be great to hear what you think.
*This is a collaborative post