To all the GR8 men out there, if you have little ones running around the house, you’re probably in need of self-care for dads. Self-care for men is catching on, and you must take some time for yourself so that you can be the best parent you can be. Parental burnout is a condition that can lead to feelings of depression and exhaustion, and we know you want to stay in top shape for your kids, co-parent, and yourself.
Why Self-Care for Dads Is Important
Dads, we know your life is crazy. You work all day, go to all the kid’s sports games and dance recitals, take care of things around the house, and still have to manage to find some you-time. However, it’s vital that you do. There are many dangers of neglecting self-care.
When you neglect self-care, it can cause a domino effect of unhealthy and unpleasant things to happen. You may begin to experience feelings of sadness of loneliness, struggle with feelings of low self-worth, and feel as if you aren’t doing well enough. You may also experience physical symptoms such as weight gain or insomnia, and more. That’s why self-care for dads is so essential. It keeps your life in balance.
Misconceptions about Self-Care
When we hear the term self-care, we often think of spa days or binging on snacks and our favorite television shows, but it’s so much more than that. Self-care includes your emotional wellbeing, your physical wellbeing, and your social life. Creating a balance of all of these elements is a must if you want to function at your very best. Self-care isn’t always relaxation. It can take hard work. In the end, though, it’s worth it.
Self-care for dads specifically may take on many forms. And your plan for self-care as a father will not be the same as any other dad’s routine. Self-care is deeply personal, and you have to find what works best for you.
Creating a Self-Care Routine as a Father
We know you’re super busy, and implementing a proper self-care routine doesn’t happen overnight. It takes some effort, some planning, and then taking small steps towards the bigger goal. Self-care for dads may involve developing professional goals, family goals, spiritual goals, and more. Here are a few things to consider as a dad when looking at self-care.
As a father, you’re always trying to better yourself. This may include getting a better hold on your finances, advancing in your career, learning better self-accountability, and more. Personal development is anything you do to push yourself a little further. Learn how to create a self-development plan and measure your progress as you go.
You may take online courses that relate to your profession in your spare time, spend an afternoon examining your spending and setting new budgets, or listen to podcasts to expand your thinking. All of these things are part of self-care for dads.
Dads, you also need to take care of your physical health. We know that you’ve heard to eat right and exercise, but there’s much more to it. It can be hard to fit in 30-minutes of cardio every day or stick to a diet when the kids are eating chicken nuggets; try meal prepping in advance, so you always have something to healthy eat or snack on.
Physical self-care for dads also includes grooming. Do you have a skincare routine for men that addresses your unique needs? What about a haircare routine that you keep up with? Look at your nails–are they well kept? When you address all of these things, your self-esteem goes up, and it can positively impact your mood and the way you interact with others.
For more in-depth information on men’s health issues, download our free GR8 Men’s Health Guide.
Emotional & Social Self-Care
As a parent, you’re always putting your children first. After all, it is your job to raise your small human, teach them right from wrong, and be there for them when they need you. But you have to be there for yourself too. Emotional and social self-care for dads can help you be the best version of yourself, setting an example for your children.
Looking after your emotional and social self-care as a dad means asking for help when you need it. Speak with a mental health professional if you’re feeling down and open up to your friends about how you’re feeling. Additionally, it’s important to schedule child-free time with your friends and partner, where you can focus on developing your adult relationships.
Finding Time for Self-Care as a Dad
Dads, we know your schedules are jam-packed. That’s part of what makes developing a self-care plan so essential. It’s easy to say that you will set aside time next week to schedule all your annual doctor’s appointments, but it’s also easy to either forget or push it off. Everyone does it. For this reason, using time management skills to create a plan might be the best route to take.
Try putting reminders in your phone every Sunday for the things you have to do that upcoming week. Sunday might be a meal-prep day (physical self-care), Monday might be a game night with the guys (social self-care). Tuesday you might have an after-hours webinar that you would like to attend (personal development). If you plan just one activity a day in each category, you’re on a GR8 road to self-care for dads.
And hey, you don’t have to stick to your plan all the time. If a spontaneous opportunity arises to get in some more self-care and you can do it, take advantage of the moment and get your self-care on!