The topic of mental health is something that many dads don’t necessarily feel equipped to deal with. It’s something that some men either choose to not talk about or feel they are far better off avoiding the issue. Whatever your approach is, we should all find ways to keep our mental health intact, especially when life is so busy. What are some of the best things we can all do when life gets a little bit too much in the family way?
Outsource Your Duties
We can all feel that we’ve got to do everything in order to keep some semblance of family life afloat. The reality is that you need to look at the things that you class as “important” and “not important” and just outsource those things. Cleaning is a very good example because if you don’t have the ability to clean the house from top to bottom or you find it takes too long, there are so many housekeeping services that can make life easier. When you outsource these little things, it means you get more of an opportunity to breathe and actually focus on the things that matter, because when we are doing constant life admin, it gets in the way of us being an effective parent as well.
It sounds obvious, but sleep is so important to our mental health. We may feel that we’ve got to get ahead of the game by staying up late and preparing for the next day or there’s just so much going on in our head we wake up in the middle of the night. Single parents can find that there’s a lot to keep track of because of the sheer volume of things to do. In order to make sure that you can sleep effectively, you need to have some of the following in place:
- A pre-bedtime routine. This could be unwinding with a cool shower.
- Offloading your thoughts. A very good example of this would be a brain dump or getting into some form of journaling.
- Create a to-do list for the next day. Sometimes, we wake up in the middle of the night because of the sheer volume of things that we need to complete. Taking 10 minutes to focus on a hefty to-do list and get it all out means you can start to prioritize the things that are important to getting stuff done.
It’s also important to remember that a lack of sleep will have negative impacts on your brain in the long term. A severe lack of sleep can give way to significant mental health conditions. One of the best things anybody can do is to start a proper sleep-wake cycle, going to sleep and waking up at the same consistent times.
Spending Time Outdoors
You can feel a huge sense of tranquility if you are spending more time outside. Scientifically speaking, it has been proven that being outdoors is good for your health. From a personal perspective, you could find that you don’t sweat the small stuff as much and if you can combine this with quality time with your children, this is going to ensure that you are all enjoying time outdoors together, so it benefits you all in one way or another.
The Right Attitude Towards Food
As parents of children that are demanding sweet treats constantly, we get into the habit where we either give them more than what is healthy, but we also end up sneaking a few sweet treats ourselves, perhaps at bedtime when it’s been a busy day. The sweet treat should be a treat, and nothing more, which means you’ve got to embody the right approach to your health. Look at the things that don’t work for you or make you feel foggy. There could be an underlying intolerance like dairy or wheat, but you should also remember the importance of hydration. You may have had a stressful day so think about having a beer. But limit it to one, especially as it can dehydrate you massively. Ensuring that you are keeping hydrated with the right liquid, electrolytes, and foods that contain water can do a lot for the body and the brain.
If we really are struggling to keep everything intact for the sake of our children, we need to bring it back to the basics. If we can get these little things right, it’s amazing what they can do for our sense of self in the long run.