Self-care is vital to keeping you happy and healthy both physically and mentally. It is not easy to be a parent, and even with a partner to share the load, it can often feel overwhelming. Often, people are surprised to see dads doing their part and being actively involved in their children’s lives. This can be disheartening and sometimes even triggering for some people.
This is just one of the many slings and arrows you have to overcome every day as a parent in the larger world. Now that everyone is at home and homeschooling needs to be balanced with telecommuting, it can feel like you have even less time to connect with your spouse and get in touch with yourself as an individual.
That is why it is important to make the time. Start running every day after dinner or take classes to learn how to play an instrument. You could also take up an old hobby like building Lego models or consider trying a new one that you can share with your children such as monthly craft boxes.
The purpose is to find something that belongs to you and only you that is outside of your duties as a dad and husband. There is no way to add extra time to your day, so you must reclaim an hour or even a few minutes of it every day for yourself. It is not selfish and in fact, it is a gift that you give to your spouse and children. Your family deserves a rested and happy father.
Exercise is great for getting in touch with your body and building up your strength and stamina. It will make you feel better, give you a rush of endorphins and make you better able to keep up with your rambunctious kids.
The great thing about exercise is that you do not have to get a gym subscription and go to a special place to do it. A 20-minute workout every morning wakes you up and gives you the energy to meet your day and accomplish tasks. Doing 20 squats or push-ups every 4 hours gets your heart pumping and counts towards your daily exercise goals.
Whatever form of exercise or how often you decide to do it, depends entirely on you. The only purpose needs to be giving yourself a healthy activity to reconnect your mind with your body.
There is a lot more to meditating than people realize. It is not all sitting still for hours with your legs folded up in a shape that may be uncomfortable for you. Meditation is simply the activity that helps you to focus inward and meet your thoughts and feelings. Parents can get so busy that they push aside their thoughts and feelings because they have so much to do. But this creates an imbalance within you and can make you irritable and short-tempered. Meditation helps you to slow down and catch up with your physical and mental state so that you can improve your emotional well-being.
Do some research or reach out to a meditation and counseling page on social media to get some ideas on how to get started. Once you find the form that works for you, you will start to see the positive effects in your daily life. It will make you more patient, willing to slow down, and less likely to feel anxious.
Nature is healing. Just a simple hike or a weekend camping trip in a beautiful and green forest will drastically reduce your stress, anxiety, and depression. Go alone or with your spouse to release stress and reconnect with yourself and rekindle the intimacy of your relationships. Go with your children as a way to share with them something that soothes your soul, so they too can understand the value of fresh air and a clean environment.
Art is expressive and draws out the inner complexities of your being. It gives you a way to express your feelings without having to live through the experiences again. Release your creative energy into whatever artistic form that appeals to you the most. Make it a quest to find the form that you enjoy.
Join classes or take free online art sessions so you can try out everything from painting and drawing to origami and knitting. This is also a great way to share an activity with your spouse that you can enjoy away from your responsibilities as from being a parent.
Developing healthy habits can help you to build up towards making time for self-care activities. Start making healthier food options for meals and try to catch up on sleep every weekend. Take turns to nap with your spouse so your children are supervised and both of you get a chance to rest.
Even a long bubble bath and time spent with a good book can count as self-care. Prioritizing these activities simply for the fact that they make you feel good about yourself with help you to develop an effective self-care routine in the future.