Best Tips for Dads to Manage Stress
Managing stress can be difficult for fathers. After all, we are supposed to be the providers, the men of the house, tough, stone-cold with no emotions, and whatever else our society labels us to be. However, how dads manage their stress can come in many different ways. However, one challenge in managing stress is first admitting you are indeed stressed. This is something that is sometimes difficult to admit because of the stigma that some cultures or societies have determined “what a father should be” or how they should act.
Set Aside Family Downtime
I know this is something I am bad about. When I am off work I will make plans for the family to do a whole bunch of different things in a short time period (like a weekend) and then I spend a good majority of that time stressing out about making those plans actually happen as I thought they would in my head. Trying to fit things in for the family to do is a good idea but it should come at the expense of your attitude or mental health for the day.
If you fall into this category of the dads that try to cram many different things or activities into a small time frame, just don’t and see if that helps you manage your stress. Try just doing a couple of different things and not trying to completely book your family’s schedule. See if that reduces your stress level and may even make your day better.
How Dads Can Manage Stress: A Hobby
A hobby can be a great thing in terms of how dads can manage stress. The hobby should not always lead to the end of a bottle though. Some great hobbies can include woodworking, hunting, hiking, and really anything you enjoy. Some of your hobbies can earn you some side money as well. This could also go a long way because a common stressor in the household indeed finances. A hobby can be turned into a good side hustle and help you earn some extra money.
Exercise and Nutrition: Critical to Dads Managing Stress in a More Effective Way
When it comes to health: exercise and nutrition cannot be stressed enough honestly. It is surprising how much better a person feels both mentally and physically once they start exercising and eating a healthy diet. Fitness can be a major factor in dad’s managing stress. No one is saying you need to eat salads and tofu every night after running a mini-marathon. Eat just a balanced diet of some meat, grains, fruit, and vegetables. Stay away from stuff in a box or at a fast food place for about a month and I am willing to bet you any amount of money that your body and mind will feel better after that month.
Start off slow with your exercising as well. Maybe start off with walking 15 minutes a day to loosen your body up some and then run for five minutes in the end. Follow this up with some stretching as well. There are so many ways to get into fitness, it does not have to be running or lifting weights. Swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and even sports, in general, are all options.
Your body needs sleep honestly. There is nothing any of us are doing that is more important than that on a regular basis. If you are not getting anywhere between 6-8 hours a night of sleep than you should really try switching something up to get those hours. I know how tempting Netflix some nights can be when it asks if you are still watching. It is needed though as sleep has many different health benefits to include helping manage stress.
Make Time to Be With Your Spouse
This is one that is difficult at times for most men. When I say this, I do not mean sitting there with the children and scrolling Facebook together on the couch. Get away from the children and just be husband and wife rather than mom and dad. Go out and see a movie or even just go for a hike in the woods if you want. If you choose the hiking route, bring something to snack on (cheese, smoked sausage, and crackers is my go-to), and also a blanket to lay down while you eat so it can be like a romantic little lunch.
No one is asking you to be Superman and it is okay to admit when you feel stress or overwhelmed. Keep some of these in mind the next time you feel stress and do some of them just to see if it makes you feel better after. Ultimately, you are the head of the family and the tone of the family will be set by you in most cases so it is important to take care of yourself before you can take care of your family.
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