Written by: Jarid Mayo, Men’s Mentoring Coordinator
Happy Father’s Day!
Whether you’re new to this whole father thing or you have had children for years, dad’s are more important than ever!
From needing a role model to learning about what it means to be a man (whether their child is a boy or a girl), Kids need their dad in their lives for a million reasons. Dads help provide leadership and stability for the family. They show their children how to love and navigate the journey of life.
That being said, with all of the responsibility placed on fathers, it’s not uncommon for dads to neglect themselves. When a father neglects himself, he can’t be there for his child in the ways mentioned above. When a father is healthy, he can be the best dad possible!
When it comes to health, men statistically fall short. On average, men live 5 years less than women and make up 92% of all work related deaths! 70% of all alcohol related deaths are by men and more men are obese. Men die from suicide at a higher rate than women and men experience death from the 9 leading causes of death at a higher rate than women.
Wow! What an encouraging father’s day blog! Keep reading…
Time with your children can’t be beat. There’s no way around it – dads have importance! The health of dad, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, affects the entire family. It dictates how a dad can be simply the best at his number one job: Fatherhood. If dad isn’t healthy, he can’t live life to the fullest and his time with his children could be shortened or tainted.
As men, we are often too proud to go to the doctor. “Eh, it’s not that bad” or “It’s just a normal body ache. I’m fine,” are easy ways to rationalize our pain. However, when our wives, significant others, or children are sick we are the first ones to make a doctor’s appointment for their care. When we deny ourselves proper health care, it can often become too late to reverse a sickness.
Now is the time to take action and schedule that doctor’s appointment. You change the oil in your car. You rotate the tires and change the filter. When your car makes a noise, you take it to the shop. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your body? Take yourself in for a checkup and make sure everything is running properly!
If you’re ready to make a change and prioritize your health, so that you can be there for your family, we’ve got some tips to get you started. Check out this list of 6 things you can do today to improve your health as a dad:
- Exercise. Get those endorphins pumping and the blood flowing in your veins! You could join a gym and go throughout the week. When you wake up in the morning, do 10 push ups before you brush your teeth. Do planks with your kids sitting on your back. Take a family walk 3 times a week. Exercise is exercise and it will help keep your body going!
- Eat healthy. Skip the fast food and pack your lunch. Substitute one unhealthy meal this week for a healthy one. The following week, substitute 2 unhealthy meals for healthy ones. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles. Fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy are usually along the outer rim of the store. The inside aisles are typically where you’ll find processed foods.
- Reduce stress. This is easier said than done, but stress works against your body in many ways. Stress works to deplete your immune system, it makes you tired quicker, it exacerbates pain and sickness and depletes your energy levels. Do whatever you need to do to reduce stress: go to work early and sit in your car alone, listen to your favorite music, pray, take a walk by yourself. Do what you need to do to refocus and calm yourself.
- Relax. Life can wind dads up pretty tightly! Get a massage or take a hot bath, take slow, deep breaths to relax, go somewhere alone to read, take a power nap, etc.
- Laugh. There’s a reason the show “Kids Say The Darndest Things” was so popular! Kids say crazy stuff. Listen to what they have to say and laugh with them, watch a TV show that makes you belly laugh, go to a comedy club, just don’t take life so seriously that you forget to laugh.
- Find a hobby. Being a dad is the most important thing you’ll ever do, but you also need to have time for yourself. Whether you like fishing or sports, comic books or weightlifting, find a fulfilling hobby and pursue it for yourself. You might even make new friends that understand the trials of fatherhood!
Though we may have started off with doom and gloom, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not too late to make some changes so you can be engaged in your child’s life for as long as possible. Make this Father’s Day the day you decide that you are worth it!