Creating Calm: Self-Care for Dads

Creating Calm: Self-Care for Dads

When we think of self-care the image that usually comes to mind is a trip to a day spa. The problem is this type of self-care is not relatable for most dads. In fact, viewing self-care as the occasional indulgence that makes us happy for a day is not effective self-care for anyone. We need to think of caring for ourselves as a set of habits and routines that provide regular rest and promote health. 

Why do dads need self-care? One of the most common reasons men come to me for counseling is to deal with the stress of work, parenting and relationships. Most men have a strong desire to do well in all of these areas, but feel they are failing. The feelings of failure create stress, the stress makes it harder to make changes, leading to feelings of failure and the cycle repeats. By creating regular healthy habits, dads (and moms) can create the opposite of stress, which is calm. Creating calm allows us to be more present and focused in meeting the demands of life, helping break the cycle of stress and failure.

Sleep, diet, and exercise are habits we all feel we could improve, but change can feel overwhelming. When talking to people about changing these habits I recommend focusing on one area and making small changes over time. You have your whole life to change a habit. Take it slow and do it right so the changes will last.

Read the rest of this article in the full digital issue below.


Kelly Garrett, MA, LMHC is a licensed mental health counselor practicing in Vancouver. He specializes in working with couples and men with a focus on how relationships affect mental health.

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