Mental Health for Dads - Becoming a Stronger You
Fatherhood is a powerful concept in our culture and in the human experience. The family naturally leans on dad in times of joy and crisis alike, and dad is expected to be the rock at the center of the family, able to handle problems and withstand emotional storms with stoic strength. Of course, we're not all the Marlboro man and, anyway, that guy was never at home with the kids.
Dads are the number one member of the family to have their mental health under-appreciated. Mothers are seen as emotional pillars and children's emotions are guided and taken care of as part of healthy parenting, but what about dad? We know, today, that men are not made of stone, but Dad is still expected to only express a few limited emotions at home - and anything else is dealt with solo as part of that idea of masculine strength.
Is it healthy? No. Fortunately, dads also now have a tone of available resources to address their mental health, emotional depth, and growth as a person on your own terms. Aspyn Market is here to help. Let's dive into some mental health tips for dads who are working hard as family men and professionals.
Talk About Emotions At Home
One of the best ways to make mental health easier for dads is to introduce emotion-related conversations at home. Rather than being emotional, discuss emotions, what they feel like, and how you might process through each emotion.
Children benefit from hearing emotions discussed and named by adults so they know how to identify their own feelings later. You can start by talking to your kids about how they feel and helping name each emotion. Or you can open a conversation by stating your own emotion, identifying its source, and inviting your children and spouse to share ideas on how to make it better.
When emotions become something you can talk about at home, it will later be easier to discuss emotional and stressful situations later with a constructive, family approach to feeling better or finding solutions to stressful problems.
Have a Physical Routine
Dads are often expected to handle their own emotions with minimal help. One of the best things you can do if you want to "keep it solo" is to build outlets for emotional, mental, and physical stress. A regular workout routine including sweaty cardio - and plenty of water - can work wonders for your sense of both mental balance and personal actualization.
Did you know that exercise is empowering, emotionally? Did you know that it pumps toxins and bad neurotransmitters (mood chemicals) out of your body through sweat and water processing, and that you can think more clearly and feel more evenly with daily workouts? It's no wonder so many guys will dodge the therapist and hit the gym.
Build a Creative Outlet
A creative outlet is similar, but for those emotions and psychological influences that build up over time. Expressing yourself through artwork, music, writing, or even building stuff can help you work through your internal turmoil as well. Let yourself feel what you feel and think the thoughts that occur when you let go and just express them. If you wind up with marker scribbles over a page or a hand-built birdhouse, both are equally valid as an emotional creative outlet.
Write it Down
Guys can and should keep journals. If you like to write and/or have some thoughts you're not comfortable sharing with anyone (we all do), write them down. It's okay to write angry thoughts, inappropriately personal thoughts, or undirected emotions onto the page. You can keep the journal and review your emotions day by day or burn each page if you just want to get unwanted thoughts out of your head.
Personal and Professional Coaching
You can also find direction from the wise words of others. Coaching focuses on addressing mental health challenges in a practical way - working on the source and then on positive action moving forward. You don't even have to meet with a coach 1:1 like a therapist, you can benefit from coaching videos and guides that you implement for yourself - all very dad-like.
Traditional therapy can be expensive, usually formal, and appointments are at inconvenient times, especially if you have to pay for a sitter. On-demand streaming sessions with a wellness coach are affordable, convenient, and life-transforming.
Aspyn Coaching can help you take charge of your life. You can choose coaches and sessions that will help you heal past traumas, improve relationships, and grow in your relationship with yourself. It's time to take control of your mental wellness and try Aspyn Coaching. Inspire yourself to learn and grow.