Congratulations, dads! You’ve made it to the final part of our blog series on improving mental, physical, and emotional health. We’ve covered a lot of ground, from normalizing mental health issues, prioritizing physical health, and understanding the importance of emotional health.
Mental health is a vital part of our overall well-being, and as dads, we need to prioritize it. We can do this by practicing self-care, seeking professional help when needed, connecting with other dads to share our experiences, and managing the amount of stress and anxiety we feel on a daily basis.
Physical health is also critical, and we can improve it by staying active, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough rest. When we build healthy physical activity into our lives, we also improve our mental and emotional health. If there was only one habit you chose to implement from this series, let it be taking care of your physical health. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in our overall health and well-being.
Emotional health is often overlooked, but it’s just as crucial as mental and physical health. By practicing self-reflection, seeking support from loved ones, considering therapy or counseling, and prioritizing self-care, we can improve our emotional well-being and be better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting. We’re also setting a great example for our children and teaching them to develop emotional regulation and planting the seeds of resilience in them.
Now, let’s bring it all together and provide you with specific action steps to implement the tips discussed in this series. To leave you with inspiration we’ve curated the following nine actions and added relevant quotes from notable sources.
If you’re reading this, I know you care about your health and want to take action to improve it. Check this list regularly to keep yourself on track and moving towards your goals!
Nine Action Steps to Improve Your Health
1. Make a commitment to prioritize your health and well-being.
“As a father, it’s important to remember that you are the captain of your own ship. Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally is not only beneficial for you, but also for your children and family.” – John Kim, therapist and author.
2. Create a routine for self-care.
Schedule regular time for self-care activities, such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, or spending quality time with loved ones. Make it a non-negotiable part of your routine and prioritize it just like you would any other responsibility.
3. Seek support when needed.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It takes courage to acknowledge and address your own vulnerabilities.” – Dr. Gabor Maté, renowned speaker and best-selling author.
Reach out to trusted friends, family, or professionals if you’re struggling with mental, physical, or emotional health issues. Remember that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.
4. Practice open communication with your children.
“Being an emotionally available and present father is one of the most impactful gifts you can give to your children.” – Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, psychologist and parenting expert.
Create a safe space for your children to express their emotions and thoughts. Be an active listener and respond with empathy and understanding.
5. Prioritize quality time with your children.
“Quality time with your children doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated. It’s about being present, engaged, and showing them that they are a priority in your life.” – Patrick Mason, leadership expert.
Make an effort to spend one-on-one time with each of your children, doing activities that they enjoy. Put away distractions and be fully present in the moment.
6. Practice healthy lifestyle habits.
“Taking care of your physical health not only benefits your body, but also your mind and overall well-being.” – Dr. Greg Wells, physiologist and health expert.
Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and manage stress through healthy coping mechanisms, such as meditation or mindfulness.
7. Model healthy behaviors for your children.
“Your children are watching and learning from you every day. Be the role model you want them to emulate.” – Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and parenting expert.
Lead by example by practicing healthy behaviors, such as taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health. Show your children the importance of self-care and self-awareness.
8. Reflect on your emotions and thoughts regularly.
“Self-reflection is the key to personal growth and self-improvement. Take the time to check in with yourself and make adjustments as needed.” – Jay Shetty, motivational speaker and author.
Set aside time for self-reflection, whether through journaling, meditation, or simply taking a few minutes each day to check in with your emotions and thoughts.
9. Celebrate your progress and practice self-compassion.
“Remember that you are human, and progress is not always linear. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and be kind to yourself in moments of struggle.” – Brene Brown, research professor and author.
Acknowledge and celebrate your efforts in prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional health. Be compassionate with yourself when facing challenges and treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to others.
Prioritizing our health and well-being isn’t just for ourselves. It’s also a way to improve our relationship with our children and family. As parenting expert Dr. Laura Markham says, “When we take care of ourselves, we’re modeling for our children how to take care of themselves. We’re teaching them that their needs are important and deserve to be met.”
“When we take care of ourselves, we’re modeling for our children how to take care of themselves. We’re teaching them that their needs are important and deserve to be met.”
As we end this series, I want to encourage you. My coach in university used to motivate our team to take steps every day by saying, “What if you just got 1% better every day this season? Can you imagine if collectively, by the end of the season we all did that, where we would be?”
So dad, find your 1% you want to improve in and work at it every day. If you do, can you imagine where you’ll be 1 month, 3 months or even 1 year from now? Remember, you’ve got this. Keep up the great work!
About The Author – Drew Soleyn
I’m the Director of Dad Central Ontario, Founder of Connected Dads, and a Career Coach at the Queen's Smith School of Business. As an ICF and Maxwell Leadership certified Coach, Trainer & Speaker, I help struggling dads show up at their best for the people who matter most.