How To Have A Dad Self-Care Day
When it comes to self-care, I think it is safe to assume that a lot of articles focus more towards women than men. And don't get me wrong, I am all for these self-care tips found in these articles, whether it would be indulging in a face mask, taking some time for a glass of wine in the bath, or even doing some hair masks when the time calls for it. While these make good practices for anyone regardless of gender, when it comes to self-care for men, I feel as if many do not know where to start. I look at my dad for example - his average weekday usually involves waking up around 5:30am to catch a bus to the city, where he then works until 5:00pm to then catch another bus home around 5:50 to get home around 6:45pm. That is twelve hours of not being home and working. When he finally gets home, either him or my mom will cook dinner for themselves, and he will finally get down to sitting on the couch around 8:00pm. This time on the couch is his time for relaxing, but it comes from sheer exhaustion. He doesn't have time to fully take care of himself until the weekend, where he is usually taking care of my family and his grandchildren.
When you think about it, all the duties and responsibilities involved in being a husband and father leave little time for these men, such as my father, to take time to properly care for themselves. Dads, like moms, often sacrifice sleep, exercise, nutrition, and hobbies for their families. If you find yourself or your dad falling into these practices, there are some things you can do! Here are some easy ways for dads to recharge and take a dad self-care day:
If we can offer one piece of advice for dad's on taking a self-care day, it would be to visit a barber shop and get pampered a little. A lot of barber shops out there take steps in making men feel the best that they can be, really helping them feel recharged and confident. For example, some barbers like to provide a pampering session by covering your face with a warmed-towel to soothe the skin and keep it nourished during the cut and trim. Many places often take the time to fix beards, providing a trim to help it look fresh and clean. Schedule an appointment to get spruced up a bit and see how much better you feel afterward.
Reconnect With Your Hobbies
For many men, the only time they disconnect from work is in doing something mindless, like getting ina Netflix binge or playing a video-game. While those activities are pleasurable, they fall more under the category of distractions than true self-care. But we urge that when taking the time to practice self-care, try reconnecting with a hobby or activity that you had put off because of family or work responsibilities. It is important to reconnect with the social, cultural, or even intellectual aspects of your life.
For some men, this might mean going to events like movies, concerts, or festivals, while for others, it might being going to a morning meditation session, or even an evening yoga series. But even something as simple as rediscovering a favorite hobby can offer a breakthrough for mental and emotional well-being. Finding things to do that aren’t strictly “productive” — that are fulfilling to you on a deeper, individual level provides for an overall positive way of life.
Take a moment to go back in time and think about things you did when you were younger. Did you love to go hiking in the woods? Or were you super into art and love to paint or sculpt or make pottery? If you were in a band in college, you could try dusting off that guitar and try playing along to your favorite records.
If nothing comes to mind, consider a new hobby you could venture into. Anything that intrigues you, from learning a new language to refining your cooking skills to joining a dance or martial arts class, is a great way to break out of the “always be hustling” mentality and begin discovering what your true self is.
Get Into A Regime
Self-care is best pursued one step at a time. Rather than try to completely rush into it overnight, focus on one area where you can build in a new habit. As you notice the benefits in this area of your life, you’ll find more motivation to shift toward self-care in another area. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Instead of pushing yourself into “beast mode” every time you visit the gym, swap out one workout per week for a low-intensity activity like yoga or even just a slow, meditative walk through nature. Take time to focus on building mind-body awareness while enjoying the benefits of improved blood flow and overall better well-being.
Pick one day a week to prepare and enjoy a “slow meal.” This doesn’t have to be something that causes stress. You do not have to be a gourmet chef, keep it simple or re-create a family favorite, or just elevate a humble everyday dish like meatloaf or mac ‘n cheese.
Taking the initiative towards creating a better sleep schedule is among the most effective forms of self-care. Start by ensuring absolute darkness with a light-blocking shade or eye mask that signals your body to turn up the melatonin. Invest in a high-quality pillow that supports your head, keeping your airways open and nourishes spine health. Take the time to get away from technology, and just relax. Take it in.
Self-care is important! Even when it comes to being a dad, take the time you need to unwind and recharge!
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