In these videos you will hear what dads and those who care for about them say about the importance of caring for yourself and how they do it.
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When your physical health is at its best, you're better equipped to manage your emotional health. A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of disease, lift your mood and provide a sense of control in your life.
People under stress for long periods or who have a mental illness are at higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So it’s important to make sure you are eating well and getting enough exercise. This will increase your energy levels, make you feel good and also improve your sleep quality, another key factor of good health.
Looking after your own health and wellbeing is important for your child too. Fathers are key role models for their children. Your examples will influence the lifestyle choices and behaviour patterns your child adopts and takes into adulthood.
Controlling your weight is an important part of maintaining good health. It also affects your family. Research has found where fathers are overweight, the chances of his children being overweight quadruples, even when their mother is a normal weight. Overweight people usually develop their eating and exercise patterns early in life, so your children will learn from you. Control your weight by eating healthy food, not overeating and getting enough exercise.
Being active benefits you physically and mentally. If you include your children in physical activities, you will create positive habits for them too. Involving children can make the activity more enjoyable, and be a more effective use of time. You’ll benefit emotionally too, by building better relationships with your child.
Perhaps you need to assess what you’re eating and make changes. Eating patterns are usually habitual, so changes may seem difficult at first. Try starting with a small change and introduce others once you’ve got it ‘down-pat’. Persist, as it won’t take long until it becomes natural and enjoyable. Like exercise, involving your children in your eating habits can make it more fun for both of you. It also reminds you it’s important to be healthy for each other.
Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs (including misuse of prescription drugs) can affect your physical and mental health and your children’s. They might make you feel good for a while, but can harm the health of your children and affect your ability to parent. If taking these drugs has become a habit, you might not know until you try stopping and find it hard. There are plenty of free services that can help you quit and won’t make negative judgements about you.
A good night’s sleep refreshes the mind and repairs the body. Poor sleep can make you irritable and sap your energy, making you tired throughout the day. When you don’t get enough sleep you will find it hard to concentrate on things and it will increase your stress.
When your physical, emotional and mental health is at it’s best, you set good examples for your child to develop positive life skills.
Having time for work, family and yourself can often seem out of the question. But if you think about priorities, you can plan time effectively. When you feel you have the balance right, it will reduce stress and anxiety and give you more time to do things you enjoy with your family and by yourself. This will improve or maintain your health and relationships, and help you manage your responsibilities without burning out.
It’s important to have hobbies and interests outside of work and home so you don’t feel ‘boxed in’. You might combine your own needs while spending time with you children, eg. going for a bike ride or doing family chores together or preparing the family meal. Every family is unique, so work out what’s important to you and meets your circumstances. This is essential for a balanced life.
You might combine your own needs while spending time with your children, eg. going for a bike ride or doing family chores together or preparing the family meal. Every family is unique, so work out what's important to you and meets your circumstances.
Being aware of your feelings and thoughts, and how they affect your behaviour is important for positive relationships.
Having a positive perception (healthy self-esteem) and managing conflict, anger and stress effectively can be learnt or developed. These valuable skills will have a positive impact on your children, partner and community. If they’re lacking, they’ll impact negatively.
If you need help to manage your emotions, find someone to confide in—a friend, professional or family member—for support. Being isolated from friends and social support is associated with higher levels of depression, and higher levels of diseases. You need to stay connected with friends and loved ones for your own wellbeing.