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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Guest Post: Overcoming Obstacles: Tips For Single Fathers On Maintaining Mental Health

The following is a guest post.  This post does not necessarily reflect the views of Suzanne and David E. McClendon, Sr. or Manian Debil Productions.

Overcoming Obstacles: Tips For Single Fathers On Maintaining Mental Health

Photo via Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures

Being a single parent can take a toll on anyone, no matter how much they love their children. It’s extremely difficult--even under the best circumstances--to take on the role of both parents at once and make sure your child is well taken care of physically, emotionally, and mentally. When you add in the stress of making sure you yourself are taken care of, it can be overwhelming. Yet it’s important to make sure you practice self-care, especially when it comes to your mental health; this will not only prevent burnout, it will help you be the best parent you can possibly be.

The issue most single parents have is a lack of time. There never seems to be enough of it when it comes to relaxing, having alone time, or getting in some exercise, all of which are important for your mental health. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to make time in your life for everything that needs your attention. Below are some of the best tips on how to do just that, as well as how to make sure your mind and body are in good shape.

Get support

One of the easiest ways you can take care of yourself is by garnering support, either from friends and family or from a support group aimed at single parents. Having someone to talk to when things get stressful--or when you need advice--can be extremely helpful, and it will keep you from feeling alone or isolated as well.

You might also think about finding a therapist or counselor who can help if you’re feeling symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mood disorder. These are common afflictions for single parents and there is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for help. The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. Read on here for tips on how to find support in your area.

Learn to cope in healthy ways

Another issue for single parents is learning to cope with stress in a healthy way. For many people, this isn’t an easy task, and for some, stress and anxiety lead to substance abuse or a dependence on alcohol. It’s important--for your child’s wellbeing as well as your own--to find healthy ways to handle those stressful situations. This might include finding a hobby you enjoy doing (or one you can do with your child, such as creating art or woodworking) or finding a new workout routine that allows you to release those pent-up feelings; for more great ideas on how to cope with stress and anxiety, head to Drugrehab.org.

Set a schedule that works

It can be difficult to work out a schedule that will allow you to take care of all your responsibilities, but it may help to talk to your employer and find out if the company can be flexible when it comes to the hours you work, especially if your child is young and needs to be picked up from school or has other commitments.

Stay social

It’s important to stay social as a single parent. Keeping those adult relationships can help you stay happy and give you an opportunity to wind down and have fun after a long week. If your schedule won’t allow you much time to yourself, consider asking a friend who also has children to meet up for a playdate at the park; this way, the kids can go have fun and you can sit and have an adult conversation. New to the area and don’t know anyone? Head to the local bookstore for kids’ storytime and strike up a conversation with one of the other parents.

Remember that it’s also important to stay physically healthy, not only so you’ll feel better and have more energy, but so you can be the best father you can be for years to come. Find a routine that works and stick with it, such as walking around the neighborhood after dinner or going for a swim. Daily exercise--along with eating well and keeping stress at bay--can help you keep your mental health in tip-top shape.

Guest post by Daniel Sherwin of DadSolo.com

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