Everyone knows Father’s Day is the day for dads to indulge, to feast on their chocolate gifts for breakfast, crack open a cold one before 5pm - because it’s 5pm somewhere right? A day where the dad’s in our lives get a bit more say in how the day is spent, that’s more up their street than the usual busy weekend plans. But aside from the gifts and glorifying of that day, we think there’s a little more to it than giving into the indulgence, read on to find out recommendations for honouring yourself - even if it’s a day late!
We don’t just have to celebrate with cute pasta necklaces, a handmade card with only-just-eligible writing, a meal out, a round of golf, and treats. It’s a valuable reminder to take care of yourself as a father, for your children and their children and so on. Self-care is often overlooked by men, as it usually refers to soaking in a lavender scented bath, or having a pamper session. But firstly, pampering in the conventional sense isn’t just something for women, and secondly, self-care is about taking care of ourselves to protect our health and wellbeing - not just to wind down after a long week of work or with the kids. And there’s a responsibility with parenting that makes self-care all the more important to practice.
So here are 5 ways to honour yourself for Father’s day, that can be done on any day of the year:
Book an appointment for a check up with your GP
It was men’s health week last week too, so all the more reason. We’ve left concerns or low-lying illness to sort themselves out a lot more since the pandemic in a bid not to add to the pressure the NHS are facing, but it’s time to schedule a check up to make sure everything is ticking along ok. They’re routine at 40 years old, but even if there’s a funny mole or a niggling ear ache - go get it checked out to take care of your health.
Find a physical activity you like
Golf, rugby, peloton, darts at a push.. Find an activity you enjoy doing, even if it is more of a social thing (at least you’ll be more inclined to stick to it) to protect your physical health and keep you nimble enough to play with the kids. Exercise is great for unwinding after work, to clear our mind when we’re stressed and a great mood boost.
Be intentional with your devices
Practice being more intentional with your devices and when you use them. Are you guilty of spending a bit too long in the bathroom? Do you stare at your screen while having dinner? Are you scrolling through social media in a dull moment? Having so much information, so easily accessible all the time, is preventing us from connecting in the moment, with our partners, kids, own parents, mates! Use your devices for a purpose - even if it is a scroll through TikTok, just intend to scroll for 20 minutes instead of 2 hours.
Tap into mindfulness or meditation
Now it doesn’t need to be a serene and silent practice - it’s hardly achievable as a parent in a busy house. But it might look like going for a walk and focusing on your footsteps. Or listening to a podcast and enjoying a coffee, or try the ice bath technique people seem to be loving. It gives us a chance to break up the day and its stresses, by taking a moment to be present.
Start being honest about how you really are
In the short term, this may not seem like a gift. But long term, it can help us protect our mental health. When we’ve got challenging emotions coming up, we can be quick to brush over them or try to ignore them, but that usually makes them come back stronger and longer down the line. Try being curious about challenging feelings, identify them and recognise why they are coming up, to help you better manage your emotions and to help you better cope on a daily basis.
It’s not just one day: Mother’s and father’s alike will share the value of a day celebrating, but let’s not pretend like we’re not all peeved that we parent everyday. So don’t just treat yourself because it’s one day to celebrate. Instead, practice taking care of yourself as often as you can so you can show up in the best way for those who depend on you - and put their sticky fingers on your new phone or break your console controller again…