Tips to support your mental wellbeing
This October at The Fathering Channel, we will be looking at a range of situations in a dad’s life that can affect mental and emotional wellbeing.
When we talk about mental health, we are referring to our psychological emotional and social wellbeing - it is all about how we think, feel, and behave.
Good mental health and wellbeing allows you to live your life in a positive and meaningful way and cope with life’s changes and challenges.
Mental health problems or conditions can refer to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and others. Feeling down, tense, angry or anxious are all normal emotions and it’s normal to experience them. But when these feelings persist for long periods of time, they may be part of a mental health problem.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes, brain chemistry or brain trauma.
- Life experiences, such as stressors or trauma, being separated during COVID-19.
- Poor sleep habits, not enough sleep or bad sleep hygiene.
- Family history of mental health problems.
As well as being healthy physically, good mental health is very important in helping you be the best dad you can be for your kids.
For optimum mental health, it is important for you to be able to prevent the development of anxiety or depressive moods as well as manage mood swings during times of stress or adversity.
The aim is to be able to maintain a balance:
- Have a broad range of interests (work, family, sport, hobbies) and spend time on the things you enjoy.
- Develop skills to help you cope better in stressful situations – e.g. anger management, relaxation techniques or assertiveness.
- Recognise and accept the things you can’t change.
- Develop a support group of people you feel comfortable to talk to and can trust and nurture these relationships.
- Don’t think you have to do it alone – share issues with an empathetic listener and ask for help sooner rather than later.
If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. If children are struggling, they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636