When you become the head of a household, your priorities tend to change. This is especially true of the importance you put on your family members’ health and happiness. The last thing you want is for anyone close to you to needlessly struggle or fall short of their potential.
Of course, you can’t control everything that happens to your family. However, you can put a few measures in place to improve their overall mental and physical health. Below are suggestions based on each loved one who makes up your unique nest.
Even if you’re a single dad, you may have a romantic partner. Yet tons of romances fizzle fast, frequently leading to heartbreak, sadness, and other negative responses. A way to keep your love with your partner alive and robust is by communicating more effectively. After all, lack of communication is the primary reason for breakups. Accordingly, one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is your willingness to listen and learn. When you genuinely hear what your partner says, you accomplish several goals.
First, you acknowledge and validate the other person’s experiences. You might not agree with them. Nevertheless, being willing to sit, listen, and take it all in shows respect. Second, you find out more about your partner and forge deeper connections. These connections allow a more empathetic bond to develop and strengthen. By giving your time and thoughtfulness to your partner, you give your partner less to worry about.
Children are dealing with an unprecedented amount of stress and worry these days. The pandemic that began in 2020 seemed to escalate this problem. Unfortunately, even with Covid under control, young people’s collective anxiousness hasn’t gone away. As documented in one meta-analysis, around one-fifth of all kids are encumbered by anxiety.
It can be very difficult to watch your child wrestle with any type of anxiety. There are ways you can make the journey to adulthood a little smoother, though. In addition to setting up appointments with a pediatric or teen-focused therapist, spend time with them. Exercise together. Do chores around the house. Give gentle, compassionate guidance on friendships, relationships, school, and similar topics. Kids will feel less compelled to give in to peer pressure or bullies if they know you’re on their side. It’s a balancing act, to be sure, and you can’t take away your kids’ stressors. Nonetheless, you’ll be a more positive force and advocate for them if you give them your attention.
It’s no secret that guys often treat their pets like they were children. Whether you own an elderly pooch or a rambunctious kitten, you can make their lives a little better. Perhaps the simplest strategy to boost their overall wellness is to feed them nutritious meals. Since most mass-produced pet food is made up of fillers and questionable ingredients, you may want to head online.
For example, pet health company Nom Nom creates personalized meal plans for its four-footed client base. Their fresh dog food can be delivered to your home regularly, allowing you to avoid running out. Perhaps best of all, Nom Nom has experts on staff to answer your questions. The company also keeps tabs on your dog’s development because health goals can change with age. For a similar but cat-focused food product, try Smalls. Like Nom Nom, Smalls uses high quality meats, veggies, and more. The better your pets eat, the higher their quality of life.
Most men have an extended family that may include parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Even if you don’t see your extended family much, you can find ways to help them. Case in point: Millions of seniors deal with the reality of daily financial hardship. Sending a retired relative a grocery store gift card out of the blue could make life easier. Or, if you can afford it, paying for a utility bill could be meaningful.
You could also stay in touch with your parents to make sure they’re eating well and eating enough. Aging in place isn’t always a graceful process. Plenty of older adults become dehydrated or malnourished because they neglect their basic needs. Conducting caring check-ins gives you the chance to intervene before things get worse. Yes, it’s hard to see a parent go downhill physically or cognitively. However, it’s better to know there’s a problem as early as possible.
In all your efforts to care for everyone in your home, you shouldn’t neglect yourself. Men are notorious for skipping visits with their healthcare providers. But you can’t fear hearing bad news. Get yourself to your primary care physician, your dentist, and your eye doctor. If you find out you need to take better care of your body, find a fitness program that’ll motivate you. It doesn’t matter if it’s as part of a team sport (e.g., basketball, volleyball) or an individual pursuit (e.g., swimming, cycling.) The result will be a fitter you.
What else can you do to improve your health quotient? Find ways to disengage from work when you get home. Leaving your issues at the door can be freeing and allow you to reframe them later. Also, consider writing down your bucket list. Are there any items you could cross off in the next year, such as a hobby you want to try? Nothing revitalizes the spirit like diving into a pastime that excites you.
Everyone deserves to lead their best lives, including your family members. By switching up your engagement style and approaches, you can transform and elevate the experiences, journeys, and well-being of all the people you love.