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The Fathering Project – Look After Your Own Emotional Wellbeing

Dad-proof tip: Look after your own emotional well-being

To show up as the best dad you can for your kids, looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing is a number one priority.

Mental health refers 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 condition 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 condition. 

Many factors can contribute, including: 

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as stressors or trauma
  • 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 down or depressed moods as well as manage your moods 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, Mensline 1300 78 99 78 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