How to Cope with Stay-At-Home Dad Depression

Being a stay-at-home dad is an amazing job, but even in someone who is otherwise loving, compassionate, confident, and strong, depression can hit. Suppose a dad is not caring for their mental and physical well-being and investing all their time in caring effectively for those around him. In that case, it’s not entirely unexpected he may eventually find himself in a state of depression.

If you are struggling with your mental health as a stay-at-home dad, here are a few ways to overcome and cope with depression.

1. Forgive

First and foremost, fighting depression, even on one’s best day, is tough and can feel like the impossible. Trying to do it all the time is effort. Forgive yourself on days when you feel like you’re falling behind or not doing well. It’s okay. It can be a slow journey sometimes to reach the point where you’ve overcome the worst.

2. Shower

Daily self-care is important. It puts a person in the right mood, adds confidence, and makes you feel clean and ready for the day. Every morning, or when you can, don’t miss out on bathing, shaving, styling, and getting yourself fresh clothes.

3. Ask For Help

Be smart about your mental health. If you sense you need a little more help on a given day, consult online psychotherapy for help. Likewise, family members, friends, and your partner are all sources that you may be able to go to. Even if someone can step in for an hour or two, it may allow you time to take a walk, pursue a hobby, or invest in some personal time.

4. Eat Healthy

A person with depression has got to do what they can to set themselves up for the best possible day. Ensure you are eating regularly and consuming the right foods. Fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbs. Don’t miss a meal. Keep your body fed.

5. Exercise

A sure way to combat depression as a stay-at-home dad or for anyone is to get started on an exercise routine. Lift weights. Do cardio. Try yoga. Join a class. You can bring home workouts on YouTube to squeeze in during nap time if that’s your vibe.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep and rest are so important. They allow some of the stress of being a stay-at-home parent to dissipate. Ensure you are getting as much sleep as you can reasonably get. Don’t skip sleep or shorten it for other purposes. Prioritize a full night’s rest as well as with kids at home.

7. Avoid Unhealthy Habits

Steer clear of alcohol or using substances. Avoid destructive behaviors. They can easily compound the feelings of depression you are trying to work through. They will only complicate depression in the long term and should be avoided at every turn.

8. Join a Community

Many online communities on forums and social media allow stay-at-home dads or stay-at-home parents to connect and discuss the rewards and challenges of the job. This can combat feelings of isolation and provide a forum to learn, discuss, and self-express.

9. Talk to Family

Try not to withdraw from the people you care about. Whether it’s just a message on social media or a text, stay in touch with family members and friends. Do what you can to keep your social relationships strong. Consider making new friends as well.

10. Involve Your Partner

Don’t hide stay-at-home dad depression from your partner. Be open and honest. They may be able to offer more assistance managing things at home, whether that is taking over things during the evenings or providing some respite time for you to pursue self-care or a hobby.

11. Create a Routine

A routine with activities that bring joy and that you like can help reset your mental health and give you simple things to look forward to. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. A time to shower. A weekly routine, i.e. going to a restaurant on Friday night or having a date night, a specific time to grocery shop, a movie night at the local theatre, etc.

12. Go Outside

Let the sun see some of you. It can be a walk, a picnic at the park, or just running errands, but make sure every day, as a stay-at-home dad, you get a little bit of outside time. This gets you out of the house and stimulates the brain visually in a way you may not be able to do otherwise.

13. Nurture A Hobby

Investing in a new hobby or interest is a great way to engage the mind and stimulate thinking. This can be like learning an instrument, an arts and crafts technique, baking or cooking, or starting a collection. This gives you something to focus on besides being a father and gives you an identity beyond simply caring for those around you.

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