Dads, self-care is not selfish. Here’s your guide to loving yourself

  • postauthorOnsurity Editorial
  • postdateJune 16, 2024
  • postreadtime6 min read
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Goes without saying, you are a superhero – a selfless protector and a tireless provider. But a little birdie told us that when the task of taking care of yourself arises, you put it on the backburner. Well, that’s a little unfair, don’t you think? 

Did you know

A rising epidemic of diabetes, obesity, and prostate cancer looms over them. The toll it takes is nothing short of devastating. These diseases don’t just affect the body; they also impact mental health.  

Men have unknowingly pushed their well-being to the sidelines, but the consequences are catching up. 

This means, it’s high time we shift the focus on you now, only to remind you of the importance of self-care and to empower you to prioritise your own well-being. 

We have a little gift for you – A Self-Care Guide for Fathers. Curated by specialised doctors, we have put in a lot of love to create this guide, with the aim of inspiring and guiding you on your path to self-discovery, well-being, and self-care. 

So, what’s the action plan? 

We’ll divide this into three macro parts – MUST DOs, CAN DOs, and DON’T DOs.  

Must do, can't do, Don't do

And for the micro aspects, we will delve into Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Oral Health, Mental Health, General Medicine, Sexual Health, and Nutrition. Should we get started? 

1.Cardiology: The heart of your well-being 

Your heart is the foundation of your health. It pumps blood, delivers oxygen, and removes toxins. A healthy heart is essential for a long and active life. Now, what should you do to keep your heart strong? Dr. Gautham HG, MD. DM, Cardiology shares his advice. 

What you must do: Moderate exercises  

Engaging in physical activities for at least 30 minutes a day, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, will help strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. 

What you can do: Regular health check-ups 

Schedule regular appointments with your primary care physician and cardiologist to monitor your heart health. It’s crucial to detect any potential issues early on and address them promptly. 

What you should not do: Excessive alcohol consumption 

Excessive drinking can elevate blood pressure, contribute to weight gain, and lead to heart illnesses. If you have concerns about your alcohol consumption, seek appropriate help. 

2.Ophthalmology: The window to your dreams 

Vision is a precious gift. Regular eye exams and eye-friendly habits can help you protect your vision and experience the beauty of the world around you. To help you understand your eye health better, we have Dr. Akshata Chandaki, MBBS, MS, with her expert advice. 

What you must do: Follow digital eye hygiene  

To reduce strain on your eyes, follow the 20-20-20 rule. It’s simple! Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

What you can do: Stay hydrated  

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your eyes healthy and hydrated. Water helps prevent dry eyes and promotes optimal tear production. 

What you should not do: Rub your eyes  

Constant friction can cause irritation, corneal damage, or make underlying eye conditions worse. If your eyes are itchy or irritated, try using a clean, moist cloth or eye drops for relief. 

3.Oral health: For that dazzling smile 

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups can help you maintain a healthy smile and reduce your risk of developing oral and systemic illnesses. How can you keep your teeth healthy and happy? Hear it from Dr. Naveen C Hiregoudar, MDS Orthodontics. 

What you must do: Choose a balanced diet  

Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit sugary and acidic food and drinks. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

What you can do: Chew sugar-free gum  

Chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol helps keep teeth clean and reduces the risk of tooth decay. It’s a convenient way to maintain oral health on-the-go! 

What you should not do: Bite nails and grind tooth  

These habits can cause fractures, enamel wear and tear, and jaw discomfort. If you struggle with Bruxism (the subconscious habit of clenching, grinding, or gnashing teeth), talk to your dentist about the treatment. 

4.Mental health: Your mind, your well-being 

Taking care of your mental health is of supreme importance. It helps you manage stress, take care of yourself, and be there for your family. Follow these tips suggested by Dr. Preetha Sunil, M.Sc., Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy, for your emotional well-being. 

What you must do: Build an emotional support network  

Cultivate a support network of friends, family, or fellow fathers with whom you can share your thoughts, concerns, and experiences. Talking openly about your emotions can alleviate stress. 

What you can do: Connect with nature  

Spend time outdoors, whether it’s going for walks in the park, hiking, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. Connecting with nature reduces stress levels, improves mood, and enhances overall mental well-being. 

What you should not do: Neglect self-care  

Avoid neglecting your own needs in the pursuit of being a devoted father. Remember that taking care of yourself enables you to be more present and supportive towards your family. Prioritise self-care without guilt. 

5.General Medicine: Your first line of defense 

Your general physician is your first point of contact for any medical need. They are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of illnesses. They can also provide preventive care solutions, such as screenings and vaccinations. Dr. Pavankumar, MD General Medicine, has a few action items that are of help! 

What you must do: Practice portion control  

Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating, which can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and discomfort. Listen to your body’s hunger cues and try to opt for balanced meals that satisfy your nutritional needs. 

What you can do: Incorporate probiotics and fibre 

Eat probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi to support gut health. Fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes also help maintain regular bowel movements and a healthy gut. 

What you shouldn’t do: Ignore gastrointestinal symptoms  

Consult your physician if you experience persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel movements, or unexplained weight loss. 

6.Sexual Health: Not a Taboo 

Sexual health is important for everyone, including fathers. Dr. Sandip Deshpande, MBBS, MD (Psychiatry), DPM (Psychiatry) PGD in Sexual & Relationship Psychotherapy, shares some insights and guidance on how to maintain healthy relationships, understand common sexual health issues, and seek professional help when needed. 

What you must do: Say no to toxins  

Some lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking, can harm erectile health. To prevent future issues, limit alcohol and quit smoking. 

What you can do: Speak up  

Your sexual health is important. There is no shame in seeking help from a doctor or healthcare professional. Your sexual and mental health are closely connected, so managing stress is also important. 

What you shouldn’t do: Be ashamed  

Don’t ignore sexual health concerns. Regular checkups can detect early signs of illnesses and pave the way for better treatment and cure. 

7.Nutrition: The art of balance  

Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. A nutritionist can help you make healthy choices that will give you the energy and vitality to enjoy life to the fullest. Balijeet Kaur Ramsinghani, Certified Nutrition & Lifestyle coach, helps us with a few tips to get started. 

What you must do: Mindful eating  

Slow down and savour your meals, paying attention to the flavours, textures, and sensations. Practice mindful eating and avoid overeating. 

What you can do: Culinary exploration  

Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with new flavours and ingredients. Try incorporating herbs, spices, and aromatic ingredients to enhance the taste and nutritional value of your meals. 

What you shouldn’t do: Emotional eating  

Avoid using food as a coping mechanism for stress, boredom, or emotional triggers. Seek healthier ways to manage your emotions, such as engaging in physical activities and practicing mindfulness. 

Find the Self-Care Guide for Fathers here. 

Having said all that, getting started on your self-care journey can seem daunting. We have a few tips to help you ease into the process. 

Self-care guide for fathers

Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your successes. Even the smallest steps towards self-care are worth celebrating. So, pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work! 

Happy Father’s Day! 

P.S. – Practising self-care is not selfish. It is a powerful act of love for yourself and those you hold dear. Take a moment to recharge, nurture your passions, and let your light shine bright for both you and your loved ones. 


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