From the Editor: The Key to a Happy, Healthy Dad

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From the Editor: The Key to a Happy, Healthy Dad

By Rebecca Fending

Just like a snap of the fingers, June is here and by extension, summer. This year has already held a number of events and catastrophes, to say the least. However, things are looking up for the first time in what seems so long as we move forward with our lives.

Among the chaos that seems to have made home here, there are two things we should all be focused on in the coming months: family, health and well-being. With Father’s Day in the near future, this presents the perfect excuse to celebrate with family. First celebrated in 1910, this holiday wasn’t nationalized until 1978 by Richard Nixon. Although it took quite a while for the fathers of the United States to have their own designated day of recognition, the holiday is now an annual event that sees a rise in barbecue meats and tie sales.  

What’s best for Dad this Father’s Day?

So, what’s a great way to spend Father’s Day? There’s no right answer, it depends on the dad (or dads) of your family and what they would like. In years past, I’ve known many friends who celebrate Father’s Day by simply having a quiet day at home with a few movies or board games, per Dad’s request. Others have a rowdy get together of just their immediate family with cheeseburgers, potato salad (with extra mustard) and a case of Dad’s favorite beer. Some have taken long drives to a local point of interest and spent the day on the beach or hiking through a local national park. The possibilities are endless, so long as Dad’s happy. 

No matter how you celebrate Dad, make sure to include his overall health in your concerns.
No matter how you celebrate Dad, make sure to include his overall health in your concerns.

You can also be sure to treat Dad by making sure he’s taking care of himself in honor of Men’s Health Month. No matter his age, Dad should be exercising regularly and eating well, even if you have to ask him to not eat around the spinach or invite him to join in walk the dog. There’s no time better than the present to start a new hobby or routine together, and he may not know what he’s missing by not diving in to something new. Whether you become walking buddies or decide to eat lighter one day a week, catering to a person’s health can help the whole family. 

However, health isn’t limited to a person’s physical well-being. Mental and emotional health are paramount when it comes to anyone’s overall health. These two aspects of a person’s being create the foundation on which physical health stands. A great way to improve a person’s mental health is by getting out of the house more.

According to Steven C. Hayes of Psychology Today, staying indoors for a prolonged amount of time (such as with quarantine and the pandemic overall) can rapidly deteriorate your mental health. It forces less movement, less nature and less human interaction. All of these are independently influential to our mental health, but when paired together in the case of having to stay inside during a pandemic, it can prove to be detrimental to our mental health.

Make sure to offer activities that get Dad out of the house, whether it be a nature walk or simply sitting outside in the evening. Although he may not want to open up, simply asking how Dad’s doing can go a long way in letting him know you care.  

Use this month as an excuse to break free from old routine and focus on Dad and health by making a new one. It may be challenging to get started, but once you do, it’s hard to stop. Take the time to be there for those who need it and learn what you can do to honor Dad. 

Have a wonderful start to your summer and we’ll see you in July! 

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