Father’s Day is right around the corner. If you are a newly divorced or separated father, feelings of stress might accompany the holiday. We consulted the advice of LPC Mikela Hallmark of Atlanta Therapist Buckhead to better understand how to guide our paternal clients in the direction of a stress-free mindset to celebrate their hard work. Here is her input:
“It can be difficult to get away from your dad duties even on Father’s Day if you are a single dad. It is important for dads to be purposeful about taking time for self-care. One of the simplistic, easy, and powerful ways to do so is to practice gratitude. Pause your day and list things you are grateful for, either verbally or on paper. This can go a long way in helping you remember what all the hard work of being a daddy is actually about. You can even involve your kids in this. Take turns and have everyone name something they are grateful for.
Another strong self-care activity is meditation. Now, this can be understandably more difficult if you have little ones or a busy schedule, but it’s still highly recommended. Deep-guided, relaxing meditation actually replenishes ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brains. This helps manage symptoms that are prevalent with anxiety and depression. Even if you don’t struggle with those issues, everyone can benefit from some more serotonin (‘feel good’ chemicals).
A third way to practice self-care is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of being present wherever you are and with whatever you’re doing. It’s a nonjudgmental approach to being. A common challenge among both men and women is the struggle to be present. For example, as kids are playing on the playground, a parent might begin stress-thinking about work or the project they need to do on the house rather than connecting in the moment. The mind is distracted. This habit not only causes the parent to miss out on really great moments with children, but also impacts our ability to find joy in the moment. To lessen Father’s Day stress, be mindful. Be present in whatever activity you choose to do and really do it. Engage your five senses by focusing on the experience and what you see, taste, feel, hear, and smell. And when your mind gets distracted, simply notice it and turn your attention back to your kid’s smile or the laughter you hear. Forgive yourself for incomplete to-do lists and acknowledge the hard work you put in as a father.”
If you need further advice on how to best handle Father’s Day as either a divorced/separated father or mother, please contact the experienced team at Marple Rubin Family Law by calling 770-796-4000 or submitting an inquiry on marplerubin.com.