The most important thing a man can do for his family is to take care of himself. From that place of self-care flow providing, protecting and nurturing. In the words of Jim Rohn, men are at their best when they can “love like a mother and protect like a father.”
I’m guilty of not taking enough “me” time. I go into a mental “2-minute offense” when needs arise and I can’t rest until those needs are resolved. It’s something I observed in my father, for better or worse. During the last year, I’ve made more time for myself and as I’ve reaped the reward of snatching little bits of time, I’ve encouraged others to do the same. My advice: pursue creative outlets.
Creative outlets go underestimated and overlooked. As men, we gravitate to testosterone-boosting athletic and outdoor outlets, like CrossFit, shooting, fishing, running, or basketball. These are great stress busters that help us work out the tension of the day, but do they fulfill the desires of the inner self? Not always.
Creativity involves play and society isn’t high up on men “playing.” Men are told to be responsible from age 18. But play is a responsibility to self. There’s nothing wrong with learning to play guitar, splashing paint on a canvas, writing poetry, or taking a ballroom dance class. It’s even better when our kids know we do it. I go to Zumba and hip-hop dance fitness and I retro game. I do these alone and I share them with my kids. Allowing our inner child to play with our physical children takes our relationships next level. They see a different side of us, and most times, a very approachable one.
In this issue, we talk to some local dads who discuss how they stay mentally fit to be the best they can be—first for themselves and then for their families. They’ll tell you how they find their Zen and what it does for their parenting. So, I hope you’ll feel inspired to tap into your creativity and try something creative and fun. Adventure awaits.