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Health and Wellbeing

Healthy time. Put those pies down, and get your yoga pants on

man weightlifting at gym

You’re a single dad. You want to be a good one or bad one? If you’re a mess physically or mentally, if you’re unfit, miserable, wallowing in self pity, then how can you expect to be the best dad you can be. Taking care of you and taking care of your health and wellbeing are paramount to meet the demands of parenting and maintain a good quality of life.

Health and wellbeing go hand in hand. You might not be able to have complete control over your health, as you may be injured or cursed with some kind of illness, but starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will ensure you’re doing the best that you can. It’s ok to not to be a perfect dad, a perfect specimen of toned muscle, chiseled abs and be able to run a marathon, but neither do you want to be a fat, lazy slob who’s just biding his time before a heart attack or diabetes sets in. Somewhere in the middle is fine.

obese man staring at phone

Can't Be Bothered

You might not be in the mood to adopt a healthier lifestyle for a number of reasons. You might still be coping with your break up, you might be finding it hard financially, you might be miserable because you’re lonely when the kids aren’t around.

Maybe you’re still lonely even with kids around because you crave some adult company like snuggling up on the couch or going out for a romantic dinner. I get it, I really do. But you have kids to raise. Kids who need you, who look up to you, and the example you set for them will impact the people they grow up to be.

man doing yoga

A Few Tips

  • Prioritise self-care: As a single dad, you may be busy with work and taking care of your children. However, it's essential to maintain self-care. Make sure to schedule time for yourself to relax, exercise, and do things you enjoy. This will help you recharge and reduce stress. Don’t feel guilty about this because the rewards for you and your children will be priceless.

healthy food

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet can improve your physical and mental health. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. If you're short on time, consider meal prepping on the weekends, making food in bulk or finding healthy options for takeout. Some of the food delivery companies like Hello Fresh might be a good option if you’re struggling for ideas.

  • Stay active: Regular exercise can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your overall health. Find activities you enjoy, such as jogging, swimming, or hiking. You can also involve your children in exercise, such as playing sports together or going for walks. Having a dog is good because you should be out walking them twice a day anyway. This is where most of my exercise comes from.

  • Get enough sleep: Sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you're having trouble sleeping, try creating a relaxing bedtime routine or speaking with a healthcare provider. There are plenty of places to find information on developing better sleep routines online and they all say similar things.

running group

Fun in Numbers

  • Connect with others: Being a single dad can be isolating, but it's important to connect with others. Reach out to friends, family, maybe get back into dating or find other single dads for support. You can also join online communities or support groups. Check in your local area to see what’s available.

  • Groups and Clubs: There’s not just community for support. There are plenty of other groups and clubs you can join for whatever your poison is. Running clubs, Dungeons & Dragons, book clubs you name it. Just type an interest you have into the Facebook search and you’ll find groups and clubs in your area for almost anything.


  • Manage stress: Stress is a part of life, but too much stress can impact your health negatively. Stress is a killer. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist. My method is quite simple, and whilst it might not always be suitable, it’s a mindset that helps in many situations. Quite simply it’s ‘Meh’. If I can’t do anything about, then why worry about it. ‘Meh’ is a powerful word and it’s a mantra I live by. Try it.

  • Take care of your mental health: Being a single dad can be emotionally challenging. If you're struggling with your mental health, consider speaking with a therapist or healthcare provider. There is no shame in seeking help, and it can make a significant difference in your life and your relationship with your children. Check places like Beyond Blue who are there for just such needs.

  • Laughing: You know the saying laughter is the best medicine, well it’s a damn good saying. Whilst comedy movies or tv shows can provide some laughs, I find the laughs per minute are much better with a stand up comic. There’s plenty of stuff on Netflix and YouTube to keep you laughing yourself silly for years.

  • Music: I find music equally as important as laughter when it comes to lifting spirits. Just don’t put on The Smiths or The Cure unless your aim is bring yourself down.

man carrying surfboard on beach

You Can Do It!

Remember, taking care of your health and well-being as a single dad is essential, not just for yourself, but also for your children. Prioritising self-care and seeking support when needed can help you be the best dad you can be.

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As with any of my articles and posts, feel free to contact me with feedback or other ideas about things you'd like to see on my site.

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