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No Stress!

The Silent Epidemic

Recognizing Mental Illness in New Dads

Becoming a new dad is an awesome and transformative experience, but it can also be a hard time full of significant emotional upheaval. The arrival of a new baby brings new responsibilities and pressures that can take a toll on a new father’s mental health. 

For a long time, society has overlooked the mental health of first-time fathers. Men are often conditioned by societal expectations to be the “rock” of the family, hiding their feelings and internalizing their stress. Statistics show that up to 10% of new dads can experience paternal postpartum depression1. This can manifest as persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, mood disorders, or feeling overwhelmed.

Mental health problems in new dads often go undiagnosed because they’re less likely to reach out for help due to the stigma and shame associated with expressing mental health challenges. It’s crucial to recognize that experiencing emotions doesn’t diminish your strength as a father. On the contrary, it shows your dedication to being emotionally present for your child.

“Men are no different from women, children, grandparents, whomever. They suffer mental health issues; they just don’t talk about it as much,” says Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT.

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You’re Not Crazy or Going insane! 

As a father, would you consider yourself a ‘stressed person?’ I mean, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. Juggling work, family, and other responsibilities can leave you feeling exhausted and drained(even on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the park.)…I’m in our neighborhood park as I write this post for you. So where do you stand?

Only you can easily recognize the impact of stress on your mental and physical health and take steps to manage it. It ain’t that hard. If you’re dedicated to doing something about your stress you can find easy ways to deal with it and calm the f*** down! 

Easier said than done, yes, but if I can do it, you can too. You’re the only ‘real’ voice in your head. 

 You’re in a good place here, we’ll discuss some practical strategies that you can use to become a less stressed person and stay calm and grounded as a dad or mom… Are moms actually reading my articles? If you’re one of them, please comment below…

The Impact of Stress Levels on Parents

Man, oh man, stress can have a great impact on your mental state and physical health. It can lead to headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, anxiety, irritability, and depression. I’ve had all of these in the past few years as a dad and oftentimes all in one day! 

It’s no joke…It can also affect your sleep, appetite, overall well-being, and your overall outlook on life..even saying no to sex and beer. What!

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress is the first step in managing it. And you can do that! If you cry in the car before entering your home or scream out the car window for no apparent reason, you are a stressed person and you need to take care of this.

Some guys are great at masking their emotions, so it’s vital to listen to your voice and fix what the hell is wrong in your life, or what can be improved.

Solutions for the ‘Stressed Person’

man using exercising for managing depression in fatherhood

Challenges of Fatherhood

1-Different Ways of Managing Stress

I’ve used many strategies to manage stress. But the top one is exercising. I’ve written about it countless times on my blog and I’m a huge fan of moving, exercising, and waking up early. Whatever it may be that’s active. I’m an avid gym-goer, runner, and walker and …whatever gets me going! My mood changes when I don’t work out for a day, or two. Ask my wife…I’m like night and day!

Physical Activity 

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. It releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Find an activity that you enjoy, whether it’s jogging, yoga, or cycling, and try to make it a regular part of your routine. It not only helps with your shitty mood swings but also with your sex drive and erections. 

**If you don’t dedicate yourself to being more active, you’ll never be able to reduce your stress. It plays a critical role in reducing any types of stress, anxiety disorders, or even symptoms of depression. No kidding…get moving


It might feel weird the first time but trust me on this one.  I’m no foo-foo meditation-incense-burning kind of man, but meditation is quite nice to do! It can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down, and focus on your breath.

You can also use my meditation channel to help you get started. Do it early in the morning(no, 8 am is not early)… 5 am or earlier. You’ll thank me later… kids are asleep, and wifey as well…it’s fantastic! You’ll never wake up late again…

Deep breathing  

No, not in the bedroom kind!! 

Really…I’ve seen some guys on TikTok and YouTube doing this and it really does the brain wonders! I’ve mentioned in past posts not to do this while driving, as you might get hella dizzy.  It’s a simple and effective way to calm your body and mind.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process for several minutes. It’s a great way to get rid of a lot of anxiety that might have built up inside of you… Let it out!

++What I do is take 7 super-deep breaths(through the nose only) non-stop with no holding in between. It feels like a double espresso-buzz when you’re done!

Talking to Health Care Providers 

Hey, I’m a dad just like you, no better no worse. But sometimes, Googling stuff to help and checking dad blogs are not enough for what’s going on… Sometimes, having a counseling session can help you to manage your stress and anxiety. Mental health professionals can provide emotional support as you navigate the challenges of parenting.

2-The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is essential for managing stress and staying healthy. Here are some self-care activities that you can practice: Please follow the link above to read more about why guys need ‘self-care’ just as much as the ladies do! It’s for your own mental health.

Getting enough sleep

A no-brainer right? Well, are you aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Try! Not easy with me telling you to get your ass up at 5 am for meditation. It’s a process you must make work for you and your family! This will help you to feel more rested and energized.

Not an easy task for new fathers and new mothers, especially in the first year: Sleep deprivation! New parents must make sure that enough sleep is achieved for everyone in the house. Period. 

Eating a Healthy Diet

Fuel your body with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Blah Blah Blah…Yes, I know it ain’t new…but are you eating healthily? At least at the basic level of health? If not for you, do it for your kids. 

This is the trickiest one in all of these tips. Cheetos! Beer! Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches! I’m not telling you to avoid everything…Just practice control.

Taking Breaks 

Take breaks and try spending time throughout the day to rest and recharge. You can take a short walk, read a book, or listen to music. Get home pour yourself a glass of something and get a foamy bath running…not for the wifey! For you! Lock the door and blast some favorite tunes! Done!

Doing Something You Enjoy 

Whatever it may be, make time for hobbies and activities that you enjoy, whether it’s playing a sport, painting, or playing video games. These activities can help any stressed person in more ways than one. It should be something that you can do either alone or outside of the home, or at least with minimal disruption from the fam. I’m just saying. Stay sane…

anxiety in dads. Man staring at fence

3- When Things Don’t Go As Planned!

Fathering can be unpredictable, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. There are too many days when S*** hits the proverbial fan and all goes to hell! Yes, I know too well. 

Well…here are some tips for staying calm in these situations

Take a Deep Breath 

I talk about breathing a lot in my posts and in real life. It works! Especially when driving in a busy city like Seoul or simply being ‘daddy’ at home, breathing is the basic element in staying calm and cool when you feel yourself getting upset or frustrated. 

Calm d-o-w-n… Chances are that you won’t remember that ‘situation’ that pissed you off in a few days. Breathe!

Practice Patience

Who am I to talk here?… Remember that kids can be challenging at times, and it’s okay to feel frustrated. Try to be patient and understanding, and remember that this phase will pass. Remember that your kids mimic everything you say and/or do…So if you don’t want your kids freaking out at things ‘as YOU do”..don’t do it. 

Use Positive Self-Talk 

When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to beat yourself up or feel like a failure. Instead, use positive self-talk to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You SUCK at being a Dad! Yep! That’s what you think…The good news? It ain’t true. 

That stressed person you see in the mirror needs to start using POSITIVE Self-Talk.  It is liberating! It’s awesome! Just don’t get caught doing it… You’ll look like a weirdo. Keep it to yourself and keep it positive.

Use- I love myself, I’m Great, I’m loved, I love my kids, I’m happy, I love my job…well you get the drift.

father and son in field

4- From Young Kids and Beyond…

Balancing Work and Fatherhood

Fatherhood demands a delicate work-life balance. You might find your career responsibilities colliding with the demands of being a new parent. Open communication with your employer about flexible work options can help. Prioritize your child’s important milestones and events, and make an effort to be present for them whenever possible.

Healthy Relationships

Father-child bonding is an essential aspect of parenting that often goes unnoticed. Engaging in activities like playing or simply spending quality time together can strengthen your bond with your child. Remember, the power of paternal bonding extends far beyond infancy and plays a crucial role in shaping your child’s emotional and social development.

Celebrating Milestones

As a new dad, you’ll witness an array of incredible milestones in your child’s life. From their first smile to their first step, each achievement fills your heart with pride and joy. Celebrate each milestone, no matter how small, as they represent significant steps in your child’s life…and yours too.

The Art of Letting Go

As your child grows and becomes more independent, you’ll face the challenge of letting go. Encourage their curiosity and exploration, even if it means allowing them to make mistakes. Support their booming independence and offer a safe space for them to learn and grow. Read my article about my son’s first sleepover

father and son holding hands

You’re a Good Father

…you play an important role in your family. Fathers matter!

You might think I’m a little bonkers with the stuff I write about sometimes, but I use them and you should too. A number of men are going through many feelings of anxiety and I can relate! I’m here to help you! It’s a no-shit approach to becoming a better dad! Managing stress as a parent is essential for your mental and physical health.

By taking strategies like exercise, meditation, deep breathing,  and(the underrated) self-care into your daily routine, you can reduce stress and feel more grounded and centered. Remember to be patient with yourself and with your kids(and the wife). 

My Last Thoughts

There’s a growing awareness that men can experience paternal postnatal depression too. However, due to societal norms and misconceptions, many men shy away from seeking help. It’s time to break the stigma and acknowledge that men, just like women, can experience mental health challenges during the postnatal period

So, here’s to all the fathers out there navigating the joys and challenges of parenthood. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to take time for yourself. And it’s okay to be a work-in-progress. After all, in the journey of fatherhood, there’s no such thing as a perfect dad…but there are plenty of great ones!

With these tips and strategies, the stressed person you see in the mirror will eventually turn into the dad you want and should be! 

Always remember to enjoy your kids today! As they are only young once.

What is Paternal Postnatal Depression

Paternal postnatal depression, also known as paternal postpartum depression (PPND), is a condition that affects some fathers after the birth of their child. The symptoms of paternal postnatal depression can vary, but they may include:

  1. Feeling sad or experiencing a low mood: Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness that last for an extended period.
  2. Fatigue or changes in sleep patterns: Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or excessive sleeping.
  3. Changes in appetite: Significant weight loss or gain due to changes in eating habits.
  4. Irritability or anger: Feeling easily irritated, agitated, or having a short temper. Some men may experience anger or frustration without an obvious cause.
  5. Loss of interest or pleasure: Decreased interest in activities that were once enjoyable. This could include hobbies, socializing, or spending time with family.
  6. Difficulty bonding with the baby: Finding it hard to connect emotionally with the newborn or feeling disconnected from the baby.
  7. Physical symptoms: Aches, pains, digestive problems, or other physical symptoms that do not have a clear medical cause.
  8. Anxiety or panic attacks: Feelings of worry, restlessness, or experiencing panic attacks.
  9. Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope: Difficulty in managing responsibilities and feeling overwhelmed by the demands of fatherhood.
  10. Thoughts of harming oneself or the baby: In severe cases, experiencing thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby. It’s crucial to seek immediate help if these thoughts occur.

It’s important to note that not all individuals will experience the same symptoms, and some may have symptoms that are not listed here. Additionally, these symptoms can vary in severity, and they may not all appear at once.

If a father is experiencing these symptoms after the birth of their child and it’s affecting their daily life or ability to function, it’s essential for them to seek help and social support from a healthcare professional, therapist, or counselor. Counseling, therapy, a support group, and sometimes medication can be effective in treating paternal postnatal depression. It’s real and scary. You’re not alone.

Hey You!!Β 

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