5 Ways to Avoid Dad Burnout

As men, we tend to put our head down and get the job done. Life demands a lot from us as dads and husbands, so we work to deliver the best we can, over and over again. You love your family, but the pressure to always do more can become overwhelming. You’re good at providing for others, but you need to take care of yourself, or you’ll get tired and burn out.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you’re a wimp or that you need pampering. It means you realize you need to use proper training techniques to avoid injury. Avoiding burnout is easier when you pay attention to yourself. If you want to avoid burnout, do these 5 things.

1. Take a “man timeout.”

Taking time to rest is a strategic move, not a failure. Professional athletes use timeouts. You should too. It’s perfectly reasonable to take 15 minutes to stop and catch your breath. Some men abuse this concept by checking out completely from their family for entire days or weeks. Taking care of yourself is not an excuse for selfishness. Mind numbing isolation becomes unhealthy quickly. Take a short, much-needed timeout, but then re-engage with your family as soon as possible.

2. Connect with your wife.

Listen to her. Talk to her. Spend time with her. I know—if you have a stressful day, listening to your wife may not be relaxing, but the investment pays off big time. Well-connected spouses do better in everything. It’s what she needs, and it’s what you need.

3. Sleep.

You’re tired, and it’s not just because you work so hard. You need sleep. Even though you know you need rest, it’s easy to cheat on sleep to get ahead. Studies have found people who get eight hours of sleep per night are more productive. When you’re tempted to skip on sleep, remember how confident and competent you feel when you get a good night’s sleep.

4. Get outside and get active.

Nothing is more tiring than laziness. When you feel grumpy, irritable, and disappointed, remember to move your body. In his book Wild At Heart, John Eldredge points out that the heart of a man is uniquely stirred outside. I love mowing my lawn. It’s when I do my best thinking. Simply walking around the block or lying in the grass noticing the wind and sun may give you the energy boost you need today.

5. Seek adventure.

Find impossible odds and challenge them. Create art. Try something new and dangerous. Adventure increases interest and energy. Getting up early on a Saturday to do laundry is impossible, but getting up early to go deep sea fishing is easy. Epic activities like camping, kayaking, hunting, rock climbing, or surfing are awesome ways to enjoy wild open spaces.

Careful, constant thrill seeking only gets you so far, all action and no adventure make for shallow movies and an unrewarding life. Don’t just seek thrills; explore true adventure with your wife and children, and you’ll avoid burnout every time.

Sound off: What are some things you do when avoiding burnout? What helps you feel rejuvenated?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do think rest is important?”