Your physical health is connected to your mental health. Taking care of your mental health can actually improve your physical healthy. In addition, your mental health affects the health of your partner and any children you may have. Here are some tips to take care of your emotional and mental health and ensure a healthy start for your family.
You may already know that your stress level and how you are feeling can affect your physical health. But did you know that having stress or feeling depressed or anxious can also affect the health of your children? Stress can have a major effect on the body. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease and other medical problems. Stress can also cause changes in your hormones that can cause decreased or abnormal sperm. Allow yourself to de-stress by getting plenty of sleep, regular exercise, and by eating healthy foods. If you are feeling sad or depressed, this can affect the mental health of your partner and child. Children with fathers who are depressed are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. If you have feelings of depression, anxiety or have any other mental health problems, click here for help. You can also call the National Institute of Mental Health toll free at 1-866-615-6464. If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
In a healthy relationship, both people respect, trust, and support each other. This means that you can share your thoughts and feelings openly, and you can talk about and resolve problems together without violence. In an unhealthy relationship, one partner may try to control the other, such as deciding who they can talk to or where they can go. Other signs include threats, put downs, controlling sexual activity or birth control, and violence. To see if your relationship is healthy or unhealthy, click here. Unhealthy relationships can put you or your partner at risk. If you decide to have children, an unhealthy relationship also puts your child’s health and life in danger. To talk to someone about the health of your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7223) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY for the hearing or speech impaired). To see if you may be hurting your partner, click here.
You may already know that women need to take care of their health before and during pregnancy, but you may not know that there are ways you can help too. Men can be an important source of support for their partner before and during pregnancy. Since both your health and your partner’s health will affect the health of your child, you can find ways to be healthy together. Learn more about the health of your partner before pregnancy here. Once you have a child, you can also keep your family healthy by being a supportive partner and father.