Test Question: Is it selfish to take a “guy’s weekend” and leave your wife at home to do everything while you go have fun for a few days? Sounds like a trick question, right?

Not only is it not selfish, it’s actually necessary. In the world of therapy, it’s called “self-care,” and it’s an important aspect of mental health for all of us. Everyone needs time to unwind.

We need small pieces of self-care daily. Like going for a walk or five minutes of meditation. We also need larger doses of self-care less frequently. Things like a cross-country road trip or a camping adventure with old friends. All of these items, large and small, are necessary for our mental health.

If we don’t give ourselves a healthy outlet for stress through proper self-care, then we’re vulnerable to an unhealthy outlet like anxiety, addiction, depression, or anger.

Find whatever recharges you whether it’s surfing, painting, or fishing, and put it on the calendar.

Being a martyr who doesn’t ask for a break won’t make you a better husband or father. Just make sure you watch the kids so that your wife can have the same type of getaway with her friends.