All around the world, as people celebrate Mother’s Day, there are many for whom Mother’s Day is difficult. Despite expectations of breakfast in bed or trinkets from little ones, Mother’s Day can trigger some tough feelings. For someone grieving the loss of a child or a parent, struggling with infertility or illness, managing complex feelings around adoption, feeling estranged from their own mother, being the child-free one among their friends, or dealing with any number of other scenarios, Mother’s Day is a minefield.
It can be difficult to manage grief, loss, or even anger and somehow find the energy to enjoy the day around family and friends, especially when you can’t get groceries, scroll through social media, or open your email inbox without reminders of Mother’s Day. If Mother’s Day is hard for you (or someone you love), here are seven ideas to take care of yourself this year.
1. Plan a distraction
Whenever I talk to my therapist, she reminds me that thinking of certain days as an anniversary of something difficult can make you feel worse. Some years, it can be difficult to get out of this mindset unless I have a distraction.
Maybe you want to strategically schedule work or a home project to distract your mind. By focusing on a job that you like or an important project that you can get done in the day, you can get much-needed serotonin for finishing something that will add ease or light to your life.
2. Book or buy something you know you’ll enjoy
Whether it be booking a massage or buying yourself a bouquet, try to treat yourself on Mother’s Day. You can even take yourself out to a movie and dinner by yourself so you don’t have to worry about being around others in your life who are celebrating the day when you just want space to feel what you need to feel in peace.
3. Or try something new to relieve the tension
Ever heard of a rage room or an anger room? It’s a place where you can safely f*ck sh*t up. Certain places allow you to bring your own items to destroy and it can be very cathartic to destroy things that remind you of bad times. A quick Google search can show you any anger rooms in your area.
4. Order out for meals
When you are struggling, the last thing you need to worry about is defrosting the meat for dinner or going grocery shopping. Call for takeout or meal plan during the week so you don’t have to worry about what to cook on the day.
5. Get moving
We know exercise releases endorphins and moving our bodies is a healthy way to cope with stress. Make time this Mother’s Day to give yourself much-needed space and your body the care it deserves. Try a relaxing hike through the woods, walking through a park, or picking up a new activity.
6. Talk with someone you trust
If you hurt during Mother’s Day, it can be helpful to make sure that you have extra emotional support by scheduling time to speak with your therapist or even seek out spiritual counsel if you are religious. Speaking with someone who has experience supporting those who need to grieve or release frustration can help. Additionally, finding community with others who have similar experiences—and a hard time with Mother’s Day—can be another way to cope.
7. Limit screen time
With perfectly staged Instagram photos or Facebook snapshots of family gatherings, it can be hard to ignore the constant stream of Mother’s Day content. While scrolling through social media can sometimes be a great way to spend downtime, when you are sensitive to Mother’s Day celebrations, it can be a good thing to simply log out and limit screen time for the day.
However you choose to go through the day, we see you, and we hope you’re able to take care of yourself this Sunday.