While others are brunching with their families and posting pictures of their moms on Mother’s Day, some are feeling lonely and sad, wishing they had a reason to celebrate. Friend, if that’s you, we are so sorry that you’re having to navigate those feelings. We understand that a Hallmark holiday like this is tough when Mother’s Day is hard.
We want to support you in taking care of yourself on Mother’s Day, and we know it’s not an easy day for everyone. Below find our suggestions for how to pick yourself up if Mother’s Day is tough for you.
How to Pick Yourself Up If Mother’s Day Is Tough
When it’s not all cards and flowers.
by Alli Hoff Kosik
1. Stay off of social media. No matter what else you decide to do to get through the emotional stress of Mother’s Day, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking a social media hiatus. In our Instagram-driven world, it’s become the default for many people to share reflections about their loved ones on occasions like this, so you’re bound to find yourself overwhelmed with tributes to moms if you venture onto any of your social media feeds. Protect yourself by opting out of those feeds for the weekend. Instagram and Facebook will feel like kinder places for you when the holiday is over.
2. Reflect on the important women in your life. If you’ve lost or have a strained relationship with your mother, we understand that nothing and no one can replace what you’ve lost. Still, we encourage you to take some down time on Mother’s Day to think about the other women in your life who have been impactful and important to you. Is there a mentor at work who’s given you advice when you needed it most? A best friend with the kind of maternal energy you’ve needed on bad days? A neighbor who’s showed up with soup when you’re under the weather or watched your kids for you when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Take the time to find gratitude for these special people. You might even consider sending them a card or a simple text letting them know you’re thinking of them on a day that gives you complicated feels.
3. Indulge in self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone, but we want you to do whatever makes you feel whole and healthy. Catch some extra sleep, go for a walk, do a little mindful meditation, treat yourself to something that will make you smile, or take your sweet time making yourself a healthy lunch. And, hey — if curling up on the couch and watching Netflix feels like self-care for you on a tough day, do that.
4. Gather a community. Chances are that you’re not the only person in your circle who struggles to process difficult emotions around Mother’s Day. In the days leading up to it, gently reach out to anyone you know who doesn’t have a relationship with their mom, has suffered a loss, or lives far away from their family. Invite them to spend the day with you, then plan an informal brunch or other activity to bring everyone together. Gathering a community who shares in your experience will make you feel less alone in your discomfort with the day… and may even give you the chance to have some fun with it!
5. Get outside. Fresh air is good for the soul. Take your workout outdoors, set out on an aimless walk around your neighborhood, or grab a blanket and find a grassy spot for reading, listening to your favorite podcast, or writing down some of your feelings. Your complicated emotions are totally understandable, but working through them outside might be more uplifting than being stuck indoors.
6. Pick a theme song. Is there a song that makes you feel totally empowered? That reminds you of your best self, and of all of the amazing things that you’ve accomplished? That motivates you to forge ahead, no matter the obstacles you’ve faced? You should own that song on Mother’s Day (and any other challenging occasion, for that matter). Play it on repeat throughout the day — no matter what else you decide to do to cope — as a reminder of all that you can handle… because it’s a lot!
7. Ask for support. When you feel the feels about Mother’s Day starting to come on, don’t be afraid to let your friends and support network know that you’re going to need a little extra love until it’s behind you. Calling in the troops before the holiday happens will ensure that you have people looking out for you and ready to love on you when you’re feeling too blue to reach out.
8. Celebrate you. It’s not easy to navigate the ups and downs of life when you’re missing a relationship that feels like it should be all-important, but maybe Mother’s Day is a good moment for you to reflect on all of the ways that you’ve “mothered” yourself! How have you encouraged and inspired and pushed and forgiven yourself over the years? How have you built yourself into the person that you are? You deserve a celebration for that, so treat yourself.
Please share this with those who may need it. Sending you lots of love.