Mother’s Day is just around the corner and while most are making plans for how they are going to celebrate and show appreciation for their mum, for many others, this day can be one of the most difficult days of the year.
This is especially true for women struggling with loss, infertility or childhood trauma. It can bring with it fear, sorrow or dread.
If this describes you, you are not alone.
Knowing how to cope with a day that can bring with it these kinds of emotions can be difficult so here are a few things that might help make this tough day a little easier for you….
Let Yourself Feel
Your feelings are valid and understandable and it’s important to allow yourself the space to feel whatever it is that you feel. You may think, “This is a special day. I have to put on a brave and happy face so I don’t bring everyone else down.” But it’s okay to feel sad and have a cry - it’s okay to be emotional on Mother’s Day.
Do Something Special
Something I talk about a lot with clients is the importance of taking action. Even when things feel dark and it may feel overwhelming to do anything, it’s important we do as it helps us face our grief and pain head on. Many people believe that it’s better to avoid or bury their difficult feelings, but the opposite is actually true. Healing only comes when we acknowledge and embrace what we’ve lost.
The kind of action you can take will be different for everyone depending on the nature of your loss. For example, if you have lost your mother then you might like to write her a letter expressing how you feel. If you have lost an unborn child, you might like to donate to an infant loss charity in your child’s honour. You might look at photos of the sister you lost to breast cancer with her children and talk about all the wonderful times you all shared together. You may be thinking “Well that just makes me feel too sad.” That’s okay because experiencing your grief is all part of healing.
Talk To Your Support Network
Sharing and talking with others is one of the most cathartic and releasing things we can do for ourselves, especially when experiencing grief. Reach out to someone you trust and let them know how you are doing. It may seem like everyone is busy with their mums or celebrating with family on this day, but you are not alone. You support network wants to hear from you. They want to support you, just as you would for them.
If talking with someone doesn’t feel right for you on the day, I encourage you to still share your feelings and thoughts but instead of speaking them, write them. Journalling is an incredibly powerful tool for helping us to process our grief. You may even be called to share your writings as a blog post. I guarantee your words will reach someone else who needs to hear them.
Take A Break From Social Media
This is self care 101! Your feed is bound to be full of photos and messages of friends sharing their love of their mothers and while I’m sure you don’t begrudge people who are lucky enough to have their mothers or be mothers, this will only make what is already a difficult day for you, more so. So be kind to yourself and give the socials a little break for a few days.
Seek Professional Support
If you feel as though your grief is so overwhelming and depression is talking hold (withdrawing and isolating yourself from others more often then not), then seeking professional support is an absolute must. You don’t need to do this on your own as there are plenty of resources and support available to you.
Here are some of those;
LifeLine | 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au
Parentline | 1300 30 1300 | www.parentline.com.au
Bears of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support | 1300 11 HOPE | www.bearsofhope.org.au
Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement | 1800 642 066 | www.grief.org.au
Headspace offers excellent resources to help you cope | www.headspace.com