Like any holiday on the calendar, if you’re not a fan of it you’ll still more than likely have to deal with it being shoved in your face in every way possible. Mother’s Day is no different…
Whether you’ve lost your mother, have a troubling relationship or no relationship at all, Mother’s Day can be triggering as hell. I know it is for me. I lost my mother to her mental health 6 years ago and every year seeing the countless adverts and messages of how special mothers are is like a knife in the heart every time.
Over the years I’ve learned one or two things to help. Nothing will ever truly take the pain away, whatever’s happened, but here’s a tip or two to a) help you along the way and b) let you know you’re not alone.
Hide adverts/set up email filters
Most adverts on social media will now give you the option to hide it, as well as giving you the option to hide all similar adverts. You can also set up email filters so that any email containing the phrase ‘mother’s day’ goes straight to junk. Of course you’re still likely to see adverts everywhere else in the world and you can’t lock yourself away with the TV unplugged every year – but limiting your exposure to the adverts can help.
Try to hold onto a good memory
I know this sounds so cliche but if you can, try to think of a memory that makes you smile. It can be something so small, just a tiny piece of a happy memory to remind you of the good things you shared. Today I thought about how my mum used to sing Build Me Up, Buttercup around the house. It breaks my heart I’ll never hear that again, but I’m thankful for all the times I got to hear it.
Think of a great female in your life
A family member, a partner, a friend, a work colleague or even a fictional character you draw strength from…there are women in your life who help and inspire you. Think of those women, of everything they’ve given you, everything they’ve taught you and how they’ve made your world a better place.
Don’t feel bad for feeling bad
The point of getting through hard times isn’t about ignoring them or getting through them without a single bad feeling, so don’t beat yourself up for feeling down about it. If it’s a hard time for you then it’s a hard time, you need to allow yourself time and room to hurt and heal. Don’t beat yourself for up for it, you’re doing the best you can.
Know your coping mechanisms
You need to do whatever you need to do. You know yourself better than anyone else, so you know what makes you feel good, what distracts you and what makes you feel safe. Stick to that. Call your friend, watch Netflix, eat junk, go for a walk, hug your pet, take deep breaths and just do you.
Stay safe, stay strong and stay you.