Are you are dreading Mother's Day?
Fri 13th Mar 2015
Is Mother’s Day going to be difficult for you?
Given Mother’s Day has become such a huge commercial operation, it is hard for all of us not to be aware that mothering Sunday is nearly with us. There are cards in all the shops, special mother’s Day merchandise to buy let alone many of us want to show love and appreciation to our mothers on this day.
For many this will be a very happy time to celebrate with their mother’s and Grandmother’s however for many it will be a time of sadness because we have lost our mothers. It might also be that a mother has lost their child and therefore grieving that loss knowing that those Mother’s Day cards and chocolates will be no more.
The British Association of Psychotherapists & Councellors (BACP) the professional body of which I am a member has put the following advice for people who might need some support on Mother’s Day and the days leading up to it.
For Those who may be dreading Mother’s Day
For many people, Mother’s Day is a day of happiness and celebration, while for many others it brings more mixed and complex feelings. For those who are grieving the loss of a parent or child, are struggling with infertility, or who have a difficult relationship with their mother, the day can be particularly painful.
Forward plan your self-care
"If you think the day is going be difficult for you, plan ahead and arrange to do something that will help you get through it. There are a variety of different self-care strategies you can use. Some involve distraction and others involve reflection. It depends on you. For example, some people find physical exercise helpful, whether it’s going to the gym, doing yoga or going out for a country walk. Others find a duvet day comforting, curled up watching a favourite film or reading a good novel. Some people find solitude helpful in giving them time to reflect on their thoughts privately, while others enjoy spending time with friends or family. Do whatever is right for you and whatever you think will help you best.
Minimise your stress levels
"Part of your self-care may involve avoiding situations that are stressful. Be kind to yourself. Realise that you may be feeling a bit more fragile than usual. Try to free up the day from deadlines or a long list of chores.
Everyone is different
"Painful situations affect people in different ways. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and try not to be too critical of yourself for feeling this way. Some people find it helpful to express bottled up feelings of grief, anger, guilt or even relief. You can do this by looking at photographs of loved ones, listening to significant pieces of music, writing a letter to your loved one explain how you are feeling, which you then read aloud to yourself and keep or destroy. It is important to allow yourself to feel and do whatever you need to.
Remember this day will pass
"Although this day may be hard for you, remember it will pass. Perhaps you might consider marking the day in your own way. You can take ownership of it by performing your own ritual in place of the socially ascribed ones.
It’s good to talk
"Finding someone you trust to confide in can be a productive way of tackling difficult issues. Tell a good listener how you are feeling and you may be surprised at the positive effect that this can have on your outlook on life. Don't be afraid to reach out for help, whether from friends, your GP, a local counselling service or a telephone help line. Online groups can also offer easy-to-access support with people in similar situations, be it professionally run, or community support forums.
Seek professional help
"If Mother’s Day brings up feelings that you find hard to cope with, counselling offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things."
If you decide to access counselling privately, BACP’s website www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk has a ‘find a therapist’ directory which will help you find a private counsellor in your local area. It also contains a wealth of information for anyone considering counselling including information sheets, videos and links to recent research.
If you feel that I can help you to cope with your feelings over and after the Mother’s Day period please feel free to contact me by phone or email via the contact page of this website, or as suggested above take a look on the BACP’s website to find a counsellor in your area.