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Father's Day: Are you Celebrating or coping on this holiday?

          Father’s Day is dedicated to celebrating fatherhood, but for some individuals, this celebration brings pain. There are many reasons why someone may find Father’s Day difficult, from having lost their father , to having a strained relationship with their father, to struggling to become a father themselves. We have worked with many individuals who find Father’s Day challenging, and are here to share some of the strategies that may help.

          If you are struggling with Father’s Day, there are several ways you can cope. The first strategy is to know your limits and honor your own boundaries.  Attending family events can feel overwhelming, so knowing your plan for Father’s day and sticking to it may be best. If you are feeling guilty for not “doing enough” on Father’s Day, remember that you can honor your father in many ways. Alternatively, if you are dealing with relationship challenges, infertility or struggling to build your family, it may be helpful to avoid attending a gathering of parents. 

fathers day card

Alternative Activities on Father's Day

If you would rather not attend a Father’s Day gathering, or think that your mental health could use a self-care day, there are alternatives that may feel right for you. 

  • Volunteer
  • Go for a walk or a hike
  • Go paddling or canoeing
  • Cook your favorite meal
  • Get creative with a DIY project
  • See a movie or a play
  • Get a massage

Having a plan and something to look forward on Father’s Day, or any challenging holiday, can help you to be mindful and avoid being consumed by Father’s Day rituals and routines. Taking the day to focus on yourself offers a chance to reflect on the pleasant things in your life.

man hiking on fathers day

Final thoughts.....

     As we approach Father’s Day 2023, I hope that you find a way to celebrate the day that feels right for you, whether that means spending it with loved ones or enjoying some solitary time in nature.

     This day may bring up memories of your father, which may be a source of comfort or nostalgia for some. It’s worth noting that everyone’s experiences are different – some may have many fond memories, while others may have only a few. For those who hope to become fathers themselves one day, take a moment to envision a future Father’s Day when you will have a child of your own. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in your emotions on this day, as there are countless others who share similar feelings of hope, love, loss, and longing.

Looking for more support? Speak with a therapist today!