When It’s Hard to celebrate: Father’s Day

on Monday, 14 June 2021.

When It’s Hard to celebrate: Father’s Day


In less than a week, millions of people will be celebrating Father’s Day. One Sunday in June dedicated to dad. For many, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are filled with smiles, dinners and gifts. For just as many, however, these two days carry grief, trauma and discomfort.

Parent-centered holidays are experienced uniquely, but many share a negative or sad sentiment of the weekend. For those who lost their loved one, grief can resurface and loneliness can seep in. For those who may have an estranged relationship, anger and resentment are commonly felt. Fathers themselves may see this holiday as a reminder of their own trauma or even may feel challenged in their fatherhood.

In any situation that you may be experiencing, know that it’s OK not to celebrate.

In however way you choose to approach this upcoming weekend, know that your choice is valid, and your feelings are real.

Despite this, there are certain decisions you can make that may help this weekend move forward a little faster.

  1. Let it out

Take a second, take a deep breath and let yourself feel it. Using unhealthy compartmentalization techniques only delay resolving your trauma or conflict in a situation. While it is understandable to want to hide your feelings from the world, don’t be afraid to let yourself express your emotions — venting to a friend, calling another loved one or even just crying it out.

  1. Log off

While social media is a fantastic tool for keeping up with friends and family, it can also negatively affect your mood and mental health. Social media is used by many for their best days: the perfectly edited selfie, the candid laugh, the achievements and engagements. On a day like Father’s Day, it’s OK to log off and protect yourself from repeated reminders.

  1. Lean into yourself

A part of learning to manage troubling holidays is to embrace yourself through it. This embrace should be based in healing. While we cannot always change our situation, we can adapt and grow through it. This growth isn’t linear but prioritizing your healing and leaning into yourself will give you an ability to better approach any trigger or reminder.

So, however you choose to recognize Father’s Day, remember that taking care of yourself should always be the first priority.


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