How to cope with Mother’s Day grief

While annual celebrations such as Mother’s Day are a perfect time for many to honour the special women in their life, for many, it can be a significantly distressing day.

Mother’s Day can be painful for those who are grieving the death, loss or absence of their mother. Coping on Mother’s Day without your mum can exacerbate grief and lead to the onset of emotions including loneliness, anger and alienation.

Here, we offer support on how to cope with Mother’s Day grief and advice to help you get through the day.

Avoid negative coping

When we experience a trauma, like the loss of a loved one, we put in coping strategies to try and help us come to terms with this. Some can be less helpful than others and these are known as negative coping responses.

Examples of negative coping can include:

  • Avoiding friends and family/becoming withdrawn
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Self-criticism
  • Driving too fast/recklessly
  • Overeating or eating too little

Around significant milestone events, like Mother’s Day, try your best to avoid any instances of negative coping. While nothing can replace your mother, we have suggested some ways to help you cope with the day that might make you feel more comfortable.

Plan a self-care day

If you are looking to have the most relaxing day possible, a self-care day could be the answer. There are a whole host of activities and exercises that you could plan, depending on how you feel. Some examples could include:

  • Take a walk – fresh air and a change of scenery could be helpful.
  • Read – spend a few hours enthralled in a good read and transport yourself somewhere different.
  • Have a sleep – the lead up to the day and the occasion itself is likely to be exhausting, take some time to relax and enjoy a well-deserved nap.
  • Listen to music – turning up the volume on your favourite playlist can have a positive effect on your wellbeing, so could be worth trying during your self-care day.
  • Home spa – treat yourself to a spa in the comfort of your own home, complete with a bubble bath, candles, face masks and your favourite magazines.
  • Try a new hobby – been feeling guilty about neglecting a new hobby you’d like to try? From photography to cooking, scrapbooking to drawing, use the day to say, “I started”.

Spend time with your mother’s memory

If you are missing your mum on Mother’s Day, you may feel like spending time with her memory could help bring some comfort.

Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Spend time in a special place – whether you both had a significant place you’d visit, or if you would like to spend time at her graveside, the sea or a favourite café, taking time to visit a special place could bring back heartfelt memories and comfort you.
  • Photographs – a nostalgic gaze through precious family photographs and items belonging to your mum can spark happiness and bring back joyful memories. Reminiscing is often a useful way to help cope with grief.
  • Take your mother’s advice – was your mother always trying to get you out to tackle a certain hike or encouraging you to enrol in a course or finally bake that cake? Why not mark Mother’s Day by enjoying something you know would have made your mum smile?
  • Mum’s movies – curl up under a blanket and pay respect to your mum by watching a marathon of her favourite movies and those classics you used to watch together. Enjoy her favourite scenes and smile remembering those lines which made her laugh.
  • Cook her favourite meal – why not mark your mother’s memory by heading to the kitchen to make her favourite meal? Enjoy devouring the dish while remembering the smiles it brought you both.

Mother’s Day reminders

A Mother’s Day without your mum is difficult and nothing can prepare you for how you will feel when the time comes. If you are looking to distract yourself throughout the day from the fact that it is Mother’s Day, there are a few inevitable reminders that could help you avoid the occasion, such as:

  • Avoiding public spaces where celebrations are likely to happen, such as picnics or walks in parks
  • Listen to your own vinyl, CDs, and playlists to avoid any Mother’s Day radio mentions
  • There might be television adverts you may wish to avoid by watching a series or a film instead.

Recognise a mother figure

On a day when you are missing your own mum, you could find comfort in recognising a mother figure in your life that you admire.

You might want to send a card or gift to your mother-in-law, grandparent or a special friend who is doing a great job. This might not only comfort you but could also make their day.

Seek help today

If you or a loved one is struggling with the loss of their mother, and you would like to find out more about depression and how you can help those dealing with this mental health condition, then see tips on how to help someone with depression or visit Chrysalis Courses today.