How To Handle Father’s Day When It Hurts
By Jessica Bullock | Jun 17, 2023
Every June, fathers all over the world are celebrated for their sacrifice, provision, and unconditional love. However, Father’s Day, for many, can be a day of sadness, pain, and numbness. If you are someone who struggles with Father’s Day, here are a few things you can do when it feels unbearable.
- Avoid Social Media. Although you may not have a problem with seeing others celebrate their fathers or father figures, it may be triggering to see others plaster social media posts. If you know that you aren’t ready for that type of exposure, be kind to yourself and take a break from the web.
- Spend time with a friend or family member who may be in the same boat as you. Sometimes, spending time with someone who shares similar feelings about your situation and understands what you have experienced can provide comfort and can help you avoid isolation.
- Feel what you feel, so you can heal. There are no right or wrong emotions regarding your situation. The bottom line is that it is a sensitive space, and your feelings are valid. There is no need to pretend to feel a certain way that is not true. Allowing yourself the space to heal will help you to express and not stuff your emotions inwardly. That is dangerous and can cause toxicity.
- Choose an activity that aligns with your comfort level. If you want to go out to brunch, then grab some friends. But maybe you wake up and decide you want to stay in. Whatever it is that you choose to do, is right for you. Lean into what you feel you can do and are up to engaging in.
- If your father has passed, find a way to honor him. Finding ways to remember our loved ones allows us to keep their memory alive and reflect on all of the good ways in which they have added to your life. For some people, sharing memories and honoring them can bring a sense of peace and comfort.
Although you may be hurting, understand that grief never disappears; we carry it differently as time passes. And if you are someone who is hurt and angry, working through your pain in therapy can assist in bringing healing to your heart and release in your mind- so that you can re-frame Father’s Day differently. What would Father’s Day look like if you chose to change the frame or the lens through which you looked at it? This day is not easy for everyone, but there are definitely different ways to work and grow through it.
About The Author
Since 2010, Jessica is the CEO and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS COUNSELING & CONSULTING (www.betterlifeoptions.org), where she and her team have served thousands of families and individuals. She is passionate about bringing education and research that highlight BIPOC communities. Jessica also enjoys working as a consultant for counseling centers and churches, serves as a board member of several nonprofit organizations, and teaches. She graduated with her second Master’s Degree at Seton Hall University and is currently working on her Ph. D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.