For many of us, Father’s Day brings with it many emotions. Perhaps you look forward to the holiday with joy, gratitude, or fond memories. Or it may be that this Sunday feels more complicated to you—a reminder of what you’ve lost, or maybe never had.
Whatever your emotional reaction to Father’s Day, let this truth wash over you: All parts of you are welcome. You have permission to feel whatever you feel, or don’t feel.
One therapy exercise I use with my clients is the Permission Slip. In this activity, we take a moment to bring to mind a challenging situation. Then, we draft a Permission Slip, giving ourselves the permission to feel whatever comes up for us. It can be empowering to see what changes for us when we are allowed to be fully ourselves.
Below are some other suggestions for navigating the emotions of Father’s Day:
- Be mindful of social media usage – While Facebook and Instagram can sometimes help us connect, they can also be drivers of disconnection and comparison. Be aware of how your social media usage impacts your well-being, especially this Sunday.
- Spend time in nature – What can you do with the time you would’ve been on social media? Take care of yourself and your emotions by connecting with nature, feeling the sunshine on your face, and doing what feels restorative to you.
- Connect with those who have stood in for you, or are becoming fathers themselves – It may be that other men in your life have provided the guidance, support, and wisdom we all hope to have from a father. Or perhaps you know some men who are embarking on their own fatherhood journey. If we take a moment to express appreciation toward these men, we may experience some comfort ourselves.
- Find a way to honor & remember – For those of us who are grieving on Father’s Day, it may be helpful to think of a simple way to honor him this Sunday. Maybe it’s a song, favorite place, restaurant, movie, or book that reminds you of him. Whatever it is, allow yourself the time and space to remember.
If this sounds like something you would like to work through with a therapist, we would be honored to partner with you to process difficult emotions. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 615-591-5262.
“Surviving Father’s Day,” Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-lights/201706/surviving-fathers-day