Mothering sunday

This year Mothers Day is going to be very different from previous years. Covid-19 has affected us in more ways than we expected when it landed in the UK last March. Many people have lost their mother, grandmother, stepmother or other mother figures not just through Covid-19, but for other reasons also.

Everywhere there are reminders that this is a day for celebrating having a mum, but if you are grieving Mothers Day can be a very painful, emotional time. Also, if you didn’t have a good relationship with your mum, Mothers Day may be quite a complicated event with mixed emotions.

So, it’s about doing what feels right for you and finding a way to acknowledge their life as your mum in your own special way.

How you decide to plan your day can make a big difference. By being kind to yourself and not feeling under pressure to do anything in particular may be be the way you want to go. But for others, feeling they have permission to celebrate, in whatever way that works for them, may be really healing.

Thinking about how you would like to spend the day is helpful as you can plan whether you want to have a quiet day on your own, or spend some time with others.

You may feel visiting a special place such as going for a walk where you used to go together may help you to feel closer to your mum even though they are no longer here. Perhaps, taking a flask and sitting somewhere peaceful might be healing for you – a place to reflect on how you are feeling.

Or maybe the weather isn’t nice and you’d prefer to stay at home in the warmth, snuggled up on the sofa watching a film you both enjoyed. This might be a nice way to mark the day in a special way for you.

Whatever you choose to do, its important to be flexible as things may not work out the way you intend and you need to be kind to yourself if your plans end up changing. If your rigid on how the day needs to be, and things do go to plan, it can all feel overwhelming and add to your grief and pain.

Sometimes, its better to go with it, rather than try to ignore or resist and maybe writing a card or buying some flowers may feel right for you. Sharing your thoughts and feelings in the card can help you to feel close to your mum and let you say what you want her to hear.

Maybe you’d like to consider going to a garden centre and buying a plant you could put in your garden? This could be a simple act of memorial that your mum might of liked. Or perhaps, you might want to keep things simple on Mothers Day and look through some photos or just light a candle.

There’s no right or wrong way to manage mothers day and with this in mind, you might just want to let the day pass you by, and that’s okay. Whatever you decide, it’s your choice and whilst others may want to acknowledge Mothers Day in a different day, it’s up to you how you choose to spend that time.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of how you will manage on Mothers Day, it can be helpful to reach out and ask for help. Finding someone to talk to can be very healing. And perhaps, you would prefer to seek support from someone who is not a family member or friend. Below are some contact details for two charities that are available on Mothers Day who you can contact and get some support.

Cruse Bereavement Care has a helpline you can call on 0808 808 1677 or you may prefer Cruse Chat the details of which can be found here.

Samaritans are available day or night on 116 123 or perhaps, you’d prefer to text as sometimes typing can be more comfortable than talking. Details of how this works can be found here.

What are we telling ourselves

Dealing with anxiety and stress in our lives right now, as the government makes changes to the way we manage this pandemic, is a challenge to say the least. One important task we all need to be aware of is taking care of ourselves and our loved ones.

And it’s important to be aware of our responsibilities to ourselves as life isn’t just about trying to avoid Covid-19, it’s about finding meaning and purpose to our lives during this global pandemic and being proactive in managing our mental health.

We don’t fully understand what the changes brought about by being in lock-down are going to mean for us in the long term, or what the knock-on effect these actions will have on society as a whole. Therefore, trying to adjust to these new realities with such uncertainty has implications for our mental health, as our new way of living and the loss of loved ones is undoubtedly contributing to negative feelings…

Covid-19 is still here and whilst we appear to have gained some form of control over the rate at which it spreads, this worldwide pandemic continues to be a constant topic of conversation. With this realization, I wonder how being unable to avoid hearing the latest news is doing to our mental health and our need to feel safe? I feel the media is creating feelings of fear or panic, resulting in our survival mode is continuously on high alert.

This may seem impossible some days, but recognizing we need to have a method for coping with the difficult days is a good first step.

Being proactive in getting to understand what we need as individuals can help us to prepare for the days when we are feeling mentally low. When we tune into our mental health needs, we allow ourselves the space we need to take note of how we are feeling.

“Self-care is how you take your power back”
Lalah Delia

By allowing ourselves to do one small thing that gives us peace is all we need to remind ourselves that this is not permanent and we can find a way to be alright.