Monday, May 1, 2017

Tips to Help You Beat Mother's Day Blues

Do the lovey-dovey Mother’s Day ads in the media make you cringe? Perhaps you can identify with me. If my emotions are left unchecked, the closer the holiday gets, the more stressed, moody, angry, depressed, teary, and out of sorts I feel.

Some women are childless by choice. They were wise enough to know they were financially, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually unwilling to bear and raise children. Others may have a physical condition or personal reasons that preclude them from bearing or raising children. 

Some like me have had sketchy or tumultuous relationships with our children or mothers, through death or circumstances like estrangement, addiction, and mental illness. Most don't receive flowery Mother’s Day greeting cards or more than brief calls on Mother's Day. We also don't want to give empty gifts to people that don't treat us nicely. We just wish the day would disappear from the face of the calendar. 

I’m one of many women who grew up in a dysfunctional family. My mother grew up without a mother, and spent part of her childhood in an orphanage. At times, as an adult, my mother was severely depressed. She couldn't mother me in a consistently healthful way.

I’ve taken many steps to heal the trauma I experienced as a child, and am grateful I vented, mourned, and released much of the frustration, anger, and sadness I felt about the past. 

New life skills I adopted as an adult helped me reframe my concept of mother and mothering. Now I practice self-care skills that give me the love, safety, concern, and mothering I missed out on as a youngster. 

When I made the decision to imagine standing in my mother’s shoes, I saw her as she was before she was a mother. It's only then that I found myself appreciating her as a whole person, someone who had her own life, her own struggles and problems to solve. When I became willing to look at my mother from a different perspective, I found forgiveness, compassion, and hope for us both.

I use the day to honor those I hold near and dear as surrogate mothers, daughters, sisters, and mentors. I celebrate the healthy choices I’ve made that empower me as a woman and bring out the best in me and my relationships. I acknowledge AND APPRECIATE THOSE WOMEN WHO ARE DOING A GOOD JOB AS MOTHERS. Chances are your children will grow up to be self-sufficient and happy in their own skin, because that's the example you are modeling for them.

Understanding these things doesn't mean I'm free of blue feelings around this time of year. Although it’s been three decades since my mother died, bittersweet memories of our life together surface now. I've learned if I truly surrender my longing to have people in my life "fill in" or "make up" for past losses and grieve those that have actually died, my blues do eventually lift. See What Mourning and Loss are Teaching Me About Resilience and Recovery.

Today I'm sharing ideas and tips that continue to help me. I envision them helping you too! Here goes...

Write and say affirmations of your own or use the ones below. Recite them aloud, when you feel blue, lonely, less than, and perceive “lack” instead of abundance. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

I Face Challenging Situations with Grace.

I am Confident in My Own Worth and Love Myself.

I Accept My Mother and/or Children as They Are, and Affirm Our Relationships are Teaching Us Things We Need to Know.

" 17 Tips to Help You Beat Mother's Day Blues"

1.     Know that you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Survey of 2014, 47.6 percent of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children, up from 46.5 percent in 2012. This represents the highest percentage of childless women since the bureau started tracking that data in 1976. 
2. Write in a Journal to get a better handle on thoughts and feelings of isolation, grief, anger, abandonment, and love. Connect with that tender, courageous human being inside you that needs your encouragement. See 4 Powerful Reasons why Journal Writing is Good for the Soul.

3. Participate in a bereavement group. Give and get understanding from those who are in a similar situation.

4. Donate A Few Hours of Time to Help Out at a Soup Kitchen, Nursing Home, Hospital, or Visit a Shut in Neighbor, Friend, or Relative.

5.  Call a loved one who lives across the miles for a phone visit or write a handwritten note to someone you’ve lost contact with. Giving love makes you better able to receive it.

6. Invite Someone to Join You for Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner. Sharing a meal is a definite heart warmer. You Aren’t the Only One who May Feel Lonely or Out of Sorts at this time of the year.

7.  Spend Time Pampering Yourself. Give yourself a facial, get a deep tissue massage, soak in a bubble bath, read a mystery, watch a DVD, or do something you ordinarily put off doing.

8. Get out of town, book a weekend get-away to a spa or dude ranch, or any change-of-scene place you think you would enjoy. If you can't afford a vacation, visit a museum, art gallery, park, or nature trail to fill up on beauty.

9. Exercise until those endorphins kick in. Keep the good vibes going by playing a sport or dance for fun.

10. Grab a half hour of sunlight early in the day or before dusk, when sun’s rays are less intense. Sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, a mood elevator.

11. Take a nap, a good way to replenish vitality and restore your spirit.
12. Pick wildflowers or get yourself a bouquet of daffodils or other yellow flowers. Yellow is s sunny color and its energy cheers you up.

13. Attend a religious, communal, or support group meeting to feel a sense of community and comfort. 

14.Listen to music or play a musical instrument  that inspires you.

16. Set up an appointment for psychological counselling. Sharing with a pro who listens with an objective ear can help you see yourself and your situation in a new light. Read Tips to Help You Choose a Psychologist.

17. Tap into the lovingkindness inside yourself. Be your own best friend. Focus on things you’re grateful for, affirm your talents and assets, and give yourself radical self-compassion for as long as it takes to feel better. Then continue to be gentle with yourself every day of the year.

Wishing You a Happy Mother's Day.

Before you go, don't forget to Order Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss.  Colors of Joy features color-coded journal activities, affirmations, and exercises to improve personal care and life satisfaction. Give yourself this gift, because it helps you rejoice throughout the year as you celebrate you!

Order it Now at

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Do you think Mother's Day advertising has gotten way out of hand? 

How do you want to spend Mother's Day? Any tips for me? 

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