In the lead up to special occasions you might experience an exhausting range of feelings that aren't always easy to understand or tolerate:

"I feel empty, like I'm just going through the motions"

"I'm so overwhelmed. I can't quiet my mind to focus on a single thing"

"I'm over-sensitive and feel like I just want to hide away. I over-react to the smallest things. Even the tiniest hurdle feels world-ending."

You're not alone in thinking that the approach of Mother's Day is a particularly difficult and painful time.

You may find yourself feeling isolated and alone amongst a sea of pink merchandise and cliched TV commercials.

You may fear that no one will recognise or acknowledge your motherhood, or you, yourself have doubts about whether you are even a mother anymore.

You may be worried you can't be fully 'there' for your surviving or subsequent children.

All of these feelings are normal and common, but they can be painful and overwhelming, too.

These things can help:

Giving yourself permission to feel

There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. You might feel sad. Or thoughtful. Or grateful. Or sad yet grateful at the same time. In fact, your thoughts and feelings may be scattered, jumping all over the place. Be kind to yourself and try not to judge the way you're feeling as 'good' or 'bad'. 

Taking time to listen to your body and mind

Take the time to check in with yourself on difficult days. Ask yourself ‘what would help me get through today?' For some people, the answer will be a warm blanket and a nap, or a phone conversation with a friend. For others, it will look different. Self-care is key right now.

Holding quiet space for your thoughts

Working from home, election news cycle, adjusting to new routines...for many bereaved parents, their days are busier than ever as they find ways to manage the logistics of life whilst managing their own grief. Distraction can be helpful in the short term in providing a reprieve from your grief, but every now and again it's important to give yourself the time to sit with your thoughts and feelings rather than setting them aside. 

Replenishing your physical energy

Keeping physically active is an important way of helping to regulate our emotions. Book-ending your day by getting outside for a walk in the fresh air in the morning and once again in the afternoon can help create a structure for your day. A morning walk can give you an energy boost first thing. A walk later in the day can signal that the day is done, helping you begin to wind down from the day's stresses.

From everyone at SANDS and Red Nose, we wish you a peaceful Mother's Day 💜