With Father’s Day fast approaching, it can bring up a lot of feelings. And not all of them pleasant.
Father’s Day is a day when we’re supposed to be celebrating and honouring our Dads and that’s not always possible for people. Whether you have a complicated relationship with your Dad, are grieving the loss of a parental figure or even experiencing separation as a Dad, Father’s Day can be tough.
When Father’s Day is hard or tricky, how do we navigate it?
“There’s a whole lot of unspoken expectations that can come with Father’s Day” Kerri said.
“Those expectations can weigh on us and can actually be the cause of some of those feelings that we struggle with such as guilt or shame or fear or anger”.
“Acknowledging the expectations that can Father’s Day can bring is a really helpful place to sit in and ponder”.
Kerri also acknowledged the power of memories and the significant role they plan on how we’re feeling about the day.
“Memories can really express themselves in so many different ways in our body. Memories aren’t necessarily just a narrative or a picture in my mind, memories can be felt physically and emotionally.”
“For some people, the memory of Father’s Day or Fathers or other family issues and events, can cause anxiety, can cause feelings of depression.”
If the lead up to Father’s Day or the day itself causes feelings of anxiety and pain, Kerri suggested some tips on how to handle it.
“Be kind to yourself” Kerri said.
“It is so important to offer yourself compassion. And to offer yourself an attitude of love and care when you’re feeling those feelings”.
There is power is acknowledging the feelings and allowing yourself to sit in the emotion but Kerri encourages us not to stay there.
If you know someone for whom Father’s Day might be hard or complicated and you’re not sure how to support them, Kerri suggests a mix of compassion and empowerment.
“I think the best way we can support other people is to empower them and to help them to feel accepted and loved and respected. Don’t pretend to be the expert”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.