While Father's Day, along with Mother's Day, is meant to be a day celebrating a parent, it can be extremely difficult for anyone who doesn't have a dad to celebrate. Those who have bad relationships with their fathers, who have lost their fathers, or who have never really had their fathers in their lives — and Father's Day can feel isolating and lonely. It's not easy to look at endless photos of friends celebrating with their dads, or to be bombarded with Father's Day advertisements everywhere you go when the day brings up feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness. But here's the thing: even if you're in this situation, Jun. 17 doesn't have to be the worst day ever. There are some things to do on Father's Day that can improve your mood and your whole weekend.
Of course, you could choose to make the day one of loss, where you allow yourself to feel all the feels and take some time to hang in bed, getting some self-care in. That's fine, if that's what will ultimately work for you! But if you want to get out there and try to keep yourself distracted, or try to have a fun day regardless, there are plenty of options. You're in control of this day, no one else. Just remember: Father's Day can definitely be tough for a lot of people, and there's nothing to feel ashamed of when it comes to your feelings on the parental figures in your life.
Here are a few ways to spend your day on Father's Day if you don't want to celebrate your own father:
1. Spend The Day Celebrating Your Mom
If you were raised by a single mother, then why not give her even more props? Sure, Mother's Day just passed, but if your mom has always been there for you as your support system, then she deserves to be celebrated on Father's Day as well. Take her out to brunch, book appointments at the nail salon, go for a hike if it's nice out, or simply hang out together and talk. You guys can do whatever you want to do!
2. Plan Something With Friends
Father's Day is a rough holiday for a lot of people, and you are surely not alone in your situation. If you have friends who are also struggling with Father's Day, why not plan something fun with them so that you can all get through it together? Set up a dinner where you all cook together, or just go out to get something to eat. Go to the movies, go for a walk, have a barbecue... there are endless options! Sometimes it just feels better to be with others instead of being alone.
3. Treat Yourself With A Gift
You know that money you would have spent on a gift or experience for your dad? Take it and get yourself something. You deserve it! It could be a gift, like some new clothes or a new book to read, or it could be an experience, like taking yourself out to breakfast or doing something fun and different. If there was ever a day to treat yourself, it would be this one!
4. Make The Day Focus On The People You Do Have
There is no doubt that this holiday can be one that leaves you feeling a bit lonely, no matter what the circumstances are with your father. Try not to focus on the father you don't have in your life, and instead try to put your focus on the people you do have. Maybe it's a family member, like a sibling, or a really close friend, or your significant other. Whatever the case, spend some time with them and remind yourself how lucky you are to have them.
5. Celebrate With A Father-Like Figure In Your Life
If your father hasn't been around for a while, you might have someone else in your life who is a father-like figure to you. If that's the case, either spend time with them, or write them a nice card thanking them for everything. This can definitely be tough, but it might also be a good thing for you.
6. Keep Yourself Busy If You Need To
Some people might feel the urge to be on their own, spending time alone instead of being with others. If that makes you feel good, great! But if you feel the need to stay distracted from everything going on, then do what you can to keep yourself busy. Remember: it might be Father's Day to some, but really it's just another Sunday. Run your errands, go to an awesome yoga class, visit some family members... it's totally up to you.
7. Go Somewhere That Makes You Feel Happy
Since Father's Day is a Sunday, you can plan a little day trip to go somewhere you love. Make sure it's a place that makes you feel happy and good — we all have a place like that. If you can't think of anything, then go somewhere new and take a little road trip. Exploring and seeing something different could be just the thing you need.
8. Plan A Weekend Trip
If you're able to, plan a weekend trip just to get away for a few days. It doesn't have to be anything fancy — you could go camping, or take a break in a nice hotel just a few hours away from where you live. Wherever it is, make sure it's a place you either know you like, or something new you've been wanting to explore. Taking some time for yourself away from everything in your current life could be good for you.
9. Take A Social Media Break
Social media can be really difficult on a day like Father's Day. Going on pretty much any site means you'll see lots of photos of friends and their fathers, along with long captions about how important their dads are to them. It might be difficult to see over and over again, and if it's going to make you feel crappy, it isn't worth reading. Use this day as an excuse to take a break from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and unplug a bit.