Practicing Gratitude this Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day, a time of celebration for all the maternal figures in your life.

While many eagerly plan a brunch with flowers and cards for their mothers, others can feel immense pain on this day. If you have a stressed relationship with your mother, no mother at all, or a mother who has passed away, it’s still important to practice gratitude for the maternal forces who made an impact for you.

Read on for Be’s tips on how to practice gratitude this Mother’s Day:

  • Make a list: Sit down with a notepad and consider all the women who have had an impact on your life—from your mom to your soccer coach to your mentor at work. When you are done, journal about specific memories related to each person. You don’t have to write much, and if you don’t want to journal, just recall the memories in your mind. If the list is long, work through the names over the week, and if you’d like, keep the list to revisit throughout the year.
  • Be together: Whether you can be with your mother—whoever that may be—in person or on a video call, spend a few minutes thanking them for all they’ve done. Talk about fun times you had together, as well as some tough ones. Whatever you do, try to be in the moment as much as possible, putting away cell phones and emails to truly practice gratitude.
  • Visualize: This is a great technique for those who have fraught relationships with their mothers or experience deep pain on this day. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and take a few breaths. Now, conjure up a positive memory of your mother or another maternal figure in your life. If you can’t, simply imagine the loving energy of a mother’s hug. Continue to take breaths as you sink into the memory and feeling.
  • Parenting yourself: Many of us, whether we have great or tricky relationships with our parents, will have to address uncomfortable habits or patterns developed during childhood. If you feel sad or anxious on Mother’s Day, try this quick exercise to get in touch with your inner child. Close your eyes and place a hand on your heart. Take three deep breaths and say, “I am safe. I am well.” Repeat as many times as needed to ease into a more comfortable, secure feeling.
  • Be with your kids: If you are a mom yourself, Mother’s Day is a great excuse to spend quality time with your kids and introduce them to mental health practices like meditation and mindfulness. Go on a walk as a family and notice all the interesting or beautiful things you see along the way. Do a couple of yoga stretches together. Turn off your cellphones and share a yummy meal. For more ideas about how to introduce these practices to your family, read our blog post.

We send warm thoughts to all the mothers celebrating this weekend. How do you practice gratitude on Mother’s Day? Let us know in the comments below.

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