If you or someone you know is a survivor of child abuse or neglect at the hands of your father or a father figure, Father’s Day may be a difficult holiday for you to get through. You are far from alone, and there are several ways you can support your mental health during this time.

The impacts of child abuse can continue long into adulthood, leaving survivors to cope with a variety of feelings as adults, including:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Rage
  • Disappointment
  • Greif
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem

Sometimes survivors can feel alone and isolated in their experiences, so they may not share the impact those experiences have had on them with others. Suppressing your emotions can take a toll on your physical health, so if you’re having a difficult time this Father’s Day, consider processing your negative emotions in healthy ways with a few of these tips.

1. Listen to other survivors share their experiences.

You are not alone. Sometimes hearing someone else explain their experience can help us process our own. Listen to survivors share their stories on EndCAN’s Louder than Silence podcast.

2. Get some exercise.

Exercise can have a profound impact on your mental health. Enable your body to release stress hormones over this holiday while boosting your endorphins. Take stroll through your favorite park, visit the gym, or take a hike with a friend or loved one.

3. Share your story.

Some survivors find sharing their story to a be a healing experience. You can share your story on our website, and you can publish your story anonymously if you’d like. There is no shame in being a survivor of child abuse and neglect, and your story deserves to be heard and respected.

4. Recite positive affirmations.

Affirmations are positive statements you recite to yourself that can help you overcome negative thoughts and emotions. Get started with a few affirmations from ASolutionB.com:

  • Today I choose me.
  • I choose to create an atmosphere of peace and safety for myself.
  • I do not blame myself for my childhood experiences or trauma.
  • Boundary setting helps me to create safety within my life.
  • My mind, body, and spirit belong to me.

5. Speak with a therapist.

There is no shame in connecting with a therapist and getting their insight on your childhood experiences. A professional may be able to illuminate some elements of your experience that you may assist you in healing from your trauma.

No matter where you are on your journey of healing from child abuse or neglect, we hope you take some time this holiday weekend to invest in your own self-care and support your mental health.