9 nice things to do for yourself on Father’s Day if your dad is not in your life

Like many major holidays, Father’s Day can be a tough time of year for many people. Maybe you have a strained or nonexistent relationship with your father, or your father passed away, or there was never a dad in your life to begin with. Whatever the reason, it’s totally normal and okay to have mixed feelings about the holiday — and to feel weird acknowledging it at all.

If the holiday has you feeling blue, acknowledge that — and then consider doing one (or more!) of these nine nice things for yourself. You deserve it.

1Take yourself on a date to see Ocean’s 8.

A movie with a badass cast, women running sh*t, and no villain? Sounds like a great way to spend a couple of hours alone. Plus, all the behind-the-scenes stories could not be better — from the cast demanding that filming pause so that Anne Hathaway could pump breast milk to the story behind Rihanna’s hairstyle.

2Assemble a lavish meal or snack for yourself.

It’s pretty much a fact that food tastes better when you assemble it yourself. Sunday is the perfect opportunity to try that cookie dough recipe you have bookmarked, set up a fancy brunch for one, or browse the farmer’s market for produce you’ve never tried before (and order pizza if the experiment goes terribly wrong).

3Treat yourself to that new book or houseplant you’ve been eyeing.

Have you been waffling on something? Treat yourself to that brand-new beauty product getting rave reviews, or another hardy houseplant for your collection. Or give yourself permission to browse online shopping sites for things you kinda need — like a new summer swimsuit.

4Check out a meditation class.

Or a meditation app, podcast, YouTube video, eBook — whatever you can get access to. Meditation can seem pretty intimidating, but it’s worth trying out to see if you like it. Meditation can be cheap or free, you can do it alone, and you can meditate for as little (or long) as you want to.

5Take a walk outside.

Spending a little time outside in the fresh air and sunlight can be a real mood-booster. If you live somewhere close to trees, try out “forest bathing” and see if it improves your mental clarity.

6Watch a couple episodes of your favorite sitcom.

Curling up on your sofa and getting some quality time with your fave fictional characters is always a good idea. If sitcoms aren’t your thing, get up close and personal with a fun reality TV series, foreign film, or life-changing documentary. Just try not to spend all day in front of a screen, if you can possibly avoid it.

7Locate a furry friend to hang out with.

Maybe you have some dog owner friends, or live close to a cat cafe. Either way, if you like spending time with animals then figure out a way for yourself to do so — and as a bonus, your friends may be super grateful that someone else wants to hang out with their doggo for the afternoon. After all, dogs are good for your mental health — science says so.

8Try a new tutorial.

Whatever your hobby is, look for an online video that can teach you something new. Maybe that’s a YouTube makeup tutorial for a new eyeshadow look or a step-by-step crochet pattern. Even if you don’t master it, it will feel great to put effort into your hobby and start improving.

9If there’s a dad or father figure who is no longer in your life who you want to honor, figure out a way to do that.

That could mean visiting a restaurant the two of you enjoyed together, speaking to other people who knew him about their favorite memories, or even just looking through old photographs. And if you feel conflicted about honoring them, know that’s okay, too.

Ultimately, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to celebrate a holiday that you struggle with. But hopefully there’s a way to make the day go by with moments of happiness.

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