Mixed Emotions on Canada Day?

Canada Day is a time when we often reflect on all it means to be Canadian. It may be an opportunity to be with friends and family and share in the love and connection we get from being together. It can also give us the space to come together and honour what being Canadian means. 

Canada Day is the anniversary of Confederation, a significant point of change in our country’s history, especially for Indigenous people. On this day, we can help bring awareness to this land’s history and acknowledge and show respect to the Indigenous Peoples who originally called this land home, recognizing the impact of residential schools on the survivors, their families, and communities.

This day can bring up mixed emotions from grief, loss, regret, joy, pride, happiness, and so many more. Managing these feelings may feel challenging and confusing. Below are a few ideas on how to manage mixed emotions:  

  • All emotions are okay. Sometimes you may experience feelings that conflict with each other, like sadness and happiness. This is okay and expected.
  • Talk about your feelings. Talk about how you feel with a loved one, friend, or someone you trust. Talking about things aloud can help us better understand what we are feeling.
  • Take a break. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted from the emotion, it is ok to set it aside and revisit it later. We may not know what our feelings mean right away, and taking the time to process them is okay. 
  • Take time for self-care. Processing emotions can be difficult. Try to connect with nature, get enough sleep, eat well and exercise regularly; it may help more than you expect.  
  • Know where to seek help for yourself or others. Find Help Here – Canadian Mental Health Association. If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis or has suicide-related concerns, call or text the Canada Suicide Prevention Helpline. 
    • 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) 
    • 1-866-277-3553 in Quebec (24/7) 
    • Text to 45645 (4 p.m. – Midnight ET). Text messaging rates apply. French text support is currently unavailable.