Coping with the One Year Anniversary of Covid-19
We are approaching the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 which is absolutely jarring to think about. I remember when the first cases appeared in the United States and thinking, “Oh, this won’t be a big deal.” Boy was I wrong. It has been about a year since the beginning of the pandemic, and so much has changed between now and then. As we approach this anniversary, it’s important to acknowledge that anniversaries are not always happy and joyful events; some can be described as an anniversary reaction, the annual echo of a trauma or loss. For most people, this pandemic has been traumatic in a number of ways, and it’s important to be aware and mindful of feelings and emotions that come up for us. How can you handle your own individual anniversary reaction? Here are four easy and safe tips:
- Prepare: Because we’re reaching the one-year anniversary, it’s hard to know exactly what will happen and what will come up for us. If you feel vulnerable or worried, do your best to plan ahead in a way that helps you feel protected and secure. Try to eliminate extra stressors while also loading up on interaction with supportive friends and families.
- Commemorate: Consider making a specific plan that relates directly to your loss and/or trauma relating to the pandemic, whether this is the loss of a loved one or simply missing “normal” life. This could look like visiting the cemetery, making a donation to a related non-profit organization, or signing up for an associated charity event.
- Remember that it’s Temporary: Anniversary reactions won’t last forever, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. While the pandemic won’t magically disappear, it may be nice to reflect on the ways in which our way of living has improved, even in the smallest of ways. Remember those really annoying office parties? I doubt those will be back anytime soon…
- Find Support: It’s important to remember that everyone has experienced this pandemic differently and that most people are still grieving and feel frustrated by its lasting impact. It’s never too late to start looking for support and receiving the help that you need to get through these hard times. With a skilled helper, some courage and hard work, we can all get through this together.