As we enter into a year of lockdown, you might have noticed feeling sadder and/or anxious of late. I know I sure have.
It’s been a year of staying indoors and keeping our distance from those we care about. And now that we are approaching the one-year mark we might be getting bummed out all over again – even with the news of vaccines being rolled out around the world.
There’s a good reason why these feelings might be coming up right now. It’s called The Anniversary Effect (or Reaction)and it’s a psychological experience that “…is defined as a unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts, memories and physical strain that occur on the specific date of a significant trauma.”
For me, The Anniversary Effect showed up in the lead up to February 24th and the first anniversary of my dad passing away from cancer.
The Anniversary Effect, and the feelings that it brings up can show up not only on the anniversary of a traumatic event but also whenever other milestone events crop up. I know that there will be significant moments in my life that will also trigger these feelings for me. I know this and I accept it.
On this anniversary, and the days leading up to it, I was not okay. I knew that I wouldn’t be and accepted that this was going to be a hard time for myself and my family members.
So I dug into my toolbox and I pulled out all of my best coping strategies and I navigated my way through.
Coping With What Is
I took some breaks from social media, I turned my phone off when I needed to disconnect, and as I am quarantining with my mom, I spent some time with her.
What did this look like? Well for me, lots of episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (Dean is officially the worst – I can’t believe I didn’t see this before), copious amounts of chocolate, some meditating, and an appointment with my social worker. I also spent some time creating new upcoming content to share with all of you.
I took the time that I needed and now I’m back.
Because it’s okay to not be okay. And it’s okay to take breaks and to rest when you need to.
Put Yourself First
As I like to remind my students if our cup is empty we don’t have anything to give others to help fill their cup.
Fill your cup.
Another way of thinking about this is like how on an airplane you are reminded that in an event of an emergency to put your air mask on first.
Put on your air mask.
Take care of yourself first so that you can be there for others in whatever way works for you.
My practice helps me to recognize when I need to put my mask on. It’s helped me to create (and just as importantly maintain) boundaries. It’s given me the strength to say no. Which is a complete sentence. No. See 😉
Learn how to fill your cup inside of my FREE group coaching program that I am running right now.