Facing an Anniversary of a Traumatic Event
Do you experience anxiety, depression, or sadness during the anniversary of a personal loss or traumatic event?
This is an "anniversary effect" around the date or season when a loved one passed, an assault occurred, or an accident happened. Local or national tragedies may also prompt anniversary effects. As an employee, you may find it challenging to work or you may lack the motivation to complete your assignments during such a time.
If you experience a difficult time when a painful anniversary comes around, ease your emotional distress with an action plan: 1) Don’t deny or ignore the upcoming date of the event in an attempt to suppress a reaction to it. 2) Identify relationships that feel supportive, and plan to socialize with these people during this time. 3) Consider engaging in a symbolic gesture of healing—for example, planting a tree or adding a special plant to a garden—if a significant personal loss, like that of a loved one, occurred. 4) Avoid news stories during the anniversary period that can prompt unnecessary flashbacks or feelings of reliving the event or incident. 5) Take care of yourself. Make healthful decisions, and do some self-nurturing during the period of the anniversary to help you ensure a proper diet, sleep and rest, stress management, and leisure time. 6) Visit your EAP for guidance on implementing any of these tips, self-care strategies, and other support you might need.
Keith Stein |
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