Anniversaries of major events and natural disasters are important milestones in the emotional journey of communities that were affected and can bring up a range of feelings.

First of all, the experience of losing your home and possessions can be incredibly traumatic and leave lasting emotional scars. Even after a year has passed, the memory of the event may still be vivid and overwhelming. It's normal to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, frustration, and anxiety. You might be struggling to come to terms with the loss and wondering how to move on.

Remember, if you need support or just someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available to chat at any time.

Coping one year later

You may never be 'OK' with what happened, but there are some strategies you can try which might alleviate some of the hurt you might be feeling.

1. Find ways to commemorate the occasion and honour the people affected by the disaster. This might mean organising a memorial service or vigil to remember those who lost their lives, or holding a community event to celebrate the resilience and strength of the local community.

2. Reach out to others who have gone through similar experiences. There are likely to be many people in your community who were also affected by the event and who are still struggling to recover. By connecting with others and sharing your stories, you can build a sense of solidarity and support that can help you feel less alone.

3. Take care of yourself during this time. This might mean seeking out professional counselling or therapy to help you process your emotions and develop coping strategies. It might also mean finding ways to stay physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, as this can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Children's mental well-being on anniversaries

Children may react to the anniversary of a traumatic event in a variety of ways, depending on their age and developmental level. At anniversary times children can become anxious, upset, withdrawn or angry without realising what the feelings are about. Young children might also show signs of reluctance to sleep alone, be away from parents and worry for the safety of loved ones. Look out for any of these signs and talk with your child about what you are observing.

It is not uncommon for children to feel generally more anxious and not link it to the trigger of the anniversary. By understanding children’s specific traumatic reminders or triggers and their personal feelings, fears and concerns, adults may be able to help them to feel more settled, react less strongly and to cope more comfortably.

Finally, it's important to remember that healing takes time. You might not feel completely back to your old self after just one year, and that's okay. Be patient with yourself and take things one day at a time. With time and support, you can find a way to move forward and create a new sense of normalcy in your life.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: ANU, Good Grief, Griefline.

Image credit: Jack Sparrow, Pexels.

All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

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