Have you ever had any unhappy anniversaries? Many times there will be painful events in life that get triggered each year by the date or season that they originally happened.

Have you ever notice yourself to be in a funk and feeling down for no apparent reason and don’t know why? If so, you may be experiencing an unhappy anniversary.

It’s almost like muscle memory. Sadness and grief can overwhelm and the memories flood in. Thoughts reminisce and tend to question “If only” or “What if?”

I’ve had some unhappy anniversaries for sure. Miscarriages, painful events, and heart aches that are associated with dates and times of the year in my brain. The sadness and grief will seep into life and trigger emotions and memories.

Whether it’s a death of a loved one, a traumatic event, a painful loss, or an old wound, if you have some unhappy anniversaries, here’s some thoughts to help you:

Don’t be afraid of it

Many people want to avoid pain. But what usually happens when people are anticipating an unhappy anniversary? They get anxious. Being afraid of it will only make it worse. Instead try to embrace it, and create a coping plan for that day.

Make a plan

When you know a hard time is on the horizon, it’s good to make a coping skills plan to help you walk through the season without being too derailed. Whether it’s boosting up your self-care, talking to your therapist, gathering with your safe support system, or taking the day off, each of these things can be helpful for you to process all the emotions.

Don’t stuff your pain

Stuffing the pain will only make it grow more. When we bury things instead of processing them, remember that it will often come back to haunt you and come out in even more intense ways. Some people get sick, some are extremely irritable or blow up on those around them. Others can fall into a deep depression. It’s better to feel the emotions as they hit you and not push them away.

Lean on a trusted someone

Having a person or group of people in your life that you trust is important for many reasons, not just grief. When you are anticipating an unhappy anniversary, be sure to let them know so they can love on you, pray for you, or be part of your plan for that day.

Memorialize and remember

Each painful heart ache is part of our story. It has impacted our lives in hard ways, but also possibly good ways. It can be powerful to use an unhappy anniversary to be thankful for the pain and the growth you’ve experienced for it. Don’t forget to memorialize and remember the good things while feeling the ache of the memory or loss.

Do you know when some of your unhappy anniversaries are?