Why you might be experiencing what psychologists call 'the anniversary effect' -- and what to do about it

If you're feeling extra heavy one year after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, you might be experiencing what psychologists call "the anniversary effect."

(CNN)It's been one year since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. That's 365 days, give or take, since we've hugged our friends, visited our relatives, gone to the movies or traveled to a faraway place without worrying about the consequences. Twelve months since we last shook a colleague's hand, heard the roar of a crowd or left the house without needing a mask. A full orbit around the sun since we've been able to fully relax.

If the weight of all of those things is taking an extra toll on you lately, you're not alone.
You might be experiencing what psychologists call "the anniversary effect." As therapist and counselor Susan Harrington explains, our bodies and brains store painful memories that can be triggered by certain dates or seasons, such as the death date of a loved one, the annual reminder of a serious diagnosis, or, perhaps, the one-year anniversary of a pandemic.