Has anyone taken the time to commemorate the first case of COVID arriving in our country? Our state? Whether you realize it or not, you probably have.

We commemorate traumatic events without knowing it at times: we get emotional out of “nowhere,” we feel tired, tense or even angry and easily overwhelmed even in jobs we typically feel good at.

At this time-maybe more than ever—we may feel uncertain about how to manage all the ongoing challenges while we are coping with the aftermath of a year of chronic stress.

Actually, we’re in the aftermath and the ongoing swamp of chronic stress because those who have been hospitalized and increasingly unwell are transitioning from hospitals to our sites. There is good reason we are not feeling “okay.” But we will be.

While you’re noticing your own signs of stress and depletion, take a moment to actually pause and acknowledge the anniversary of COVID’s unwelcomed arrival.

Document or talk about all you have learned since the pandemic began. Know that you are making a difference for yourself, your family and your residents when you pause to share your experiences with appropriate others.

It is a great risk to us to actually forget where we’ve been, even though we may want to.

Our natural reaction to trauma is to be resilient. That can best happen when we honor the whole experience rather than avoiding how it makes us feel.