NEW YORK — The anniversary of 9/11 is a very difficult day for many New Yorkers, and the pandemic has likely amplified the magnitude of the emotions many of us feel. Making matters worse, hugs and other acts of physical comfort may not be possible right now.
Amy Arvary, a Master Clinical Hypnotherapist, spoke with NY1’s Roma Torre and acknowledged that all aspects of life have changed, “and that includes how we mourn, how we celebrate, how we move through our regular day,” she said.
Arvary said an event like the anniversary can have an effect on the high state of anxiety, stress and depression that people are already experiencing.
She said having strategies on hand can help you cope with the added pain surfacing in these times, and recommended the following methods:
Practice the Pause- pausing before any kind of reaction helps to not escalate the negative feelings
Use guided meditation/hypnosis to provide your mind moments of peace and even joy
Try to incorporate things that make you physically smile during the day
Become aware of your body’s physical response to stress (tightness in the stomach, chest or head, for example) and use that as an alarm to distract your thinking
Practice gratitude. It is difficult to feel stress or fear when feeling grateful. Find whatever it may be and practice that feeling throughout your day
Arvary also spoke about the difficulty of talking to children about 9/11, saying it’s important to be intentional about what kind of story you want to tell.
“When we use words that are scary and harmful and threatening, like we may have felt during that experience, then we are passing that experience onto our children,” she said.
Arvary recommends parents include words of hope, and find a different perspective to share.
If you are struggling with mental health, you can call the city’s free, confidential help line at 1-888-NYC-WELL.