Taking Care of Yourself This Anzac Day
This year’s traditional day to remember the service and sacrifice of members of the Australian Defence Force will be our second during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our first where risks of community transmission may be concerning to people at risk.
There are where you can still observe the special day that was originally a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey in 1915 – World War One.
ANZAC Day, on 25th April, is a tradition that still touches the lives of every Australian through a public holiday, community and school commemorations, media coverage and gatherings at dawn to honour those who gave their lives for an ideal.
ANZAC is an acronym that stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps, the name given to the troops raised by our two countries to aid the British Empire. Throughout the war, these ‘Diggers’ and ‘Kiwis’ lived, fought and died alongside each other, creating an enduring bond between the two nations.
Some Diggers still have firsthand experience of the landings at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles Strait on 25th April 1915. On this day, ANZAC troops were committed to their first major action of the war, and though the campaign would ultimately prove a bloody failure and leave more than 8,000 Australians dead, it marked the beginning of the Anzac legend.
This year, social distancing to ‘slow the spread’ is factor in your decision to take part. Restrictions don’t mean you have to miss out. There are of commemorations and to explore. There are also numerous websites to find special photos and stories, such as the ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee’s
Tips for This Year’s Special Commemoration
This ANZAC Day will be different. Losing the usual traditions might make you or your family member feel anxious, sad or angry. This is distressing but normal.
Perhaps plan for the day to include time for reflection, connection, and enjoyment. You can still spend time with people you care about through video – such as FaceTime, Zoom, Skype – social media or telephone.
If you need help doing this, ask someone to help you to connect with others on the day, or to find time alone.
You can watch the national ceremony, live on the ABC or later on ABC iView.
You might also like to commemorate a different kind of dawn service by observing a minute’s silence on your driveway, balcony or common living area at 6am.
Try to do at least one enjoyable activity that helps you to remember the day’s special meaning, and if you’re in a strong emotional position, check in on others who are feeling vulnerable or sad.
You could consider starting a new tradition, like planting a tree or a garden, baking Anzac biscuits for neighbours, or creating a new annual family challenge.
There is a for anyone keen to read personal stories or learn more, including a of the Shrine of Remembrance.
Be Alert for Mental Health Issues
ANZAC Day might bring on strong emotions, especially if you or a family member is feeling emotional distress because of the impact of Coronavirus on many aspects of our lives.
Watch out for feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression at a time when feelings are already heightened for many veterans. Drinking too much alcohol is likely to increase these emotions.
Veterans who normally look forward to reconnecting with others may find themselves feeling confused, disconnected and alone. Veterans who usually choose to mark the day in reflective solitude may discover it difficult to find when self-isolating in their residence. Open Arms on phone 1800 011 046 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 are there if you need help.