COLUMN: It is always darkest before the dawn

‘Everything going on in the world is enough to stress anyone out’

Kevin Sabo

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

To say that the last year has been a challenge for many is an understatement.

With the ever-changing whirlwind of health restrictions placed on day-to-day operations of businesses in the province, not one person in Alberta has remained unaffected to some extent or other.

The restrictions have affected many facets of our lives, even something as simple as running to the store to grab a carton of milk.

I know the mental health of many people has suffered during this time. To be honest, I’m amazed that my already questionable-at-times mental health hasn’t taken a bigger hit due to the stress and uncertainty of everything going on in the world.

There are a few reasons, I believe, why I haven’t struggled as much with my mental health during these unprecedented times.

First, while most of my work has been driven online, I’m still keeping myself busy as a correspondent for the Castor Advance and the Stettler Independent.

Secondly, I’ve been continuing my studies, the most recent of which I completed at the end of February. Since the courses were all online anyways, there was no change there.

The common thing tying both of these things together is the fact that I’ve been keeping my mind active. I haven’t been letting myself fall into the anxiety trap, which is so easy to do.

I know it’s easier said than done, and I am fortunate that I’ve been able to keep myself active when so much has been shut down. I know mental health issues have become an added symptom of this ongoing pandemic. I know that people are ready for it to be over.

With the vaccines being rolled out, I truly believe that the end is on sight, but we still have a way to go before we can cross the finish line, so I would like to challenge everyone to find new ways to keep your mind active.

Read a book. Take an online course. Find ways to get your mind off the overwhelming oppression of the world we find ourselves in.

There is a saying that, “It is always darkest before dawn.”

Over the past year, since the world changed, seemingly overnight, we have been struggling with the darkness of the pandemic, but with the vaccines here I feel that the light of dawn is on the way.

Everything going on in the world is enough to stress anyone out.

Adding pre-existing mental illness into things is a recipe for disaster, but you don’t have to walk this path alone. There is help out there. The province wide suicide hotline can be reached at 1-877-303-2642. In case of imminent threat of harm, help can be reached by calling 911.