COLUMN: The importance of treating yourself gently

‘Six months into this pandemic and I am starting to struggle. I am starting to be weary’

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

When the majority of the world greeted 2020 10 months ago it was with much optimism.

We were entering a new decade full of hope…unfortunately that hope was short-lived. Word of the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores by the end of January, and by the middle of March the world was paralyzed with a lockdown.

Six months later, and while the lockdowns have mainly lifted, the world is still far from where it was.

The risk of the illness is still ever present, and the wearing of masks has become a new normal.

Thanks to the constant stress of the pandemic, even those without a predisposition to anxiety or depression have begun to suffer from the effects of those illnesses. For those who’ve already struggled with mental illness, the extra challenges of the pandemic have not made things any easier.

I managed to ride out the opening phases of the pandemic fairly well, thanks to positive supports in my life.

My anxiety and stress didn’t really seem to increase during the beginning of the trying times, but more like the stress level of everyone else in the world increased to match mine.

Six months into things and it started to change.

The fall season is never my best time of year, and 2020 is no exception. I carry many ghosts from this time of year in my past life as a first responder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder still lingers, loosening its grip on me but never quite completely letting go.

Six months into this pandemic and I am starting to struggle. I am starting to be weary.

It’s neither flaw nor weakness causing me to feel this way. It just is. It doesn’t matter how I feel, what matters is what I do about it. That’s all any of us can control.

So, what does that mean for me?

It means I’m going to be extra gentle with myself.

It means I’m going to seek out my supports in the community. It means I’m going to allow myself time for rest and recovery.

We are dealing with events unprecedented in our times, which are bound to cause stress to anyone.

Treat yourself gently and know that just like any other major events in our past, we will get through this.

If you are struggling with your mental health, contact 811 or the provincial mental health hotline at (877)303-2642, or in an emergency dial 911.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Online sessions help participants improve heart health

Heart Wise offers effective strategies to manage cholesterol and blood pressure

Moonrise over the Castor grain elevator, a part of the Castor & District Museum, on Aug. 27th, 2020. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor Municipal Council approves funding of Castor Museum Project

Total cost for the project is estimated at just under $2,000

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

(The Canadian Press)
Alberta-raised Cree actor lands role in Disney’s live-action ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’

Tiger Lily is featured in Disney’s 1953 animated “Peter Pan” film

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

Pipeline division owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. will now be required to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat,

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Alberta Premier Jason Kenny and government house leader Jason Nixon chat before the speech from the throne delivered in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Alberta politicians are to return to the legislature Tuesday with a plan to discuss up to 20 new bills — many of which are focused on the province’s economic recovery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature to resume Tuesday; focus to be on economic recovery

Opposition house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP will focus on holding Premier Jason Kenney

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Executive Director of Agape Kate Halas (left) receives $1000 from Sgt. Eric Christensen (right) on behalf of Agape. Photo/ Shaela Dansereau.
Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer wins provincial award; gives back to Wetaskiwin community

Eric Christensen has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Most Read