Mental health struggles intensify as the pandemic continues on

Two months ago, before we heard anything about the Omicron variant there was a feeling of hope, that we were turning a corner. But that feeling of hope has turned into hopelessness for many.

Linda and Colin Myrholm go to the dog park a lot. It’s a break from the mundane the pandemic has created for the couple.

“You get used to being indoors or coming to the park,” Linda said.

“It’s very muted, everything you do is very muted. You have to worry about the numbers, who has been vaccinated or not.”

Colin said he has “not been doing too good.”

“It’s been a tough couple of years,” he added.

Read more: What masks work best against Omicron? Experts are divided, but most say ditch cloth masks

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It doesn’t seem to be getting much easier. Vaccines gave many people hope the pandemic was turning a corner, but now many people feel apathetic.

Registered Psychologist Aimee Reimer said this uncertainty is causing a huge mental burden.

Click to play video: 'Ask the Expert: Managing your mental health through the holidays' Ask the Expert: Managing your mental health through the holidays

Ask the Expert: Managing your mental health through the holidays

“We notice an increase in stress, we notice an increase in symptoms of anxiety because it’s thing after thing, that is out of our control, and that can often lead to symptoms of depression in people as well,” Reimer said.

Reimer said not being able to plan ahead is linked to anxiety.

Read more: Quebec shutting down schools, bars, gyms as COVID-19 cases soar

She said there are ways to alleviate pressure: by being gentle with yourself and making space for those feelings.

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“If there is some space to actually show some compassion with yourself and (acknowledge) that this a really difficult time.”

Read more: Omicron FAQ: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 variant

Another tip she suggests as the future is uncertain once again is to manage expectations.

This is some advice the Myrholms are taking while trying to get through the holidays.

“We have planned as far ahead as New Year’s Eve for dinner — that’s about the farthest range of plans we have,” Linda said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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