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  • Jyoti Grewal

Hope is the thing with wings...

I took a Mental Health First Aid course last year. I learned that depression was a prolonged feeling of hopelessness that lasted two weeks or more. Today, my students expressed feeling hopeless as the Alberta premier announced more lockdowns due to the spread of COVID-19. I started thinking about how one can have hope when the world seems so hopeless at times. My thoughts were interrupted by our 9-year-old daughter asking how many days she had left until she got a pizza lunch for school. After I told her, she skipped away happily singing to herself. It suddenly hit me. My kiddo might have the answer to feeling hopeless. You see, this child is ALWAYS looking forward to something. Whether it’s how many days until she gets to see a new movie on Netflix or when she gets to have a long weekend, my daughter has made a system of hope for herself. The dictionary definition of hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”. If we look forward to something in our lives, we stop focusing on the regrets and pain of the past and our anxiety about what is happening around us. It also puts a positive spin on worries about the future as now you anticipate it with excitement. Perhaps hope can be this simple. Let’s start finding things to look forward to. Maybe it’s making a favorite recipe for dinner, trying a new walking trail, reading a good book or having a cozy conversation with an old friend. Relishing the everyday can bring us joy and that is the antidote to hopelessness.

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