As we usher in 2021, our wish is for a brighter year. Hope is a four-letter word. It is the spirit that will guide and sustain us as we begin making plans and thinking ahead. Hope, according to the Oxford Dictionary, encompasses expectations for the future along with feelings of trust. Hope is the four-letter word we need now more than ever. There are many four-letter words we are admonished to use, hope is the four-letter word critical to mental well being
A Four-Letter Word: Hope is…
Hope is the four-letter word that keeps us getting up in the morning, caring for ourselves and others. Hope is the optimism needed to make it through challenges, conflicts, loss, and hard times; despite hardship, we anticipate a brighter outcome. Resilient individuals, tend to hope more. They anticipate current challenges becoming lighter, and looking forward to the return of “brightness.”
Hope is individual; each of us has our own wishes and dreams. Some of these may be more realistic than others, yet without hope our existence is darker. Hope must be nurtured and cultivated. It fosters our resilience and efforts to move forward, the sunshine for our soul.
What are you hoping for?
This is not the time to be passive; it’s the time to start forming the vision for your future. We cannot change the past; it shaped us. Yet we can dream and plan for how we would like our future to unfold. Hope comes from our soul and it is the second chance we have to reshape our future.
It’s not a solo act
Hardships and challenges are made lighter when shared! Now more so than ever isolation and loneliness are crushing hope. Nurture old and forgotten acquaintances; cultivate new friendships and relationships, to provide you with that comforting wrap that reminds you that you are not alone. Unfortunately, these days, personal meetings are discouraged. If video communication is not your style, go back to the basics with calls, cards, and letters. Take some action, reach out, and “touch” another person, it favorably impacts both of you.
Caregiver’s Hope: It’s Not a Four-Letter Word
The challenges of caregiving can be daunting. Caregiving tasks and responsibilities often increase as our loved ones decline. Many caregivers wish for their loved ones to be fully “restored.” Unfortunately, that is not a realistic hope.
Dealing with caregiving with physical distancing and fear of COVID is making life tougher. Focus on the small positives of the day, the small unexpected things that brought a smile to your face. Engage in something you may not have expected to master. Perform an act of kindness; brighten the day for someone else.
Cultivate Hope: The Survival Plan
- Write about your feelings, wishes, and hopes for the future
- Create a routine that involves communicating with others
- Perform a daily act of kindness for (send a note, do a chore, make a call) for others, and hopefully soon that will include a personal visit
- Engage in a hobby, listen to music, read, pray, paint, knit, work on a puzzle or game
- Take a free educational course on-line
- Find something to laugh about
- Do something nice for yourself each and every day!
Hope like love, is a four letter word