Written by : Helene Lerner 

6 Strategies for Holding on to Hope

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been an easy time for many of us. Stay-at-home orders, CDC guidelines, news hysteria and working from home transitions have left us unsure, worried and simply—unhappy. Every day, our plans, dreams, and hopes are being relegated to the future.

It’s as if the rug of life has been pulled out from under us.

So, how can we hold on to hope when there is no clear path forward or even a resolution in sight to the health crisis the world now faces? Well, that is the $64,000 question! In the spirit of inspiring hope and courage in each one of us, I offer strategies that may be useful during this unprecedented time.

Accept your feelings (don’t deny them).

It’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be frustrated—and it is definitely OK to be fearful. But these are not all of the feelings available to you. Reach deeper. Reach for your Strength. It is there and can ground you in this time of extreme change.

The strongest part of you knows that this will pass. It’s important to stop, take a deep breath, accept what you cannot control and remember to move forward.

Be mindful of what you listen to.

Although it’s important to stay informed, this is not the time to keep up with the negativity that encompasses us in today’s news and media. This is a time for focusing on you. Allow those in your inner circle, and those who are positive, to surround you and to remind you that we are not alone in this. We can get through it together.

So, turn off that TV, and instead, stay connected with your friends and family. Whether it’s with a quick call, or a video chat, just listening to the voices of those close to us can guide us toward hope and resiliency.

Be clear about how you are changing (for the better).

This is an incredible opportunity to take that extra time we have suddenly been allotted to reflect and learn. In what ways are you appreciating the little things more? Talking with others you haven’t had the chance to for quite some time? Realizing some of the things you have been missing, some of the things that are really important for you?

Ask yourself what it is that you can do with your time now—refocusing on your priorities and acting accordingly.

Reaffirm your commitment to self-care.

The human spirit is resilient. Look at how quickly we have all transitioned our work arrangements, our lifestyles, our family care. Necessity demands swift action. Realize that your desire to live healthy is greater than any act of self-sabotage. What are the things that make you joyous?

Incorporate these acts at least once into your daily routine. Listen to your spirit, take a walk, meditate, video chat a friend, or simply just enjoy the present moment.

Remember the children.

Children continue to play, laugh, and find joy in life. Take a good look in the mirror and get in touch with the child in you. Put your arms around that child. Hug yourself like you have never been hugged before. You deserve it!

Tell yourself, “Good job, I’m proud of you.” You’ve been through so much in the last few months, and you are making it.

Hope for the better.

When all is said and done, the human mind and spirit is remarkable. It is sustaining. What will the “new normal” look like? We just don’t know, but you know what we do know? We know that we will find a way to make it work, and we will make it a little better than it was before.

“Help me let go of the fight to control things and let me accept them as they are.”
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