Some people may consider this phrase a bit of a cliché in December. It’s a phrase apparently mentioned over 365 times in the Bible and used by Christians to remember that God is on their side.

Whatever your faith or belief, fear, apprehension, nervousness, however you choose to describe it, is an emotion that has been felt by many of us to some degree during the last 12 months. Sometimes we even feel anxious (guilty) because we haven’t been too badly affected.

For most of us the troubles of the last year are very real and personal; our health and the health of our family, friends, and neighbours, of financial changes, of a housing situation, and of the many other things going on in the world.

These are challenging times which can be made worse when as individuals, we sometimes feel powerless to make any significant and effective change. Nevertheless, if you are reading this it means you are here and despite the last 12 months you are still interested in supporting meaningful care for older people. That calls for a celebration – at the very least a pat on the back that, whatever your personal strategy, you came through.

We all have some means of coping but, when times feel tough, it can be difficult to remember what it is that helps us feel strong again. Some years ago, I spent some time with people who really were at a loss to find their personal copying strategies.

One of the most positive strategies I heard was to write down some helpful messages to ourselves.  Carry the messages in our wallet or keep a message in our pocket and hold it when anxiety strikes. Stick the message on a wall at home or the bedside cabinet, on the fridge or on the dashboard. Messages that remind us of the things we love:

Write names of loved ones

Sing that loved song

Stop for a walk in the park

Visit the art gallery and find the favourite picture

Repeat the poem

Make the phone call

Put on your make up

Words are powerful and can provide hope for the future when everything becomes too much.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

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Associate Consultant and Trainer

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