To deal with despair, create hope. According to one dictionary, despair is one or more of the following:
- loss of hope or hopelessness
- something causes hopelessness
- to lose, give up, or be without hope
- to give up hope of
It is notable that each definition contains the word—hope. When people are young, many of them have a lot of hope for the future. They dream about what life will be like when they become adults. They think about what they would like to do for a career, whether they would like to get married, and if they would like to have children someday.
But as people get older and move into their retirement years, they begin to slow down. Some have mobility or cognitive skills, but others find it is their hope that shrinks. They start to have a difficult time dreaming about the future. Many older people don’t dream at all. They simply enter a world of stagnation. Each day is the same as the next and the ambition they had a decade or more ago has left them.
Despair can creep into a person’s life if any of the following factors are present:
- They have lost loved ones they used to dream with.
- There are physical issues that have made it difficult to do the things they used to do and enjoy
- Depression makes it difficult for them to see the good around them and their true abilities.
- They have convinced themselves that the future is bleak and there is nothing they can do about it.
But no matter what happens to you or what your future may seem like, there is hope.
As long as you are living, there is hope for you. There’s hope for your mental, physical, and emotional health. You have great strength. You’ve proven that to yourself over the years with everything you’ve been through. Just because you are many years older, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost that strength. You may not feel it right now, but you can feel it again. Don’t allow your beliefs to cloud your future.
How to Deal with Despair
The first step in dealing with despair is acknowledging it. Own the feeling because facing it is the only way you can start to change it.
With the label of despair, begin to come up with the reasons for it. It doesn’t matter what those reasons are, as small or large as they are, write them down.
Next, vocalize the reason and contradict it. For example, you may not be able to walk a far distance, and that may be one of your reasons for despair. Say out loud, “Despite not being able to walk a far distance, I am still able to do many things sitting down. What would I like to do from the comfort of my home?”
Just by saying this to yourself, you may start to feel a glimmer of hope. You may not be able to walk far, but you CAN do things from your home or from another place where you don’t have to walk a long way. What can you do? Think about it. Give yourself the opportunity to think of possibilities – those possibilities are your hope.
Do this for every reason you’ve written down. Then, it’s time to take action. The answers to those questions you’ve asked yourself should be taken seriously and used. To start, pick one – the easiest one. When you accomplish it, you’ll start to feel more powerful to attack the rest of them.
Take a Minute to Feel Hope
Hope is a real feeling. Feel the excitement, the openness, and sheer joy that comes from it. You can have that back. If you’re struggling with bringing that part of yourself back, contact me. I’m a personal consultant that helps people just like you start to see the hope in life again, no matter what stage you are in. Let me help you bring your old self back, so you can live a life of joy and optimism again.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.