Capturing HOPE in 2021

January 6, 2021

Happy New Year! So many are happy that 2020 is finally over! And we are glad to move beyond the hard parts of 2020 – but there were some good things that happened too. We all need to capture and maintain hope in 2021.

COVID has been really HARD – and our kids are masterful hand washers now, and I bet we’ll see fewer nose pickers in the future!

Virtual learning is HARD – and we have gotten to know our families in new and interesting ways. Who would have ever guessed that we would have learned that our kids would eat bologna and peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast when forced to fend for themselves on busy mornings? Gross!

Missing our friends is HARD – and we have gotten amazingly creative at online play-dating. A few weeks ago a family we know had a virtual pizza and a movie party all from one family’s living room with Dominos delivering to each house at the same time, then the movie shared on one family’s Zoom account. Giggles and pepperoni had by all.

None of this is easy. And it isn’t ending anytime soon. And it is hard. And we have HOPE that we will get through it. That’s why we wrote this month about HOPE. The kind of hope that is bigger than just HOPE. But encompasses more: H = Healing. O = Optimism. P = Purpose. E = Expectations. So take some H.O.P.E. from some of our clinicians into 2021. We have some to spare. Happy New Year.

Dr. Shekila Melchior, LPC- TN, Resident in Counseling

Reasonable Expectations: The year 2020 shattered many hopeful expectations leading us to enter into 2021 with trepidation and hesitancy. My hope for us all in 2021 is to establish reasonable expectations.

Often times we become anxious or down trodden by thwarted goals and minimal accomplishments. What a frustrating experience to have as we go from one month to the next. This is a season of the PRESENT. To have a renewed H.O.P.E. daily or weekly so that we look back each month and see the small moments as wonderful accomplishments.

Rebecca Staines, School/Licensed Professional Counselor

As we begin this new year, it is important to find ways to be hopeful. This could be a great time to reflect and ask yourself “What does being hopeful look like for you and your family?” One thing this past year has certainly taught me is that it is okay to have more questions than answers. So, in line with this theme I have outlined some questions that may bring about important conversations with yourself and your family:


How can you heal from the trauma and loss of this past year? Find some ways to process what you have lost and allow yourself to mourn that loss.


What are some things to be positive about and grateful for? Consider creating a time and space with your family to practice gratitude in some way.


What will be your purpose for this next year? Are you going to set better boundaries at work? Have a reset on technology use at home? Reconnect with family and friends? Find something that speaks to you and your needs during this time.


Although there are some changes and improvements on the horizon, how might we have to alter some of our expectations for this upcoming year? Is it realistic to believe that everything is going to completely go back to “normal?”

This past year has challenged us all in ways we may have never expected, however, with that challenge has also come gained strength and knowledge of what we are all truly capable of overcoming. “Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway.” Give yourself credit for getting through this year – and know that you and your family have survived!

Kasey Cain, Licensed Professional Counselor 

In our final team meeting of the year 2020, The Wise Family Team shared our “Roses and Thorns.” For me, it was easy to identify the thorns, those pain points that have brought tears to my eyes and aching to my heart throughout the year. 2020 has been a year of thorns. However, I was also able to identify roses – moments of laughter, connection, and feelings of success and resilience. I added to the discussion the idea of looking for the “Buds” – the newly formed flower, not yet bloomed, but full of possibilities.

In that same meeting, the team landed on the theme of H.O.P.E. (Healing, Optimism, Purpose, and Expectations) for this blog post that will ring in the new year. To me, H.O.P.E. is a “bud.” Hope contains elements of trust, anticipation, and desire for certain things to happen. Being hopeful does not mean you have to be toxically positive and only exhibit a positive mindset. Instead, hope allows for reflection on the past, both positive and negative experiences, to work toward healing.

Hope carries with it an optimism that fewer challenging times will arrive. Although feeling hopeful is not simply magic (although the Potterhead in me wishes it was). Hope requires having a purpose, or goal, and expectations. If I want something to happen in 2021, what role do I play in making it happen?

2021 will bring with us Roses, Buds, and Thorns. Remember, though, it also comes with H.O.P.E. Best wishes for a healthy New Year.

Tati Hernandez, Licensed Professional Counselor 

After the uncertain and difficult year that was 2020, the last thing that any of us need is to put more pressure on ourselves in 2021. A new year is here, but that does not mean that everyone is or needs to be on the same timeline for healing and growth. It’s truly okay to give yourself some grace as you transition into a new year, whether it looks the same, different, or something in between.

I’m not sure what this year will bring, but I’d like to invite you to be curious about H.O.P.E.

  • What would a healing space look like for you?
  • What are things that inspire optimism within you and for those around you?
  • What can you be more intentional about during your every day life?
  • Are the expectations that you have for yourself realistic?

As you work your way through this new year, I hope that you give yourself the acknowledgement that you deserve for making it through 2020. You are still here and you can do hard things. You are resilient!

Maintain your H.O.P.E. this year! We are all in this together!

Until next time, Be Wise.