Arsenal of Solutions

When someone I know or care for is upset ,or needs cheering up, I have an arsenal of alternative strategies to employ to try to improve things for them :

  1. At the most basic level, I offer them a hug if they are next to me. That close physical contact makes you feel more connected and brings warmth and some physical strength. It is a powerful gesture. Joshua is a great hugger, he offers them to people that he cares about, particularly when he first sees them. While I am hugging, I am showing that I care and hopefully, some of my positivity will rub off.
  2. My next approach would be to bake for them and produce a cake to try to cheer them up. When a friend hurt herself in an accident, I dropped some shortbread off at her house early the morning after I found out. I met a lady earlier this year who has always jogged or walked up our lane and she told me that her husband had liver cancer and he was refusing to eat. I made him a birthday cake in March and have left some home-baking outside for her to collect when she walks past. Something sweet usually helps most situations I find and I am trying to show that I care, by taking time out to bake them something special. I rarely arrive somewhere without a tin of baked goods. I usually bake for the Mermaids, so that we can share a treat after a sea swim. I enjoyed trying out a new gluten free brownie recipe when I went to see my first best friend in Scotland last week. I love to see the smile that home baking brings to people’s faces. At this time of year, I also have homegrown vegetables to share, so that is a healthier option. I took some ginger cake and some french beans to my ex-boss yesterday and he seemed pleased.
  3. We are fortunate enough to have a holiday cottage and it is so peaceful, set in stunning countryside so I have always found that it is good to restore the soul and often to escape the realities of ‘real life’. I have recently invited friends to stay who are having difficult times in their lives and so they need to get away, and leave their problems behind for a while, for a variety of reasons including a difficult divorce, redundancy, illness and mental health struggles. In these situations, often having a short break to look forward to seems to help. It makes me happy that I can make a friend in need, happy too with something so simple. We are not staying there all of the time, so if we do not wish to go at a particular time, I would rather send someone who will benefit from its restorative powers, than it standing empty.
  4. In Scotland last week, I had a revelation that I have a fourth strategy up my sleeve that I did not realise before : I learnt that Joshua is a tonic too. I could see in front of my eyes that his big smile also had an impact. His presence made people feel good. I wonder if on some level, people see that Joshua still smiles and hugs through all of his difficulties, so that rubs off a bit on them. Or perhaps he simply distracts people for a while from their own issues and worries, but I could see him lift them up before my eyes. His bear hugs are powerful too. So Joshua is another resource that I can add to my list now.

Often it is possible to feel helpless when people that you care about are struggling. But knowing that I have this arsenal of options at my disposal, gives me a range of alternative things to try and I will apply whichever option seems the most appropriate. I am delighted that now I have discovered that Joshua is one of my potential solutions, I have four alternatives to choose from.

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