How to Build Hope in 2021: Lessons from an Educator and a Therapist

Though it can feel intangible and complex, how can we encourage others and ourselves to build hope this year?

By Momentous Institute | Aug 04, 2021
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At Momentous Institute, educators and therapists agree that hope is crucial for all children and families. What exactly is hope? In its most basic definition, hope is a “feeling of expectation or desire to see something happen.” Though it can feel intangible and complex, how can we encourage others and ourselves to build hope this year?

To shed light on the answer, Momentous Institute’s first-grade teacher Claudia Rojas and Huddle Up group leader Diana Rodriguez offered their insights.

1. Give yourself permission to hope

Often, children and families face a variety of obstacles when they step into classrooms or therapeutic sessions. Some constantly battle an inner voice that has developed from adverse experiences in their lives. Others face systemic barriers in lack of opportunities, limitations for higher education or other dreams. Though hope is a choice to be vulnerable, it is also a choice to be courageous.

2. Create an internal toolbox

When challenges arise, children and families are often told to access their inner toolbox. For some, the tool of choice is an affirmation: a say it out loud repetition of truths about their value and importance. Others may prefer something quieter, using the tool of meditation to clear the mind and focus their breathing. Another tool is a simple go-to question, such as “Is this belief I have a fact, or an opinion from someone in my history?”

3. Get outdoors and clear the mind

In a society full of technology and information overload, moving outdoors to experience nature can be helpful. The goal is to clear the mind and allow expectations and desires to surface. Go for a walk, enjoy a picnic, or just be still and listen to nature’s sounds. Find beauty when the weather is perfect or enjoy a light rain.

4. Celebrate growth

Building hope takes time and it’s important to celebrate progress along the way. When students or clients become discouraged, teachers and clinicians will often encourage them by saying, “I know you’re struggling right now, but can you remember what was difficult for you last month?” In answering this question, children often realize how much they have grown, which feeds hope!

Momentous Institute believes hope is possible for everyone. We are excited to see how these tools help others to build hope in 2021!