Thanks for helping father-in-law

We would like to thank all the wonderful people who stopped to help my 91 year old father-in-law, Alan Dennett, on the evening of November 2 after a fall in the street. The neighbours who brought out blankets and pillows, the person who called the ambulance, the gentlemen who guarded the unlocked house until the police arrived, thank you all so much. We don’t know the names of many of you but we do know some of you were at Altrincham football club that evening.

Dad is home from hospital, not quite his old self, but getting there & improving daily. Neighbours have been so kind, certainly going above and beyond, I won’t embarrass them by naming them, but they will know who they are.

Human kindness and compassion were certainly in abundant supply that evening.

Dad sends his very best to you all and wishes you a very merry Christmas.

Tina Dennett, Stockport.

Looking ahead to the New Year

How has 2019 been for you? If it’s been a tough year now can be a good time to reflect on what you’ve been through, what you’ve hopefully learned as a consequence, and then start to feel ready to focus on ways to move forward with a positive mindset.

Yes, you may be feeling a little cautious, cynical or hurt but you’re now able to appreciate how much you’ve gained from the experiences, who your friends are, who you can trust and how strong and resilient you’ve become. You’re a survivor and now you’re ready to move into 2020 with a positive outlook.

- Continue to let people help. Advice, therapy, or even occasionally bending the ears of friends or family can be an important contributor to a positive mindset. Don’t let yourself be coerced though, and before making decisions be sure to double-check that they’re right for you. Allow your team to be part of your support network.

- Be receptive to unexpected opportunities. When things don’t work out as you’d hoped stand firm and assess potential detours, invitations and requests. Even if something’s not quite to your taste and you'd never again repeat the experience, give yourself credit for keeping moving and being positive.

- Be prepared to consider other doors that often open after setbacks and failure. Few things are a total loss! Think flexibly about any new suggestions or directions that may present themselves, and start 2020 with energy and optimism.

- Saying 'yes' to new things doesn't have to entail upheaval or great expense and inconvenience. Something as 'simple' as trying a different class at the gym, ordering something new for lunch or inviting someone out for a coffee can bring positive shifts in your mindset.

- Recall how proud you are when you do something you’ve previously avoided, perhaps made a difficult phone call or done a job that’s typically unnerved you. Be sure to give yourself credit when you step outside your comfort zone and, whatever the eventual outcome, feel good about having a more receptive approach.

Risk takes courage and at stressful times your comfort zone may be an important place to remain for a while, but staying there too long can cause frustration and resentment. Treat tough times as stepping stones on your journey and appreciate that even small steps have the potential to take you somewhere new, exciting and result in bringing a sense of pride and positivity into your life. Happy 2020!

Susan Leigh, Altrincham Counsellor and Hypnotherapist