So many people have been through really difficult times in recent weeks. And as lockdown rules begin to ease, in some ways stress levels seem to be rising even further.

I’ve spoken to many people in recent weeks who have been feeling down – and those who can still work are finding it tough doing long days and then meeting all the lockdown challenges at home.

There are some phrases I’ve heard over the years that might help. Former Beatle George Harrison released an album in 1970 called All Things Must Pass. While the phrase can be interpreted a little gloomily, it also suggests that nothing stays forever and, however bad things might be, the situation will eventually change.

And when people are getting really stressed about day-to-day challenges at work, it might help to remember something I once heard: “When you retire it’s all just stories”. Perhaps that realisation can help put work pressures, however tough they are, into perspective.

Someone else said to me that when someone is very old they don’t look back and think ‘Could I have worked harder or earned more money?’ They are more likely to ask if they spent enough time with friends and family, were they true to themselves and did they live their dream.

A colleague at my first newspaper and I would try to motivate each other with the phrase: “There’s fun to be had in every job”. The fun might be hard to find at times – particularly if after a full day at work you then had to sit through and report on a very dull, three-hour-long meeting in the evening.

The fun, sometimes, was just realising you would be able to have a good whinge the next day about how awful the previous night’s meeting had been. Just recounting the experience could often evoke some quips and laughter – or, at the least, some sympathy!

I am not a psychologist and do not wish to diminish the real anguish some people go through. But hopefully some of these maxims and phrases might help some people at least a little bit.

On a lighter note I’ll end with a joke an engineer told me. “Some people see a glass half full; some see a glass half empty. Engineers just see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”