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Cheer squad. Thursday June 25, 2015

Have you noticed that when a baby is learning to walk everyone encourages, cheers, smiles and claps at every faltering step. Each time the baby falls there are so many smiling happy faces to motivate the baby to keep on going. The first step is met with huge cheers, big claps and many photos and videos and calls to the grandparents and aunts and uncles. This is a wonderfully supportive environment in which to learn and grow.

When we are adults and learning to cope with our low moods, our change in mood, where are the smiling encouraging faces? All we get at times are well meaning family and friends telling us "Stop feeling sorry for ourselves", 'Make more of an effort" and many more 'not so helpful' words of advice.

Where are the cheer squads the smiling faces the words of encouragement we had when we were learning to walk? When we are trying to negotiate our life while feeling depressed this is when we need lots of positive enthusiastic words and actions.

We don't need gushing and advice, just encouraging words like "That's great you managed to get to the letterbox today, well done."

"So you didn't leave the couch today but I am so pleased you showered and got out of bed."

"I know it is difficult for you to come to my party, so I really appreciate the effort you made."

I am going try to be my own cheer squad as well as offer support to others. Who can you cheer on?

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 7:51am

Hi Leah - you are absolutely correct. However, the individuals who are going to encourage are ., in my experience, few and far between as they usually have problems of their own . So we need to set up an ' encouragement centre' in our minds which acknowledges and encourages even our tiniest successes.

Rupert Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 8:20am

An interesting one Leah. I find that I am one step away from that situation and find myself simlply having to fend off additional workloads just to try and stay sane. Not only are people not interested in how you feel they are only interested in dumping on you! Rupert

G Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 8:42am

A very sweet reminder, thank you for writing this. I receive many kindness this way, and I shall give back whenever I can.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 8:51am

Ah Rupert! As always, your comments touch my heart. Have you got a strong buddy system and support? I always feel for you and always look out for your comments.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 8:52am

Oh yes, at times we are super heroes just for getting out of bed, showered and dressed. We need to acknowledge that. Thank you Leah for the reminder.

Leah Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 9:01am

thanks for your comments .As I said sometimes we have to be our own cheer squad and be very kind to ourselves especially if we are in a hostile environment like you are.

Rupert Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 9:01am

Thanks Mary. TBH us drones do have something in common in that we all feel the same way and have a good moan. Not that management takes any notice of course!

Leah Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 9:03am

Hopeful one,
Thanks for your feedback, As I said sometimes we have to be our own cheer squad and not our own worst critic.

Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 9:04am

A really interesting view Leah, well done for saying this.
Maybe more needs to be done by mental health teams and NHS to promote family involvement in people recovering from mental health issues especially anxiety and depression and learn how to cope with their family member who is or has been unwell. It is no use adverts saying we need to be aware of mental health if no one knows how to deal with the different illnesses. Maybe more leaflets need to be generally available for families and friends. I have had little support from my family and my colleagues in the early days hadn't a clue how to be supportive and forgiving if I had an outburst due to mood swings. I think it was mainly because no one knew how to deal with this. I suffer more anxiety than depression and the depression comes on when I am quite anxious but today I am on meds which really help and I don't suffer as much as I used to.

Julia Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:10am

I agree Leah it would be nice to have someone say well done today, I know you haven't felt good. My father used to say this to my mother (she told me in such happy grateful way) when her tinnitus had been particularly bad. My husband doesn't like to draw attention to how I'm feeling as he thinks it could make me worse. He also when confronted says he doesn't notice and that I'm fine.Of course some days I feel so bad, I really tell him and then he is forced to sit down and comment and is very helpful at those times. As for me,well I do think back over the day and am pleased I have done this and that. I also think I may well give out don't come near me vibes and therefore no comments please when I'm low sometimes. Rupert, the work place can be a ruthless place. How lucky your colleagues are to have you amongst them. Is there anyone like you there? Thank you Leah for this interesting blog

Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:28am

Excellent blog, Leah. I could not agree more. I realize how much I use positive reinforcement for my dogs and horses in their training, and it saddens me to see how rarely it is used amongst humans. It really doesn't motivate me to be attacked for my perceived weaknesses! So yes, let's try and be kind to ourselves, and others. Freya x

Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:36am

Dear Leah,
I'm raising my cuppa to you as we squeak, for a great reminder to our self to be kinder and therefore to praise our self for all those things we do manage to get done in what can be a miserable day. Cheers!
Rupert...raise your thunderbirds mug to yourself've made it to work, you're at your desk yet again and taking all the cr*p from other people dumping on you. But the next time someone wants to give you extra work, tell them that you'd like to help but it maybe another couple of weeks before you can fit them in....?? Karen x

Leah Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:41am

Thank you Anon 9.04,Julia and Freya,
My computer is playing up so hope this works.
Anon thanks so much for your input and thoughtful comments.
Julia, thanks for you comments. yes sometimes the best encouragement is just being there and listening and saying nothing. That was a lovely story about your parents.
Freya, thanks for your feed back .It is interesting how we use very encouraging voices for animals and children yet rarely for humans. So true.

Leah Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:44am

Thanks G, for replying and that is a great thing to do , to give back whenever one can.

Leah Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:46am

yes I sometimes forget to remind self to acknowledge the baby step that are so important on some days.

Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 12:18pm

Really well-said Anonymous 9:04 - an excellent idea.
Good to hear that meds are helping you.

And Leah, so true ...thank-you.


Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 12:25pm

Hello Rupert; I do feel for you ...
When this used to happen to me, I would say "of course I can do that - which of these jobs shall I not do so I can fit yours in?"
Mind you, it took me months to learn this ...
Good luck with it all - I am sure you are doing better than you give yourself credit for ...

Anonymous Thu, Jun 25th 2015 @ 10:58pm

Being our own cheer squad...this! Yes! When we are really low we don't encourage ourselves enough. And when we aren't as low, we often don't credit ourselves as our expectations become higher. This! Yes! Thank you Leah, love from the room above the garage x.

The Entertrainer Fri, Jun 26th 2015 @ 8:14am

Brilliant! In fact I'm giving Leah three exclamation marks for three cheers !!!

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