“I can handle whatever crap (literal and actual) that my two year old dishes out”
“I am an amazing parent”
“I’m grateful for my vast stores of patience, without it I’d surely being snapping ten times a day.”
“It’s okay to snap occasionally”
“I will feel overwhelmed and helpless in some moments and those moments will pass”
“I am caring, compassionate and creative and these will get me through the trenches of the ‘terrible twos’ ”
No, I am not an arrogant braggart.
No, I am not nominating myself for parent of the year.
I am being a cheerleader for myself. I am telling myself these things to shift my train of thoughts away from desperate, helpless, and pessimistic thoughts. I had a heck of week last week and my thoughts were often jumping to “holy crap I can’t take another minute of this!” so I sat down with pen and paper and wrote out some cheerleading statements to “feel me better” as my two year old would say.
Cheerleading statements are a therapeutic tool with roots in cognitive therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. The idea is to stimulate hope and empowerment through encouraging, optimistic, and self-validating statements. Thinking of what a good friend might say to you or what you would say to someone else in a similar situation to your own, can help you come up with statements. Thinking of a cheerleader’s task of pumping you up, making you excited and energized, can also help.
Cheerleading statements are also helpful for disconnecting one’s self from the misery of the moment. Feeling miserable can be very consuming, which is very limiting, not to mention depressing. However, defining the misery as a feeling in this moment is freeing because this moment will pass, just as every moment passes, and with that passing there becomes room for a new emotion. Cheerleading statements open one’s awareness beyond how awful things feel ‘right now’ and present a chance to remind yourself that things can get better.