I Can Try

By Lauren Kovacs

Mental wellness is often overlooked by MS folks and those around us. I am not saying for others to walk on eggshells, but mindfulness is something we all need to remember. Mental wellness is trying and knowing when to seek assistance.

The saying, “… if you have nothing nice to say…” This goes for negative self-speech too. Try to speak words of affirmation to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Try at least.

Having been a cheerleader in college, I cheer myself on daily. Out loud, if need be. I am sure the dog thinks I am crazy. Others may not understand the depth of our struggles, even those close to us may not get it.

Learning to be your own cheerleader helps mental wellness. Never giving up also helps. Finding a new way can help beat negative thoughts, thus our mental well-being benefits. Think, I will “try.”

Most MS folks fight through more garbage then normal. Just tying our shoes can be tough. Granted, it will not bring the amazing factor like being thrown in the air and flipping, but it can be amazing for us. Just putting on pants is award worthy many days.

Mental wellness includes being a cheerleader for stuff others take for granted. Drinking from a cup without spilling is often worth a trophy. No, it is not 26 back-hand-springs across a basketball wood floor, but small accomplishment carry just as much awe. Learn to be amazed by your own accomplishment.

If we can get through getting our underwear on without getting hurt, celebrate it. If you have to cheer yourself on so you make sure one leg goes in one underwear leg hole, do it. Make up corny cheers to get it done without injury or falling over. Rug burn on your face hurts. Celebrate not having it.

Cheering myself on has become normal. Yes, there are times the MS monster knocks down my pyramid, but cheering myself on helps me try. Trying can help mental wellness rebuild the pyramid. Try another way. Don’t give up.

MS knocks me down all the time. Find other ways of doing things. Three cheers for staying as independent as we can. There is plenty I can’t do and days come when what I could do is extra hard. Identify that you may need to find help or a new way.  Self-cheering helps with personal wellness. Trying a new way can be entertaining.

Remember also, that no pyramid is built alone. When trying something new, people cheer each other on. Cheer for yourself. Celebrate small stuff, no one else will. Even partial accomplishment are worth praise. A reward of chocolate also helps mental wellness.

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About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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