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The 'getting better' challenge - do you have support ? | Jenna Verhoeven

I’m a big fan of cheerleaders. I recently binged watched the Netflix series “Cheer”and was blown away; not only with the physical strength that the athletes have, but also their tenancy and sheer grit. I often wished I could’ve been a cheerleader. It’s safe to say, in a roundabout way, my role as a practitioner is part cheerleader. Along with educating clients I seek to provide support whilst clients overcome their health challenges.

It’s Women’s History Month (March, 2020), so I’m doing a bit of a focus on Women, Women’s Health, and my personal history as a healer.   Along with common health concerns for women, I want to explore some of the social challenges women have.

Gimme a ‘y’? 

So why do we need support? I’m a big fan of the adage, “it takes a village”. On bad days when I’m giving myself a go, I’ll finish the saying with, “to raise a village idiot”. Not the most positive self-talk, but at least I’m reminding myself I’m not alone. But in all honesty support is so important for two clear reasons when we face a challenge;

  • You can’t possibly have all the answers to all the things,  
  • Sometimes a weight is just too heavy to carry alone.   

What does support look like? 

As I’ve identified above, support can come in many forms, but I like to think of two categories. Support in the form of knowledge, and support in the form of ‘holding space’. Support as knowledge is where we get someone who knows the things to fill our gaps. For example, I am hopeless at sticking to a fitness program and find it to be a challenge, so I enlist in the support of a Personal Trainer to help me get the job done. They support me in reaching my goal by applying their knowledge to my question.  

Support in the form of ‘holding space’ is often a little more difficult to ask for and receive. This support usually comes from a partner, a close friend, a colleague, or sometimes it comes from unexpected places like your hairdresser! This support isn’t necessarily about getting advice or answers, if’s about saying “hey, I’ve got something here, it’s tricky/difficult/messy/heavy, can you please hold it for me for a moment?”. 

I find so often in clinic that many of us, often women, and sometimes men, don’t have a lot of support. When we are going through a challenege, be it an illness, sickness, disease journey, life’s stresses; quite often feel we a lacking support. In order for us to move from illness to welness, we need to shift from ‘i’ to ‘we’ and have a team to help us. 

10 million dollar question – “how do we get support?

Ya know what, as scary as it is, you need to ask. No one other than you knows what’s going on, unless you tell them. Trust me, asking for help and support can be hard, but it is also so liberating once you’ve done so. Especially if it means you then get the support you need. 

Practice, practice, practice 

The best way to get good at asking for help and support, is to practice. Start small, and build your way up. Start on something which really won’t matter if someone can’t help you, “excuse me, can you please tell me the time” or “excuse me, can you please grab that high item off the shelf for me?”. Asking random strangers less-than-imperative support questions can grow. Asking for help and support is like growing a bicep muscle. You start with lighter weights, and build yourself up to heavy lifting. Start with a small request, and before you know it you’ll be able to say to your boss, partner, or good friend “hey XXX, I’ve got some shit going on, and I really need you to just have my back for a moment.” 

Get your support on! 

Iif you’ve been inspired to get some support for your health, and tackle your health challenge, reach out. Book an appointment with me to get the support you need. 


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