So we are coming to the end of mental health week and I've seem so many positive articles and posts, tips advice written this week, its great. I did an amazing mediation on Wed with my friend Clare (The Life Healer) and it really got me motivated this week.
It was never talked about when I was younger. If you were an anxious kid, you were just a bit quiet or nervous.
I don't often given my opinions but I seem to see things quite balanced, I can always see a pro and con to most things when others seem to have very strong views on a subject. Some might say that's sitting on the fence but I see it as a balanced view.
For example, I sometimes wonder if we talk about mental health so much that young kids now give themselves the label that they are stressed and anxious. I think we are obsessed with giving labels now. But again we need to be open and talk about it and not feel alone and unable to speak out.
The biggest thing I come across in my work is people, worrying of how they look. Worried how others will see them and think of them, always trying to fit in with an image at work or around friends but this year has really helped some people. Perhaps work places now will be more casual and you will be be comfortable going out in your jeans and trainers to the pub rather than stressing over what to wear.
Now of course the business I am in is all about image and how you look but my role is finding out who you are, what you want to look like, what you love and trying to build on that. Its about me helping you find those perfect things that show you off at your best. Its not about making you look like Sarah, who is always immaculate in the office, on the school run and even at the supermarket, she's in her power outfit all the time and never a hair or lip liner out of place but what if you love loose boho floral clothes, you are never going to be Sarah and nor should you be! It's about making you feel comfortable knowing you are you.
But then we have other people verbal opinions, the ones where you're not just imagining it, they come right out and say it and criticise you and your looks. I'm always told to ignore them, forget the school (and uni) bullies but some people are almost intent on giving their opinion on you.
So I'm going to tell a story that I haven't told most people.
A couple of years back my car was having an MOT and it's near to my mum and dads work, so I popped in. In there was a customer. A VERY wealthy Hong Kong business man he told me.
I passed the desk and he said 'lose more weight, lose more weight'. My mums jaw dropped. I think I may have ignored him. He then when on for about 20 mins. 'Eat less, lose some weight' as he made actions of stuffing food in his mouth.
'Eat a little bit of plumkin (was actually pumpkin I think he meant) little bit of porridge, that's all'. Then came the bit that normally hits 'are you married, doesn't your husband want you to look thin and show you off, then some more hand gestures of a slender body) 'You will be happier if your thinner, lose weight, too fat too fat'.
Some thing made me laugh. He was so rude it was funny I think.
My mum started to argue back. The mans wife was sat there are just smiled. He went out of the room and his wife apologised for him and said he speaks to all all friends like that.
Finally my car was ready. My mum said I was going for a walk as he was being so rude. He didn't care and said 'good, it will do her good'.
Part of me did want to argue back but I think really what made me not react was the I'd heard it all before, sometimes from people verbally like him (although most people don't go on quite like he did) but definitely in my head. I'd always love to be that person that can come back at someone with some witty response but I always think of it the next day.
I walked across to my car and laughed most of the way. If he thought he was doing good - he wasn't, If he tried to make me angry - He didn't, if he thought he would have an impact on me - he didn't. Yep he has stuck in my mind but not actually in a negative way. Now I can just use him as a true example of how horrible and thoughtless some people can be but we also do it to ourselves in our own heads. I think he was the first person that commented on my weight, that I laughed at and truly thought to myself I don't care what you think. Previously I would have gone home and cried, hated myself, and cried even more, hated myself some more. But with him I think I turned a corner and just laughed at him
The biggest thing I would like to see is that we be kind to ourselves, then we can tackle those dic*heads that decide they are going to give their opinion whether you want it or not.
Most people see me as a relaxed smiley happy person but I'm such a stress head! I worry about worrying, I plan in my head what could happen not what is happening but my self image and self awareness is 100% better that what its has always been. Maybe that's age or maybe not giving a sh*t or maybe I've just learnt to like myself. I correct that....love myself.
Jo Marshall (PS - I haven't taken his advise on this plumkin and porridge as I hate porridge!