The theme for mental health awareness this year is body image -how we think and feel about our bodies. It might seem quite superficial linking body image to mental health but the thinking is that the better we feel about ourselves the better our wellbeing and mental health is.
Social media has made it too easy to see others with a perfect life and compare ourselves and I for one have definitely been left feeling rotten about myself and my life, do I know it is a snapshot and can be staged yes but it doesn’t always make me feel better. For me, age and wisdom has helped me realise that the best thing I can do is to take it all with a pinch of salt.
For me positive body image starts right from childhood, I do worry when my sons say they are too small, too skinny and I wonder where that comes from – the standard answer in our house is you are perfect for you. But I do need to follow that advice myself instead of just telling them, I don’t make a big deal of how I look but I don’t always appreciate my body as it is.
My tuppence worth of advice is to enjoy your body, embrace what makes you feel good, the nice perfume, bright lipstick, gym class and don’t keep your clothes for good! Even if you have to wear a uniform at work you can feel good about yourself with a nice coat or scarf or cool bag.
We often quote a poem in our house by Jenny Joseph – not sure who introduced it to us first.
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we’ve no money for butter.
The Simple Take is: Please don’t wait until you are old to wear purple and red, take care of your mental health and wear what make you feel good every day, life’s too short to have regrets.