Sarah Day talks body image for Mental Health Awareness Week

My best bits:

  • Grey hair

  • Crows feet

  • Mummy belly

  • Wonky eye

In a world where social media encourages society to present an image of perfection, during this #MentalHealthAwareness week, it is important to remember that these words are often misconstrued with negative connotations. As I grow older and wiser, my personal list becomes a set of positive achievements.

My grey hair is a sign that long gone are the days of wanting to spend time kneeling at the side of my bath and dying my towels brown or sitting for hours on end with bits of foil stuck to my hair. Whilst there is a time and a place for this, and I know many of my friends are more than capable of maintaining their array of colours, I have learnt to love my shades of grey!  Now I just focus on getting a regular cut in a style I am happy withTo add to that, the conversations I have with my hairdresser are rich, deep, reflective and a great source of peer therapy.

My crows feet tell the story of the times I’ve shared happy, funny, meaningful moments with family, friends and colleagues. As I get older, I want more of this, so bring on the depth and definition of the lines which reflect companionship, love and laughter.  Making time to be with the people I care about the most is a conscious decision that I actively embrace. 

My ‘mummy belly’ is a constant reminder of the home it once was to three incredible people who continue to fascinate and inspire me every day.  When I listen to their points of view, see the impact that they have on people, knowing that they started to flourish in my ‘mummy belly’ is quite special.  That being said, every morning as I roll out of bed, I plank.  The belly will never leave me, but it's good to keep it in regular check.   

My wonky eye is the scar that remains from a bout of Bell’s Palsy, when life’s adventure became too much and the muscles in my face decided to take a six-week leave of absence.  It’s something that probably most people wouldn’t even notice, but it’s something that I look at every morning in my 3x magnifying mirror.  There’s every likely hood that the Bell’s Palsy might return, and as a result I recognise that there is time for work and there is time for relaxation. A balanced mix of both should keep my body, particularly the left side of my face, and mind happy. 

In a time when 1 in 10 women have self-harmed because of their body image, this is a chance for us all to reflect on of how we feel and speak about our bodies and the impact that can have on our well-being. 

Join the conversation online #BeBodyKind @practicesolutions or find out more here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/body-image-report

  

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