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can you have both a glass is half-full mindset and a half-empty mindset?

I recently stumbled upon a spoken word video/poetry video from a poet speaking about how the world has gone to chaos and such and how ‘this world should end’. His background of choice was a broken, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere and he sat on what he could make out of the rubble and spoke about how this world should end because the air is polluted, water contaminated, our food is genetically processed and our governments are greedy. Now at first my instant emotion was to feel depressed. To feel a heavy sigh in my chest and to not really want to watch the whole thing because of the sour mood it would inevitability put me in. I didn’t want it to feel like I was discrediting the poet or ignoring his message because his message was the kind of thing all humans need to know, especially the ones who have more power to make change. This poet was releasing extreme truths and things that could hit anyone of any background close to home and I am proud of him for speaking out and was, obviously, inspired by what he said because it got me thinking – what is the better option in this current generation? To think optimistically or to think pessimistically?

As soon as I closed out Facebook to try and soften the blow of sadness that some posts on that website can inflict, I went downstairs to make myself a cup of tea. Equipped with a warm bed robe just taken off the radiator and strolled past my cat who was warm and content next to the stairs. I gave him a stroke and turned on the kettle and started thinking – is it bad to praise the good things in the world? The world is shit and I agree. As a kid who grew up with intense fear of global warming and environmental damage from a weirdly young age, I couldn’t agree more with the fact that humans have messed up the environment we’ve been given. We should have done more to look after it before it got too late for some animal species and plant species. We should be putting more effort into safe energy and more effort into decreasing harmful emissions. But as I sat there letting the kettle brew, I ranted to myself in my head that it’s even more depressing and ignorant to sit by and just accept the doom of a shitty world. There are positives to the generation I live in.

If I was a child in the 19th century, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to have my parents or older family members around now, people I know or even myself may have died from an illness or injury that, in this generation, I could have been easily cured of due to the evolution of healthcare and medical studies. There has been so much progression in technology and science discoveries that can benefit people and animals. We have discovered new species and creatures due to that advancement and I think that’s amazing. In this current generation, although it is still debatable and there is still prejudice and hate crimes, people are working more and more to get LGBT people the safety and equality they deserve but it’s not even been long since it was decriminalised. Racism and racial prejudice is still prominent in so many countries around the world including the UK and US but the internet and communities work so hard to oppose and call out systematic racism. If it wasn’t for the internet and people talking about Black Lives Matter, I may have not even been educated on police systematic racism. Some people would call the internet a downfall of our generation, saying children don’t get the right childhood anymore because of the internet but you could look at the internet positively by saying news is spread much more fast than it was in the past. The internet can also hold many communities that benefit people. If a teenager is feeling lost in their own world they can turn to the internet to discover hobbies, games, music or forums that create distractions for them and may even benefit them and make them happy. More and more people are switching to vegetarian and vegan diets in this current year to which shows a progression for dietary and animal rights.

Of course, when I was thinking that there are so many positives to this world now that people may overlook in the spiral of depression and hatred that there is currently, I didn’t want to be the ignorant one. I don’t want to turn a blind eye to the world’s negatives or what stuff we need to change. If I could ask for wishes about the world I would ask for so much instantly. I want everyone to switch to safer, environmentally friendly energy choices. I want people to create materials that decompose and are safer for the environment. I want people to learn the harm of systematic oppression and racism and educate others. But what can I do if I sit there and just wallow in the fact that the world is ‘shit’? How are any of us going to change if we just accept that the world is shit and wait for our lives to finish?

Would everyone thinking with just a half full or just a half empty mindset help anyone? I think people need to discuss and share the positives of everyday life just as much as we’re quick to share a poem or video about how shit the world is. I think the world could change if we try to look for positive progress as much as negative things. Because if there is negativity, there is no point in sitting behind a computer and complaining but then not doing anything and just accepting it. What do you guys think? Do you think I’m mad for even trying to think of positives? Do you think it makes me ignorant? I’d love to hear people talk more on what they think about trying to make a change for our world, even if its small things.

Thanks for reading my ramblings,

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Admitting something’s wrong

So I’ll never declare I’m good with helping people, or talking about problems, or dealing with mental health – I’m DEFINITELY terrible at that. But sometimes I do find it therapeutic to write about what’s on my mind, especially on my blog. Of course, writing on my blog could be a temporary solution or not a good solution for someone else. I think that’s a key understanding whenever you want to help someone with something – is realising not everyone’s the same.

My initial idea for this blogpost was to write up a few short ideas to help people who struggle with talking about their problems or asking for help but I don’t want to generalize. I know how tiring it is to seek help or advice and think ‘been there, done that’. So instead I thought I’d just try and talk about how important it is to realise there’s nothing wrong with admitting you’re not ok.

  1. Get rid of the idea that your problem or struggle ‘is overreacting’.

I do this all the time and sometimes keeping up this habit can be a problem in the long run. I’ve had things I’ve kept to myself before because I thought I was worrying over nothing and then when I’ve told a friend months after it’s happened, they’ve showed concern and told me I should of told them. Of course, you will get times where you confide in someone you trust and they might tell you something along the lines of ‘you’re working yourself up’ and honestly I’ve come to realise in my many years of struggling with anxiety, people say that because it can come to be true. Anxiety and similar mental health can make you feel like a problem is way  scarier than it actually is. Don’t let this stop you from confiding in people though. It’s better to talk about what’s worrying you and figure out later that you worried too much, than to bottle it up and find out later you could of done something to help your feelings at the time.

2. Remember you’re not weak for struggling.

This one is super important. Sometimes I want to shout it to the world to get people to remember. 1 in 6 people will experience a mental health problem this week. You are not alone at all. I know it can feel that way and sometimes the world won’t help – you’ll go on social media and see everyone having fun, looking attractive and having a good time and it can feel like you’re the only one struggling but that’s not true at all. People won’t admit the amount of times they’ve put up old photos on instagram alluding that they’re having the best time but they’re actually lying in bed watching TV and eating junk food – neither of these behaviours are bad. You are not weak if you need time alone or to rest. You are not alone if you have struggles. Struggling does not make you a weak person.

3. Any attempt at getting the problem off your chest will do more good than nothing.

Even if you write it down on paper, or write on a blog post, tell your friend, tell your mum, tell your dog – these are all beneficial to relieving stress. You don’t realise it when you do it and sometimes the feeling of relief won’t be there instantly but it does help. Imagine it as taking the problem/struggle from a book in a bookshelf, ripping up each part of the ‘book’ bit by bit and tossing them away into the wind.

4. People do slip up.

Sometimes people suck. Sometimes you’ll confide in someone and it’ll seem like they don’t give a crap. It’s absolutely rubbish – but sometimes even we do it without realising. Try and think of a time you basically mugged off a friend. They may have reached out to you in passing and you didn’t even realise. You may have been sat chatting and they’ve slipped in that things aren’t so good and you may have chuckled back and gone ‘same’. It’s so easy to focus on ourselves and our own problems, that we don’t see when someone is occupied because they’re worrying about something themselves. They’ll be focusing on their problem, we’ll try and talk to them and they’ll seem like they’re not listening and we’ll take it personally when we don’t see the bigger picture of it. I do it all the time and it’s useful to remember that people can’t be perfect listeners all the time. Of course, if a ‘friend”s behaviour or response to you confiding in them is hurtful or plain demeaning – then you can question it. But if someone doesn’t reply to your message right away or admits they don’t know how to help and apologises – do try to not take it personally. It’s still good that you tried to confide with them.

5. Admitting you’re not ok is a step in a good direction.

I’ll repeat – you’re not weak for struggling. Despite what some shoddy instagram post or that idiot on your Facebook feed who ‘doesn’t believe in mental health problems’ may tell you. Relapsing doesn’t make you weak. Having to take medicine doesn’t make you weak. Having to see a therapist doesn’t make you weak. Having a mental health problem doesn’t make you weak. Admitting something is up and asking for help never means you are weak. It is a step in a good direction to ask for help. You may find what you need to overcome your problem or feel better emotionally. Don’t be afraid to ask for help on things you may think are small because there will always be ways that you can get help.

You’re not a bad person if you’re struggling. Please don’t let anyone tell you different.

Thanks for reading,

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Post-Winter with BDD

I used to love Winter as a kid/teenager. Christmas time, Halloween and the dark nights where you’d most likely be snuggled up inside with a cup of tea watching movies was the best kind of feeling. The whole season had the essence of comfort and celebration and lately I’m so nostalgic for those carefree Winters that I had up until about 2 years ago or whenever I started struggling more with eating and my body image. I never really like to talk about struggling with BDD or body image or self-esteem or eating, or to be blunt – my body. Why? I feel it’s because deep down I don’t think talking about it will do anything positive or encouraging aside from it being me wallowing in my own low self-esteem.

Unfortunately what people who don’t struggle regularly with body image issues whether it’s just low confidence or further on an eating disorder scale is that compliments or ‘reassurance’ doesn’t do much. You tell someone, ‘god I just don’t like my body lately, I’m so unhappy with it’ and they’ll go ‘well don’t worry I think you’re beautiful!’ or ‘no don’t be silly, I’d kill for your body’ and it really doesn’t do anything. BDD or eating disorders or confidence related anxiety is a selfish monster but at the same time maybe it’s society’s lack of knowledge on understanding different kinds of anxieties and eating disorders?

That always bugged me as well, when people bring up the ‘I’d love your body’ kind of compliment. When you grow up with body image anxiety, the biggest advice given to you is ‘don’t compare yourself to anyone’ and it is very good advice. You shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone ever because it’s such a toxic habit that when out of control you can end up upset. From my experience I’ve been continuously trying to ram this idea into my head which is even harder with society throwing magazines, billboards, social media posts and the lot in my face of different ‘perfect, unique aesthetics and bodies’ and then I’m sat in my BDD anxiety state feeling completely alien cause I can’t even relate to the beautiful bodies that aren’t your ‘stereotypical Kate Moss model skinny’. So when someone picks up on my low self-esteem and tells me they wish that they had a feature I had, it’s like reverse psychology to compare myself to them again. I never win.

Lately my BDD has been crushing me because of the winter. The winter term of University meant going out drinking more which leads to weight gain/acne etc., and then poor eating habits leads to the same and then Christmas lead to more and now I’m sat wanting to physically slit off my own fat because I can’t stand being in it. It’s not even the problem of not liking what I see in the mirror, it’s like you can physically feel the fat and lack of health in your body. What I can only describe as a beer belly, feels like a mass on my stomach about to explode. Whatever clothes I put on I feel like my body is trying to eat it alive because everything just clings to my fat. I feel like a potato. An alien. I don’t feel like my body shape is even human. This is the pain of BDD and I hate it, I wish it would go.

I hope soon I can maybe sort myself out and eat better or exercise more but everything feels like a giant mountain to climb right now and when I reach out to people, it seems like people think it’s almost ridiculous. When really the BDD makes it feel like something that’s eating my body alive.

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So the problem with high street’s ‘NYPD’ jumpers isn’t that it’s unoriginal..

I’ve never been good at writing or analyzing fashion. I hated textiles in college and couldn’t sew for the life of me, however I can spot a flaw in clothing trends as easily as the next person and recently I’ve seen tops, crop tops and jumpers in high street stores such as Primark and Topshop popping up with the ‘NYPD’ initials written on them. I remember my first thought was confusion as I saw one in Primark near the women’s clothing that normally has pop culture references on. I was scanning the tops with Disney on, the Harry Potter tops and came across one t-shirt with NYPD. I remember stalling for a bit and trying to figure out if this was a reference to a tv show or movie but all I could think of was just that it stood for New York Police Department. ‘That’ll never catch on’ I thought to myself, but I was wrong.

In my cinema job I noticed those t-shirts in different varieties picking up as a trend and even now I spotted a jumper with the initals on in Topshop, going at a hefty price of £35. Now it seems the jumper is very in trend with a lot of young girls buying it, but my main worry is do they know what the name stands for? Do they know the history of the NYPD and what these t-shirts and comfy jumpers endorse?

I stand by the activist movement of #BlackLivesMatter. I realise as a white ally I can’t speak for them and can only listen, but I personally feel people should have a think about what the NYPD has history for and listen to what happens and not buy these jumpers. There’s, hopefully, no money donated to them or such when these jumpers are purchased but the normalisation of the name still stands the more and more these jumpers are bought. People might buy them with the afterthought that they’re supporting officers who protect the people but that’s far from the truth. A main story to start with is the cruel death of Eric Garner. If you were not paying attention when this happened; basically on July 17th of 2014 police officers of NYPD approached Garner accusing him of selling loose cigarettes without tax stamps. Garner pulled his arms away briefly when the officer tried to pull his wrists behind his back to which Daniel Pantaleo (the officer and murderer) took Garner to the ground by his neck and pushed his face into the ground. It was recorded and seen by witnesses that Garner cried out that he couldn’t breathe repeatedly. Eric Garner then lost consciousness and the officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing but did not give him CPR or help. They left him there until ambulances arrived and Eric Garner was pronounced dead around one hour later. Autopsies concluded Eric Garner’s death was via a chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo and was ruled as a homicide. The NYPC policy prohibits the use of chokeholds. In December 2014 it was decided by Richmond County grand jury that scumbag Pantaleo would not be punished for killing Eric Garner. This stirred many rightful protests and to this day is still an important story regarding the uprise of #BlackLivesMatter activists and protests.

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This isn’t and won’t be the only innocent black man, woman, youth or child killed by NYPD or police officers. I probably couldn’t even fit every victim from 2016 on this page let alone previous years. Research Mike Brown, Research Ferguson, Research Tamir Rice, Research Sandra Bland, Research Mya Hall, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile. In 2015 black young men were 9 times more likely to be killed by police officers than any other American. So here we are, at my main point – do you want to spend £35 on a jumper endorsing and putting the name of one of the many racist police departments in America?

NYPD also has a vast Wikipedia database of their previous misconducts including officers raping women when responding to 9/11 calls, drunk driving and hitting a pregnant woman and not helping, punishing someone for speaking their own language on the job.

They do not deserve to have their names out there on trend. This is an exploitation of young girls to use them unknowingly as an endorsement and should be treated as such. It extremely upsets me that I’m only seeing these jumpers on young girls too. We need to talk about the problem of the gross misconduct, murder and oppression police officers in America are committing. Plus I would judge if my daughter or friend spent a whole £35 on a jumper endorsing such a thing. There is better independent fashion creators and clothing you could put your money too and endorse.

 

Or even better, save some cash and purchase a pin or patch to help raise awareness. This is the kind of thing that needs to be promoted on clothing. Not the initials of a police department.

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Thanks for reading guys, please spread this message about if you know anybody who loves shopping in high streets or the latest trend.

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Should I write more about my ‘struggles’?

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Define struggles.

Obviously struggles comes with the negative connotation that I don’t want to talk about it, hear about it or acknowledge it; but some of my personal stuff I do like talking about. I like raising awareness to the topics because I know other people could be waiting for that push to be more settled with what they deal with on a day to day basis. Believe it or not, people with mental health problems or disabilities can be on ‘ok terms’ with what they have. I like to picture it as having a creature that follows you around, the creature can be designed or have the appearance of whatever you think suited, and some days it overreacts and can get the better of you – but other times you can just accept its company and try and positively calm it down if it feels agitated. I guess this mostly works for anxiety, depression etc. and sometimes not work at all! Everyone is different and goes through different things.

I ‘struggle’ with anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia disorder (another form of anxiety); as well as obviously my hearing impairement which I have discussed in past blogposts. I also have to wear glasses since I am slightly short-sighted but I have learnt to adjust to that a lot easier than the other stuff. This isn’t going to be a long pitiful post talking about each of my struggles in detail, because frankly the internet does not deserve to have all of that on it as it is personal to me and even after deep detail, a lot of people would not understand because they do not share the same things as me. Not even people with depression or hearing loss share the exact same experiences. There are people deafer than me or whom have not been able to hear since birth. I would never know what it’s like to live like them.

This post is mainly a question – should I discuss things like mental health, hearing loss/impairments, wearing hearing aids, dealing with anxiety etc. more? I never have put a label to my blog – it’s always been what I want to write, I will write and of course it will stay that way! I just wonder if anybody out there would like to see more content focused on this. You don’t have to have any of these things to want to read about it and if you do but you don’t like talking about it, don’t be shy! Growing up it took me a while to find voices and people I could relate to. It’s only in recent, young adult years I’ve felt a twinge in my heart and my eyes well up when a book or a TV show or art has portrayed exactly something I have felt. It’s not a bad feeling but almost comforting. Comforting to know you’re not weird or abnormal or broken. Comforting to know you are not in the wrong for the things you can’t control.

So that’s my question – feel free to answer it.

Want to see me write more about topics like that?

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EU Referendum Anxiety

Now I’ll warn everyone now, this post is in no way going to be that educational, I will try at some points and source my findings but this is a blogpost all from my own view and opinion. It is biased in what I believe and also full of anxiety. I’m not the biggest fan of change. Never have been, even since I was little. Obviously now I can handle small change better; New job? nerve-wracking but exciting! Fallen out with a friend? Hurts, but it’s not the end of the world. However big change that will effect me, the people I love, my future, my family’s future, my future children’s lives – when it effects so many things that I can’t control, honestly I hate it so much. That’s what the EU Referendum feels like for me right now. I am blessed to be able to vote; if that wasn’t the case or I wasn’t old enough, this would be like torture right now. I know all I can do really is go out and vote tomorrow and wait, but I want to do more, I want to show the world why I’m scared of the outcome – especially as part of the youth of Great Britain – this is our future that could be changed so obviously I want it to go in a way that benefits everyone not just me.

So let’s cut to the chase. I am very much supporting the Remain campaign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Obviously this country is far, far from perfect. Especially with the current party that is in power and some of the things that they have allowed/changed. But what I think some people are being blinded from is the fact, some of the things Leave supporters are upset about, is actually down to our Government; not the fact we are in the EU. All the horrible budget cuts are down to our stupid government. As far as I’m aware a lot of Leave supporters think that people from the EU are coming over to ‘take our jobs’ or ‘take our benefits’ yet our economy has actually grown since 2014 when there was a high influx of people migrating to the UK. Our unemployment rates went down when the EU opened borders and as a country in the EU we actually home less non-British residents/’migrants’ than other EU countries do. Apparently Germany doesn’t get why we’re so pissy about our migration campus. The truth is that the media and these stupid rich men in the debates want to scare you into thinking you’re going to have everything pulled out from underneath you by someone who’s nowhere near even meeting you let alone taking your job. Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and David Cameron don’t care about you or your family, they care about winning and getting back at each other. They care about power not the people, and to give someone like Farage power would be a dangerous risk. We can’t forget this is the old twit who confessed to regularly avoiding disabled people, can’t forget his party has a member who called for ‘compulsory abortion if a fetus is discovered to have downs or a syndrome that could burden’.Obviously I don’t want people to base their vote on which politician they hate more. David Cameron is on the Remain side but I still want to punch him in the face.

As well as that the EU has done a lot of things for us and we’ve been part of it for 60 years. Staying in is not going to ruin us. I’ve heard people chant that being part of the EU takes away our British culture? Since when?

You’ve probably seen most of the talk about what the EU does for us is trading, immigration, the euro etc., however I’d like to point out some other things the EU have done for us, that if I’m honest I wouldn’t trust my country trying to sort out independently. The EU push for EU-wide legislation on LGBT rights, which in some countries of the EU their own government would not fight for. It was the EU that outlawed discrimination on grounds of sexuality. Do you really think our government would be that bothered if the EU hadn’t involved them in the discussion? The EU also aim for policies that help the environment. I’ve lived in a city in Great Britain all my life and I am constantly surrounded by building, infrastructure, more and more brand shops being built, more and more CO-emission producing projects being started. I’m honestly sick of it, and think nothing would change positively if we dealt with it independently. EU policy aims to guarantee safe drinking and bathing waterI mean we wouldn’t want to end up like Flint? The EU basically kicked our butts into gear regarding the environment, we used to be ‘the dirty man of Europe’ since we had so much pollution. EU agreements in recent years have seen sulphur dioxide pollution has dropped and almost 500 UK beaches meet clean water standards. Let’s also unleash the ‘ranty animal obsessed, wannabe vegan’ side of me, people assume I have, and make note because of the EU there has been a push for end of sales in the EU of cosmetics that are tested on animals. The European Commission have also put a strategy forward in regards to Animal Welfare. The EU also set standards on how farm animals are treated when they are farmed for produce. EU law requires all zoos to be thoroughly inspected and licensed. 

I could literally write a book on what I think the EU has benefited us with, but this is a blog post and you’ve probably stopped reading by now! I am going to be honest, this post is probably Remain propaganda at a stretch and I understand nobody HAS to think the way I do, not everyone in my family or everyone I know is voting the same as me, and some people will be voting based on other things that I have not thought about. But here is my views on it, and maybe with some links to stuff you didn’t know about the EU. If you’re undecided, maybe my post will help. Maybe it’ll make you decide to vote Remain, maybe you’ll suddenly want to vote Leave to piss me off! (Don’t do that, that’s immature).

 

So thanks for reading! Remember to vote tomorrow!

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Things I’ll Never Understand at Jobs

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Luckily for me, from February to now I’ve had two excellent job opportunities and I am currently juggling both of them happily. Of course, there is the cinema job which I enjoy a lot and now I have a job at one of my favourite cafes in Manchester! All is positive in the career department of my life currently and I know I won’t be looking for any new jobs any time soon. However, my two jobs have very different atmospheres to both of them, which I realised today when I had a shift at the cinema after a week of working at the cafe. In retail/brand name jobs I’ve noticed there’s a lot of rules and regulations; and I mean quite a lot. It also got me thinking which ones make sense and which ones are necessary.

First of all, at quite a few of my jobs I’ve been restricted from having a drink with me whilst working. Two jobs, it’s been OK for me to grab myself a coffee or tea or even a soft drink whilst doing work and of course bottles or glasses of water is OK. Despite that, in a lot of my retail jobs, it’s a very ‘staff room’ only thing. If I’m on the tills at my job, I have to go to the staff room to take a quick gulp of water. I admittedly can understand the reasoning behind other drinks; soft drinks and hot drinks can stain and hot drinks are a safety hazard as they can burn. Yet it still doesn’t make sense why sales assistants can’t bring a bottle of water on tills with them to sip from every so often. Are staff not trusted enough with a drink at work? The worst case scenario is, most likely, a staff member might spill their water, causing a puddle, which somebody could slip on; however surely most people with common sense would quickly tidy up a spill near their workplace.

In addition, why are tattoos and piercings frowned upon in work environments? Again, piercings have their limits; jewellery that could easily be caught or fall out is a hazard and definitely should not dangling around during jobs that include food. But why are tattoos a restricted thing? I remember once I did a shift at Primark, the regulations were that I had to have my hair tied back (I guess that made sense), no jewellery and no tattoos on show. Now if anybody has visited a Primark you’ll know it’s full of cheap clothes, some of which with tacky, ironic, ‘popular’ references on, for example emoji leggings. How come the company believe customers would be turned off or that they’d lose a sale because one of their employees has a sleeve of tattoos? It just makes no sense to me. Of course, like most rules, I’d understand the scenario if an employer had a massive tattoo on their arm which express rude, inappropriate ideas – but a flower tattoo? That’s not hurting anyone.

Lastly is the ideology, that I’ve mostly experienced in retail stores, why are the staff working on checkouts for 6+ hours a day not allowed to have a chair? Whenever I visit supermarkets and shops where this is allowed I think that the company seem a lot nicer to their staff. Apparently it’s because ‘sitting down seems unprofessional/lazy’, but I don’t see that at all?  Yes I know that sedentary jobs are known to maybe be unhealthy since you’re just sitting around all day but, if you’ve ever been in a retail job, you’ll know you wouldn’t be sat around. You’d be able to rest your feet and concentrate on customers whilst sat at the checkout and then when you need to take stock out to the store from the warehouse or tidy up or some other tasks, you would be standing up and moving about. It’s already been researched and proven that being stood up in the one place for hours on end can put stress on your legs and posture.

Is there anything you think work places should stop forcing on workers? Or unnecessary rules you’ve had to go through in past jobs? Do tell!

Thanks for reading,

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