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We’d all be happier if we took our shoes off

(Pic from my Snapchat: Momtazbh)

Freedom for Toes. I’m happiest when my peepers are free to wiggle, warm sun shining down on them, glittery pedicure, glistening in the rays. Happy feet = happy person. There’s an entire school of alternative medicine that supports this – reflexology suggests that our feet relate to every single part of our body: massage the right bit of your sole and you could drastically improve your life. But I’m not going to sprout on about that; there’s enough literature on the subject already. I’m more interested in real-life experience.

The first thing I do when I get home is kick off my shoes – heeled or not. At work, I sit down, then flick the footwear off my feet. On long journeys I hide my shoes in the overhead luggage racks, when I’m relaxing, I opt for slipper socks over actual slippers and yes: I am that person that takes off their shoes at the cinema.

I’ve had many a reaction; mostly of disgust. I was once involved in writing up a Code of Conduct. I chaired a meeting that involved going around heads of department at a company, to note down their concerns, one of them said; ‘shoes must be worn in the office.’ (I forgot to add that into the minutes.) But it’s not unusual. I have friends who work in companies where it’s perfectly acceptable that women can wear sandals, but men must wear shoes…and for both parties: flip-flops are banned.

Yet what if the big wigs at such places could see things from a new perspective? What if they realised that the more relaxed and happy their staff are, the less stressed they’d be, and the more productive they’d become and it won’t even cost them a penny? Taking your shoes off is free therapy that leads to instant relaxation. Seriously, when was the last time you were shoeless and stressed or vice versa the situation? I guarantee that the feelings of negativity, frustration, being annoyed, angry and upset were amplified when shoes or footwear were on your feet.

(I like shoes but I like taking them off more pic from my Instagram: The_CraftCafe)

I certainly don’t think we should all be walking round barefoot: there is a time and a place for shoes and when you’re out walking, footwear is essential for angle support. But when our feet are not being used, they should be given a proper chance to unwind.

I once lived with a couple where the guy was constantly giving foot massages to the girl. At the time I thought it was a sign of affection. Now I realise she was one of the luckiest ladies in existence and perhaps she still is? I’m not so lucky...but if you asked me what my favourite position in bed is, it’s without a doubt, that feeling of when your naked, sock free toes are touching someone elses. A little gesture, but incredibly intimate.

Visiting someone in hospital? If they’re bed-ridden, the offer to give them a foot massage will be so much more welcomed than being given a bunch of flowers they aren’t even allowed to keep on the ward, and there’s only so many grapes a person can eat.

As for feeling awkward, worried or like you’re going against the norm when it come to taking shoes off in public, my advice is ease your way in. Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re on a journey that lasts several hours your feet shouldn’t be allowed to get hot and bothered and swell up. If you’re at the cinema after a long day of standing up, why not air them out? You’ll appreciate the movie so much more.

Worried about hygiene or pong? OK, that I can understand but the alternative is having unhappy feet so the solution is clean them more. While that may sound impractical, it’s a just a matter of changing your attitude towards cleanliness. So be brave, be bold and take a leaf out of Don McClean’s book: – ‘kick off your shoes and dig those rhythm and blues’…as often as you can.

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