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"Can He Say That?" Jodie Fox Talks Blatant Sexism

People

Ever heard of the phrase, “if you want something done right, do it yourself?” Some of the best businesses exist because their founders saw a market for something based on an obstacle they encountered themselves.


Jodie Fox is one of those people who turned her frustration with shoe shopping into a business. Fox is considered to be a pioneer in the fashion-tech industry, but don’t mistake Fox for a shoe designer. Sure, she designed the shoes on her feet, but she’s in the business of making everyone a designer. You can think of her site as the complement of NikeiD. Shoes of Prey lets you design practically any type of shoe – except for sneakers – then those shoes are manufactured and shipped directly to you. Innovative, right?

Fox started the company with her then-husband and friend, and the company is still going strong, even though her marriage is no longer. A lawyer with an advertising background, Fox stood out immediately to investors. Fox stood out in another way as well; she was the only woman within her business, and a minority in that sense.

She realized that “seemingly innocuous” comments about, say, her appearance, could indeed have adverse effects.

According Fox, there was an instance that a potential investor’s very first words to her were “you look amazing.” Comments like these cause a professional barrier, but you can decide which direction this barrier faces. For example, it’s safe to assume that the potential investor with whom Fox met remained just that – a potential. He’s the one who destroyed such a professional opportunity, not Fox.

"We think about how awkward such situations become for women, but we should also consider how self-sabotaging such behavior is for the men who make such comments,” she says.

Jodie Fox In Her Stylish Shoes Of Prey. Photo credit: Zimbio

Recent research reveals “60% of women in the industry had faced unwanted sexual advances,” and many of them don’t report them for various reasons. Some don’t even acknowledge them, for fear of facing personally and professionally damaging repercussions. The pervasive culture of valuing a woman’s looks before her brains, and inadvertently treating her less professionally than male employees, contributes to the lack of female-focused resources, namely all-female venture capital funds.

The fact is that “female partners are more likely to invest in companies with female executives and three times more likely to invest in one with a female CEO.”

Unfortunately, there’s still a shortage of these exclusively female resources, so Fox and others with similar experiences have advice for founders who may find themselves in situations that resemble theirs.

"Earlier in my career, I would have dismissed this as an off-the-cuff slip up, but as I progress, I realize it’s these seemingly innocuous comments that contribute to creating barriers for women professionally , so we really have to pay attention to that.”

– Jodie Fox (From her personal Video)

Like Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So next time you feel like you’ve been put in an uncomfortable situation, realize that your reaction is in your hands, not the offender’s.

Photocredit: www. Refashion.co

| Photo By InStyle Magazine

5 min read
Health

3 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress Each Evening (Instead of Reaching for Another Cocktail)

When we envision a person who is suffering from substance use disorder (SUD)—defined by having a history of past misuse, experiencing increasing mental health symptoms, or having a family history of addiction—we often picture someone waking up and instantly grabbing their first drink. However, in my experience working with those battling SUD for nearly a decade, I've learned that everyone's relationship with alcohol looks different and having a few too many drinks at night can be just as dangerous.

The time of day, amount, or type of alcohol one drinks doesn't define if they suffer from SUD or not—it's the compulsion to drink. By focusing on healthy stress relievers and implementing them into your daily routine, you aren't just avoiding another glass at night, you are curbing any inclination for SUD that you may have.

While you may feel the desire to reach for another drink after dinner and putting the kids to bed to relieve some of the stress you incurred that day, there are other things that you can do that are much more beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.

Risks of Reaching for Another Drink

Reaching for another cocktail or glass of wine can feel like a great way to relieve the stress of the day at the time, but over time it can actually lead to the opposite. Excessive drinking is known to lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders such as increased risk of family problems, altered judgment, and worsened sleep quality. These can all lead to increased stress and create a continuous cycle I have seen in many of my patients, which often prove difficult to break.

Increased alcohol consumption can directly impact an individual's mood and temperament, too. In my patients, I've seen a connection between increased alcohol consumption and irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that previously brought that person joy—activities that people should always put time into, especially right now during the pandemic.

While drinking in moderation doesn't have serious implications for some, others are already at increased risk for SUD. One drink per day is considered moderate for women, while eight drinks or more in a single week is categorized as heavy drinking. It's important to monitor your intake—whether you are at increased risk for SUD or not. It is all too easy for one glass to become another, and then another. And if you keep reaching for just one more drink, you can start to build a tolerance, as it requires more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can result in dangerous, addictive habits that will alter your life, and the lives of those who care for you.

Three Healthy Ways to Relieve Evening Stress

Stress relief from alcohol is short-lived, but choosing healthier, alternative stress relievers can provide long-lasting benefits for both your mental and physical wellbeing. At Wellbridge, our team not only focuses on treating addiction but also on teaching healthy habits to support ongoing sobriety. And many of these learnings can be implemented to avoid addiction by handling stress better as well!

Below are three healthy stress relief ideas you can implement into your routine:

  1. Mindfulness exercises can be a powerful and mentally stimulating stress reliever. Throughout our therapeutic program at Wellbridge, we provide different opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. For example, breathing exercises, such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, mindful walking, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you're looking for entry, guided meditation, check out this YouTube channel where experts post mindfulness exercises each week.
  2. Human connection is invaluable. Whether it is your spouse, your children, a friend, or even a therapist, connecting with someone else can be a great way to relieve stress. The additional perspective that another person provides can also help us feel that the anxieties and stressors we are experiencing are more manageable. If you are feeling increased stress from loneliness or isolation, reach out and schedule a Zoom coffee hour with a friend, or call a loved one to check-in and chat.
  3. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever as well, for so many reasons. Not only can it help us get our mind off of stress, it enables our bodies to release endorphins and provides long-lasting physical health benefits. Physical activity doesn't need to be a full-blown workout if you don't feel up to it, or simply don't have extended periods of time to dedicate to a longer exercise regimen. Even a short walk or some stretching can go a long way towards improving your mood. I enjoy following guided, online yoga practices for both mindfulness practice and physical activity.

Despite my years working in this space, I am no stranger to giving in to stress. However, I've learned that by allotting myself a little time each morning and evening for activities that set a positive tone in my life—like meditation, journaling, and exercise—I've been able to better manage my stress and feel more prepared for heightened periods of stress. Do I manage to set aside personal time every morning and evening? Definitely not—life happens! But by doing our best to take regular time out for ourselves, we're all certain to be in a better place emotionally and mentally.

Putting Your Mental Health & Wellbeing First

It's important to also recognize that it isn't just stress that causes us to reach for another drink at night. With the added pressures and responsibilities of women in today's world, having another glass of our favorite drink at the end of the day can often seem like a quicker and easier option than other healthier ways to relieve stress.

However, it's essential to put your mental health and wellbeing front and center in your priority list—something that many women struggle with. But just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. By focusing on implementing small, healthy habits and making them a seamless part of your daily routine, you ensure that you can show up in all aspects of your life and for all the people in your life.

If you are struggling with increased stress, be specific and honest with your support system about your need to preserve your mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your needs will help you be there for other people you care about in your life.

I always refer back to a quote from a Dar Williams song—a song about therapy no less! "Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." Talk about your needs with others and find time to develop healthy coping habits. And if you feel as though you've already created an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, discuss that relationship with a medical advisor to learn if advanced treatment is the right option for you.