I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about one of my favourite topics; decluttering and mentioned to her that there was no need to keep so many books when you have thousands that can be downloaded free to kindle and the access of a fantastic library system in our home town Leeds. I had recently decluttered several bags of novels to either the local charity shops or to a website that buys them.
However it got me thinking. I had 2 and a half shelves full of self help style books and over 30 again on my kindle. I have probably read only about 20% of them and some I’ve had for up to 10 years and still not read. It did get me thinking though can a person (who is not in any ‘helping’ professions) have too many self help books and is reading all of them more helpful?
Let’s face it, they do’t all say the same thing. One will conflict the advice in another. There isn’t one style of help that is more prevalent or helpful than any other. It all depends on the individual reading them. And if you read one thing and the next book insists on you doing something in a different way how are you supposed to know what good or bad you are doing to yourself?
I’ve had therapy and know what my issues are, what triggers them and how (mostly) to deal with it. What I actually need to do is actually do! So my first action was to declutter these books from the shelves. So far I have got everything down to the one shelf with books I can sell and made myself about £18 in the process. Not a lot when I probably spent over £200 on these but it’s £18 I didn’t have in the run up to Xmas.
Of the ones I have left there are a couple I refuse to part with. I will be keeping my John C Parkin F**K It books as I love the message behind them, my decluttering and Hygge books as they are lifestyles I enjoy and use. I am keeping my crystal books as this is again an area of interest and a potential business area I keep toying with and lastly my Taoism books; the only spirituality I’ve ever managed to connect with. Anything else is in the bag for a charity to sell.
Within my kindle if it is on my general reading list section it can probably go. I do have a few in my documents that I downloaded fro netgalley so I will need to read them for reviews. And then that’s it. Beyond any I have left for netgalley I want to try and spend 2019 self help book free. Less reading, more doing. I’m going to stop giving myself mixed messages and try and live life in the best way that I think is right for me. It will still be a tough one as it’s my final year of having a debt repayment plan (last payment Jan 2020!) but I want to make it as stress free as possible and it looks like the best way to do that is to stop reading books on how to be stress free.
The latest Action for Happiness calendar is all about New Things November. Last month we were asked to do a number of things that were all about Optimism and seeing the brighter side of life. It was quite well times for me as there was a lot of uncertainty at work and it reminded me that there is more than work and to not bring those issues home with me.
The first thing on the new calendar is to write a list of all the new things you want to try this month. Easy thing to start with because as of today I start a new team at work. We recently restructured and I’ve moved to a new management strand so there will be lots of new opportunities to try out.
I’m a member of a craft club at work. This month through them I’ll be learning to make Xmas pop up cards, an ‘exploding’ Christmas box and some more origami so again lots of new things to try. I’m loving the craft club. Not only is it good for your mental health but it’s fun. Yesterday as it was Halloween we made lights out of jam jars and some pom pom spiders. Mine genuinely looked like a 5 year old had made them. Really not my finest hour but I’d spent an hour with glue, scissors and some like minded people and had some fun. I’m now strangely proud of my messy creations! So I’m looking forward to 6 weeks of Christmas crafting that is coming up.
I also want to go back to practising minimalism. Whilst that is not a new thing to try I’ve joined a Facebook group (which is a new thing) and hopefully I’ll pick up some new tips.
Lastly while I’ve been diligent in going to the gym I’ve really lost it with eating healthily. I’ve had far too much sugary items so I have lots of cookbooks and am going to aim to eat at least one new meal from them per week. I also have a bunch of Wii dance and exercise games and the 5 minute exercise sessions on my Sky+ (TiVo) so I can do some new types of exercise. The gym also do exercise classes so there’s even more new things there.
There we go – lots of new things. I’ve mentioned many times my money worries and the best thing about the list I’ve put together is there is no real outlay other than what I already pay for. A few days ago when I saw this was coming my natural anxiety led thought was I could never afford to do this month as everything costs money. I’ve just proven to myself in a few paragraphs this isn’t true. I’m looking forward to this month and seeing what adventures I can find.
Other new free/cheap things to try that I will look at
- More facebook groups linked to my interests
- Twitter want to remove the ‘like’ button so more conversations rather than just clicking a button
- Going for walks on a Sunday
- Looking for the special offers on the food packets we already buy (my friend has just got 6 free cinema tickets by doing this)
- Using the Bumble app to make new friends (also a dating app for anyone that wants to look at this side)
- Talking to strangers
- Borrow a book by a new author from the library
- Listen to a new artist on Spotify (or choice of streaming website)
- Watch a new TV show
That’s my list, what’s yours?