Good news versus bad news

I’ve recently  read a book called Weight Loss for People who Feel Too Much and there’s a part in it that made me think about our actions and the way we talk to others.

In the book one of the recommendations is to live life more simply by cutting back on the amount of negativity we subject ourselves to. By that I mean reading less gossip magazines, cutting down (or out) of social media, less news article and trying to reduce the amount of negative conversations we have.

I can do most of that and apart from too much social media. I spend a lot of time on public transport including trains and it’s an easy way to pass the time. Even though I have a kindle to read I often flick between that and social media more than I need to. So in that I need to cut down.

It’s the negative conversations that struck me though. How often do we spend time chatting with our friends and it’s all about how bad our day was, what traumas we overcame that day and what gossip we had found out. How often do we ring or text our friends and say ‘Do you know I’ve had a lovely day, some good chats with work colleagues and the bus was on time to get me home…’ or whatever happens. I think we are often far too quick to moan and not celebrate the good things.

I don’t think myself and my friends do it enough. I think we can do better. Although it’s not all doom and gloom. Myself and my best friend are having a detox week – her with caffeine and me with fizzy diet drinks. We’ve been texting daily with how well that’s going and how we are overcoming cravings or planning for any self sabotage. There’s been lots of encouragement and ideas flowing over how we can move forward with the next stage in what we both need to do in a dietary for our positive mental health (less caffeine and sugar). Now those are positive conversations.

You can’t ban all negativity though. Sometimes you have bad days and need to vent to your friends or significant other. Not talking creates even more negative mental health and as my depression came from this I would always advocate talking. It’s finding the right balance between talking about issues and becoming an energy vampire. Do you make a rule to only discuss issues at a certain time or never during the evening meal? I’m going to chat this over with my friends and see what rules we can come up with for our group.

But I am definitely going to work on my balance and concentrate on not overwhelming people with negative thoughts.

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Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying #decluttering

Over the last five years I’ve done a lot of work de-cluttering my home. I have over time thrown out several wardrobes full of clothes I bought during my emotional spending wilderness years as well as a bin bag full of shoes and who knows how many books. A lot went on ebay and the rest to charity shops. Along with my mum I also spent a couple of years selling unwanted goods at car boot sales.

However reading this book there is still a lot I found I can do. In the introductory section of the book Marie tells us before tidying and decluttering you must imagine the life you want as that is how the end result of this cleaning should reflect. After my initial breakdown in 2010 I spent a lot of time looking into what I wanted and how to achieve that and as a result I have plans for career, have worked on my friendships and relationships. This year I took steps to battle my financial debt.

A few months ago I stopped dieting and wrote a blog about how after 20 years I’m actually still the same weight so I wanted to look at just eating healthily. I think this is where for a while I lost my identity. No longer the woman who diets really badly I stopped thinking about me and what I want as a person. So using Marie’s method of visualising my thoughts were about how I want to be a strong, confident woman who would be reflected in lovely well fitted clothes and shoes. While comfortable in size and shape I need to be comfortable with the full package.

So that’s what I had in mind when starting to tidy what’s left after the last few years of de-cluttering. While reading the book I could often think of things that could go straight away. I have a wardrobe still with lots of clothes that hopefully I would eventually fit in. I do wonder if that’s a way I am holding my life back. Clothes for a person I am not and may not be. And even if I did slim down would I actually want to wear these clothes? Kondo suggests you take each item of clothing, feel them and ask yourself if you love it or need it. And I think the answer for those is probably no. I believe what’s best for me is to find some well-fitting, nice clothes for the person and size I am now and if I ever do slim down then I get to treat myself to something smaller.

I tried to tidy my shoes. I have a collection of killer heels in fabulous colours. I took them all out and laid them on the bed, decided that no way would I get rid of all of them, gave several of them a hug (!) and then put them all back. I don’t want to get rid of my shoes. I want a life where I get to wear my lovely shoes so that is something I’ve been working on setting up over the last few days.

The funny thing is I’m still only halfway through reading the book and all these fantastic ideas and thoughts are flooding in. Apart from looking at the shoes I haven’t even got to the actual tidying yet. A truly remarkable book.