When I was 13 I would walk into a bookstore looking for the latest YA novel now as a 20-something I go straight to the self-help section. I understand I am only 22 years old and shouldn’t be too consumed with the stressors of everyday life. But here I am writing about how I need more self-help books. I even have a podcast playlist devoted to self-improvement and finding motivation. Currently, I am listening to The Minimalists, The Daily Boost, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Because I want to improve and motivate myself.
Then I scroll through my Social Media again that’s when my self-esteem starts to peel away. It felt like exercising and skin-care didn’t seem enough to me. I scroll through Instagram loathing myself because my life doesn’t have an aesthetic filter. Do I need a new wardrobe like my colleagues? Do I need to bother my boyfriend for an engagement ring? Should’ve I said yes to that previous job offer? I felt lost and read too many inconsistent articles on the internet. I needed other sources.
It’s No Longer Escapism
For the past year, I have had a reading slump. Before I would be able to read at least three books in one week. Now I could barely finish the books I’ve bought. Most of them are barely finished and some of them I take ages to flip through. So far the only book I have intended on finishing was “Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green. But when I was casually looking around a bookstore I came across a book about clearing your mind. I forgot the title but I was able to breeze through the pages while I waited for my boyfriend.
I used to read to escape reality. I wanted to travel through worlds and meet different people without leaving my room. A book was able to distract me long enough for me to forget about the world. Now, all I think about is my reality; the ongoing job hunt, the fear of unemployment, and if there was still food in the fridge. I couldn’t switch off reality. I spend most of my days reading me emails than reading ten pages of a book. But when I picked up that random self-help book and tore through how many pages I realized something – I needed help figuring out my life.
Self-Improvement and Self-Care
I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post I have been exercising regularly and trying to sit less. It was the first step for me improving my life. Aside from sweating it out, I also adopted a new skin regime. I’ve bought face masks and strips that match my skin type. At first, I wanted to learn makeup but after evaluating my skin I realized I needed to take care of that first. So, I was focused on my physical care but I also need intellectual, mental, and emotional care.
This tiny changes to my routine are helping me. I’m in much better moods because of the endorphins coursing through my body. I am eating healthier more greens, more fruits, and went back to my no-chip rule.
Where I Want To Be
I honestly want to improve myself and live a better lifestyle. So walking into the Self-help section made me want more help achieving that. Scouring books hoping to find nuggets of advice I realized I shouldn’t only rely on dozens of advice from different experts and authors. I have to take action on being more inspired, motivated, and better. Sure buying one or two self-help books would help but it would only give me the illusion of getting better.
At the moment I am saving up for “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*CK: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson. It was recommended to me by a friend and I realized I gave way too many fucks. I am also looking for “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I need those two books because clean space applies to my room and my soul. I waste my energy on things that shouldn’t even be bothered. Since I was young I always trusted books. Maybe as a 22 year old millennial contemplating her existence books can help now too.