Reviewed by Magdalena ball
365 Ways to Do Less, Have More, and Feel Good:
Little Changes to Simplify Your Complicated Life
By Pamela Allardice
Allen and Unwin, 2001
There are a myriad of self-help books on the market. There are books to help you lose weight, books to help you think more positively; to feel stronger; have better relationships; dress better; use make up better, and anything else you can think of. 365 Ways to Do less, Have More, and Feel Good by Pamela Allardice covers everything, in easily digestible bites – one for each day of the year. Each day corresponds to the calender, making this a good book for New Years resolutions – just resolve to do one good thing for yourself each day of the year.
For example, on January 1st, you might “Start as you mean to go on”, or begin the day taking a few deep breaths and clearing yourself of negativity, in expectation of a bright, positive new day. Find that a little sugary and esoteric? Well on the 2nd you could begin the day with a little gentle exercise, and on the 3rd, start the day with a glass of warm water, the juice of one lemon, and half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to cleanse your system and “detoxify your cells”.
Allardice is something of an expert on self-help, having written 24 books on the subject, from The Body Bible to Pamela’s Natural Remedies, as well as being the editor of Nature & Health magazine. She does regular columns for the Australian Women’s Weekly, Reader’s digest, and has regular health tips spots on a number of television shows. She also has 2 children, and wrote Feel Good, as a means for conveying small, but powerful tips which even the busiest person can begin incorporating into their daily routine. If you are too busy to read self-help books, but keen to feel better, and do something good for your body and fast paced life in an uncomplicated, quick and simple way, this could be the perfect self-help book.
The advice is all practical, and generally runs from 1-4 paragraphs in total for each day – you can read it while brushing your teeth, or spreading avocado on your whole grain sandwiches. The scope is also broad, and covers everything from tips for saving money on food, through fighting Cancer in the kitchen, dry skin brushing (something I had never heard of but which I’ve been doing since reading this book – it really does leave your skin tingling), dealing with criticism, adding spices to your food, cutting down on fat, making vacuuming a sensual experience (!), breathing better, losing weight, easing eye strain, combating hair loss, eating the 5 super-foods, face and hair masks, adding romance to your life, acupressure, aromatherapy, worrying less, and sleeping better to name just a few. There are recipes for natural cleaning products, immune boosting, quick breakfasts, smoothies, energy improvers, hair glossers, low fat ice cream, irish coffee, kelp stock, lavender water, macaroni (!), picnics, candida elimination, colds, low fat salad dressings, healthy snacks, soups, anti-insomnia drinks, and herbal teas. In short, there are 365 ideas, each brief, but easy to do, and easy enough to remember and refer to, for having a better life altogether.
One of my favourites is accepting yourself as you are (April 13th). According to Allardice, self-acceptance is the number one key to happiness, anthough it is perhaps a truism to say so, once you start thinking about it, you will release how often we sabotage ourselves with negative messages. There are plenty of tips to help you stop doing this, along with lots more for any kind of self-improvement you can think of. Some of the tips are a little silly and obvious, and some you may do already, but put it all together, and this is a lighthearted, enjoyable reference book for the self-help addict, or anyone who isn’t too cynical, and looking for ways to live a little better. It would make a great Christmas gift for the person who keeps telling how busy they are, or for yourself.
About the reviewer: Magdalena Ball is the author of the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Sublime Planet, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks, and we’ll be interviewing Charlie Lovett shortly. Find out more about Magdalena at www.magdalenaball.com.