New year, new you

Who do you want to be in 2017? Someone better organised/less stressed/fitter/richer/more fulfilled?

The only thing stopping you is you… or maybe it’s just that you haven’t found the right programme, philosophy or inspiration yet. That being the case, here are some suggestions to set you on the path of the righteous/smug.

Ditching bad habits

We’ve got resources to help you stop smoking, drinking, and advice on how to cope with other addictions and compulsions.

Cover of The mindfulness workbook for addiction Cover of Quit Cover of Healing the addicted brain Cover of Kick your habit

Diet and fitness

There are plenty of titles available with advice on improving your diet, or find an exercise regime that suits your lifestyle.

Cover of Exhausted to energized Cover of Eat to cheat ageing Cover of Feel good for life Cover of Gut gastronomy

Or are you just keen to keep your brain fit and healthy? There are programmes and exercises for flexing your cognitive muscles.

Maybe it’s just time to cope better with stress?

Cover of Our ageing brain Cover of Keep your brain alive Cover of Relax Cover of Do breathe

Money and finances

Is 2017 the year you show your mortgage who’s boss? Try some titles about personal finance, budgeting, and retirement planning.

Cover of Kill your mortgage Cover of The little book of thrift Cover of New Zealand retirement guide Cover of The great NZ work, money & retirement puzzle

Efficiency and organisation

Whether you want some advice on how to attack household tasks more efficiently, bring some orderliness to your possessions, or advice on time management, there are heaps of titles to choose from.

cover of The life-changing magic of tidying up Cover of If it's clutter Cover of Life hacks Cover of How to be a productivity ninja

Better living, everyone.

Cover of Big magic Cover of The achievement habit Cover of Find the good Cover of The school of greatness

Surviving your child’s teenage years

As a parent of a teenager, I feel like I age a good five years each time he does something out of order. Something has got to be done! Here are some resources I’ve come up with:

Most of all, talk to other parents of teens to get ideas and support, and good luck!

The scary librarian – not!

Book coverWhere would you rank librarians on a scariness scale? Somewhere between teddy bears and hugging according to a Time magazine article,  Fearing Well (January 9, 2012). That is, not scary at all.

Turns out we are really bad at working out what is truly fearful, as David Ropeik explains in his book How risky is it, really? We prefer not to fear the real killers like obesity, global warming and heart disease, and  persist instead in the mistaken notion that asteroids, insects and cell phone radiation will get us in the end.

Personally, I am between a rock (not an asteroid, thank goodness) and a hard place when it comes to the risk of flying – apparently getting to the airport should be more feared than the flight itself – a case of losing on the roundabouts what you gain on the swings?

Still, we will be hard pressed to calm our customers (even if we are armed with teddy bears and hugging for all we are worth) should there be a lightning storm or a shark in the library. We are all, quite rightly, terrified of them and a little bit of fear can save lives:

Sometimes the only thing we have to fear is a lack of fear itself

So what gets your palms all sweaty? And don’t say earthquakes – they didn’t feature in this article at all.

Keep your spirits up!

Image from our collectionIf you are like me, now that the adrenalin-filled first few days after the earthquake are over, you may be feeling somewhat flat.  Or perhaps you are angry with Mother Earth for the way it has suddenly (and literally!) pulled the rug out from under our feet.

There is no doubt that life has changed in many ways for all of us, and it can be easy to let feelings of helplessness, frustration, sorrow  or pure numb shock overwhelm us.  As Richard’s earlier post outlined, there are many resources available to help us cope.  These resources tell us that some of the most important things we can do is support one another in the community and try to build some enjoyment in each day.

So how do we do this? Well, one way is to go out and attend events in the community. Don’t forget that while many programmes and activities have been cancelled, some are still taking place:

Also keep an eye on:

And visit us here on the Christchurch City Libraries Blog – we’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date. Why not share your tips for getting through? We’d love to hear from you.

After the disaster: coping with stress

Here are some websites that may help you cope with the stress of the recent earthquakes. If you need urgent assistance, contact HealthLine (24 hours) 0800 611 116 or the Earthquake Government Helpline 0800 779 997.

Wellbeing support services
Links from
Coping with stress factsheets
From the Ministry of Health.
After Disaster: Responding to the psychological consequences of disasters for children and young people
By Peter Stanley and Sarah Williams. This free download has been made available by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. 1.4 MB PDF.
Wellbeing and supporting students
From the Ministry of Education.
Read health information form the Canterbury District Health Board
From the Canterbury Earthquake website.

Help for parents with stressed children

To help parents whose children may be experiencing stress after the earthquake, a helpful book has been made available for free download. Described as a psychological first aid guide, it is by New Zealanders and will also help schools and librarians working with children.

After Disaster: Responding to the psychological consequences of disasters for children and young people by Peter Stanley and Sarah Williams.

The free download has been made available by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Peter Stanley  and Sarah Williams are registered psychologists. The guide contains research-based information to help teachers, librarians and parents to understand children’s likely immediate and longer-term responses to disaster. It includes ideas of questions to prompt classroom discussion and activities to help students work through their experiences. Parents, Libraries and Schools are welcome to download all or parts of the book and share it with their communities.