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Anxiety and Stress This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Anxiety and Stress over Hoarding Books - August 28th 2020, 01:55 AM

Hello teenhelp,

I have been feeling really anxious and stressed out recently. In a year, I am about to graduate and move back home, but over the years I have accumulated so many books. There are four large shelfs of books in my apartment, and around 12 boxes of them stored in the storage. I have the habbit of going to local thrift shops and used books stores to get a couple books when I feel extremly stressed. I usually keep the textbooks after a semester ends, because I feel I could still use them in the future. I keep hoarding books and now I will have to sell them in a short period of time. I don't know what I could do. Every time I turn around and see those books, I felt deep despire and panick. What should I do???
   
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Re: Anxiety and Stress over Hoarding Books - August 28th 2020, 12:52 PM

Hello and I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this and hope that you will be okay soon.

When we keep buying something, it can be fun at first and then we have so much of it that it is hard to keep them all. Books are something that are lovely to have, because you can read them whenever you want to. They help pick you up or get your mind off of something that you are going through. You can try to make three piles, one is for keep, the other is maybe and the last is to give away. Start going through your books and try this if you want to. Also if you give your books away to a bookstore or another store then someone else who cannot buy that book full price will be able to get it and still enjoy it. I know that it is hard giving our staff away, because we want to keep it. You will be able to help out other people with your books. Also if you can find someone who has a program that you can give books and take them to read, that is fun. At my old church, it has six bookshelfs that is full of books, it is called Take one and give one. You take a book to read and put another one in it's stop, then when you are done with the book you put it back to get another one. Then everyone can read and enjoy the different books. It's hard at first giving your stuff away, then you are going to feel happy because it can help out other people. I wish you the best with this and hope that you will be okay soon. Hugs


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Re: Anxiety and Stress over Hoarding Books - August 30th 2020, 09:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Golfing girl View Post
Hello and I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this and hope that you will be okay soon.

When we keep buying something, it can be fun at first and then we have so much of it that it is hard to keep them all. Books are something that are lovely to have, because you can read them whenever you want to. They help pick you up or get your mind off of something that you are going through. You can try to make three piles, one is for keep, the other is maybe and the last is to give away. Start going through your books and try this if you want to. Also if you give your books away to a bookstore or another store then someone else who cannot buy that book full price will be able to get it and still enjoy it. I know that it is hard giving our staff away, because we want to keep it. You will be able to help out other people with your books. Also if you can find someone who has a program that you can give books and take them to read, that is fun. At my old church, it has six bookshelfs that is full of books, it is called Take one and give one. You take a book to read and put another one in it's stop, then when you are done with the book you put it back to get another one. Then everyone can read and enjoy the different books. It's hard at first giving your stuff away, then you are going to feel happy because it can help out other people. I wish you the best with this and hope that you will be okay soon. Hugs
Thank you Emma, I really do feel the hesitation when I think of giving my books away because many of them are unread and I always imagine that one day I will read so I keep them along with me at all cost. I will start looking for ways to donate or sell them. Thank you for your advice .
   
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Re: Anxiety and Stress over Hoarding Books - October 1st 2020, 08:05 PM

Not sure if this is still relevant to you but I have a difficult time of letting things go too. Can't imagine what it's like knowing you have to try to sell your books when you haven't read them! A trick that helps me is taking a picture or keeping a list of things, that way even if I have to let them go, I have something to remember them by and have a record of them so I can seek them out again in the future. Just a thought


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Re: Anxiety and Stress over Hoarding Books - October 8th 2020, 10:50 AM

Hi Leah,

Thanks so much for reaching out about this! I know how beloved books are and how difficult it can be to part with them. I've had this experience with old toys and my cherished collection of ceramic items.

One thing I've learned from my struggles with OCD is that the best way to combat anything is to face our fears head-on. I think that applies for anything in life too! If you are feeling desperate and anxious about parting with books, not doing anything to give those books away is going to keep you shackled to this anxiety. However, if you decide to do exactly what your anxiety wants you not to do (i.e. to in fact part with those books), you will have conquered this anxiety.

It might help to sort the books into piles of different values of importance - some would to into can-never-part-with-at-all-costs piles, some into the important-but-not-the-most-important, some into the keeping-it-for-the-sake-of-it pile, and so on. That way, segregating the books might help you decide on which books to keep and not keep. Like Emma said, donating or giving away the books is a great idea. If you are worried that you have not read those books and would like to read them someday (I know, I have been through the same thoughts when I had to sort out my books when we moved houses), it might help to consider the practicality of the thought - will you actually ever read the book? I was once keeping this nonfiction that I thought I'd definitely read, but then after many years had passed and I had not touched it, I thought to myself "If I hadn't read it all these years, I'm not going to read it anytime soon," and I gave it away. If some titles could be given away but you are sure that you'd read them someday, you can note them down and find them in the library subsequently when you decide to read them.

I know it must be really confusing when you're planning to move out, and we all get sentimental about our items. But in life we have to constantly move places, and this process is quite inevitable. However, it can be a great way for us to clear some space and give away items that could go into better hands too.

Good luck, and PM me if you'd like to chat about anything!

   
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