5 Books To Level-Up Your Self-Care Game!
Taking Breaks with Books: Your Motivation & Self-Care Tip for the week
Ever feel completely stuck in a rut?
Like you aren’t quite sure where to go next?
You want to make improvements and find the motivation to keep going, but you would rather just take a nap?
Recently, I was challenged in a fitness group to spend 10 minutes every day reading a self-development book. This was never a genre that interested me very much. I’ve always been a big fiction fan at heart. (Who doesn’t love exploring different worlds from the safety of a comfy chair?)
But I did some digging around reviews and found some books that piqued my interest.
hat I found was that in the process of reading and learning I was also soaking up some really great strategies that I could incorporate into my life. And interestingly, realizing that these strategies would work for me motivated me to actually put them into practice.
So I thought I would share the 5 books I have recently found helpful for self-care, self-development work, conquering some inner demons and in general learning to accept myself for who I am.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown - This book is all about accepting who you are - imperfections and all. The information in the book is presented gently while also allowing for exploration into personal stories. Based on the author’s work as a research social worker she combines beautiful narration of case study information with support from current research in the field. Short & sweet while also being extremely profound.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle - More of a memoir and autobiography, this book details a period in the author’s life while also exploring some more societal observations that influence many female experiences that are all too commonplace. It is almost a call to arms for women to release themselves from the constraints society places on us and step into our truths. Beautiful lessons told in almost essay-form and a wealth of insight.
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters & How to Harness It by Ethan Kross - As a former school counselor who is absolutely fascinated with how the brain works, I found this book equally fascinating. As someone who also doesn’t love a lot of technical jargon, I loved how the author made every scientific point relatable and perfectly understandable through his use of storytelling. Not only does he discuss how the voice in our head full of negative comments affects our daily functioning but he gives clear resources and practices that can help quiet the negative and amplify the positive. So often our thoughts are what really get in the way of our ability to actively pursue our dreams and goals. This book helps explain how to combat the self-limiting beliefs in a tangible way.
This Book Could Fix Your Life by Helen Thomson - From a regular contributor to New Scientist Magazine, this scientist-turned-journalist tackles a wide range of self-development topics (weight loss, secrets of good sleep, nutrition, self-care, mental health, and wisdom) through the lens of science. She highlights relevant studies to showcase what actually works vs what is all hype and no results. The book is split into easy to digest sections depending on which area interests you most and includes highlights at the end of each chapter for easy review. With all the trendy solutions and various methods taking over entire shelves in the bookstore area labeled “self-help”, this book cuts through the noise to show you what will REALLY work and why.
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily & Amelia Nagoski - Two sisters partnered up to bring you this in-depth look at how stress permeates & affects our life while also giving us some solid science-backed practices to combat the negative effects of stress and burnout. Unfortunately, our US culture thrives on stress and burnout is seen as almost a badge of honor showcasing how hard of a worker you are. Women tend to be disproportionately affected by this culture as we are also expected to be the primary caregivers to children and aging parents in addition to being required to handle the majority of housework/household tasks. A recipe for burnout disaster indeed! I loved how the authors used real life examples of women experiencing burnout to illustrate how their stress management systems could work while also looking at our culture and the expectations it puts on women in a harsh light. (Who knew that the BMI we all dread and doctors often use to determine obesity was actually created by many individuals working for weight-loss companies? How rude!) Humor, science, REAL life all rolled into one helpful book.