There has been a distinct shift from the concept and terminology of self help to now self-care, and with a movement by the masses, recognizing, in order to excel it’s critical, regardless of what it’s called. The concept of the shift to the word self-care, opened up a much kinder, accepting, and inclusive terminology. With the overwhelming range of information out there, wellness books can be a great tool and resource to get you started.
Self-care once dismissed as a fad, is now considered not only essential for everyday wellbeing but for those who suffer with mental health issues, it is essential.
“Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can be very useful in helping us manage the symptoms of many mental health problems,” says Rachel Boyd from mental health charity Mind. Further than this even, they set you up for success in your day to day habits.
Here are a few wellness books we have short listed for you to ramp up your care.
The Self-Care Revolution: Smart Habits and Simple Practices To Allow You To Flourish by Suzy Reading, published by Hachette
Suzy Reading, a psychologist, yoga teacher and author of this comprehensive self-care guide, plunges immediately into a visceral description of her past struggles with postnatal depression, exhaustion and grief for her gravely ill father. This personal narrative provides an informative, well research-backed guide to self-care, with a wide range of references at the end of the book. Her research is both a homage to the author’s groundwork and an asset for the reader looking for additional books.
When working with a counsellor for postnatal depression, Reading first discovered the term “self-care”. She describes it as “any life-giving activity that restores, sustains or improves your health” and deems it “proactive healthcare”.
Reading introduces a concept she calls the “Vitality Wheel”, which unfolds as the central focal healing modality in the book. The wheel consists of “eight avenues of nourishment” -Sleep, Rest, Relaxation and Breathing; Movement and Nutrition; and Coping Skills – with each chapter covering a single spoke in the self-care wheel.
Colourful diagrams and bulleted sections help with straightforward advice on managing time, creating a wholesome physical space and elevating your mood and mind with ease.
Wellness leaders and sisters, Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips, believe that “learning to look after your own self as you would a child or a very dear friend – with love, kindness and patience” is key to anyone thriving. Their philosophy is self-care is not about “retreating from the world” – but about “being switched on, fully present and engaged in your life”.
The book, is minimalist and easy to absorb with straightforward instructive headings such as “Self-care for social media” or “What to do when you’re heartbroken”. It’s a mindful map to self-care for someone on the go.
The Self-Care Project: How To Let Go Of Frazzle And Make Time For You by Jayne Hardy, published by Orion Spring
The Self-Care Project debunks the myth that self-care is “selfish”. Hardy knows firsthand the impact of neglecting self-care. Jayne Hardy is the founder and CEO of mental-health charity The Blurt Foundation and writes from personal experience, where in her twenties she was unable to undertake “the most basic acts of self-care”. One example she sites is – she lost a molar as she “didn’t feel worthy enough” to brush her teeth. Her journey to heal led Hardy to set up her foundation and ultimately write this wellness book.
Hardy writes, self-care is about taking responsibility for yourself by being “hyper-aware” of how you feel and making choices based on this. Hardy offers strategies on how to evaluate your own needs and build self-care into your daily schedule. Each chapter ends with an interactive exercise to guide you through unpacking what self-care means to you, from journaling your fears to listing things that comfort you on “lemon-pelting days”.
The Little Book of Self-Care by Mel Noakes, published by Ebury Press
The Little Book of Self-Care squeezes a monumental amount of wisdom into 200 pages. Mel Noakes, an NLP practitioner known as a Self Care Coach, shares her personal story which included an eating disorder, low self-esteem and a lack of self-care, that lead her to rock bottom. Noakes, then takes us through the self-care tools she created to make life changing shifts.
Split into three parts – Mind, Body and Life – Noakes advises readers to approach the book in small bites, testing tips to try on slowly and see what resonates best. The Mind section targets your thoughts, and how to manage your inner critical dialogue posing a series of questions to assist in shifting to positive affirmations. The Body chapter outlines a simple-to-follow guide for mindful eating and for building in daily physical movement. The Life section shares prescriptions for nurturing relationships and the impact of nature on your well being and how to include it in your daily life.
A “self-care takeaway tips” box in each chapter and a “toolkit” for wellness organizations at the end of the book, offers a compact, precise and simple formula anyone can put into action.
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