The Ultimate Self-Care Reading List


We’re halfway through the year and some self-care is in order. These books will give you pointers on how to do it

If you’re suffering the mid-year burnout, you need some self-care. Wellness coaches always remind us that it is okay to give yourself some rest. In fact, rest is necessary, and self-care an important part of success (or should we say sanity?). Here are books that will guide you on how to do it.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun And Be Your Own Person By Shonda Rhimes

If you have not watched the TED talk by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit TV shows such as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, do yourself a favour and watch it. In it she talked about how she suffered burnout and stopped loving the work that she once desperately loved. To find that love again, she said “yes”. Yes and self-care in the same sentence? Isn’t self-care about boundaries and the word “no”? Well, her Yes, as she recounts in this book, was to the things that scared her. For a year, she did just that, and it was an eye-opening experience. The book will help you conquer your fears and help you say yes to the good things in your life, like saying yes to putting your smartphone away and playing with children and never missing a moment of love.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: The Japanese Art of Decluttering And Organizing By Marie Kondo

Fact: Clutter, whether it is in your home, workspace, your email or mind, can create stress. It causes stress by making us feel anxious because you feel as if things are out of your control. It can also cause physical harm. The best thing you can do for yourself that will benefit both your physical and mental health, is clear out the clutter. And that’s where Marie Kondo comes in. In her book, she offers tips on how to clear the mess, organise your space, and store things using the KonMari method. This method ascribes to the philosophy that there is joy in tidying up and only keeping things that spark joy. If you’re looking at your messy home and wondering how or where to start or if you’ll ever finish tidying up, this book is for you.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar By Cheryl Strayed

We all have days when we need to be reminded about the important stuff. Most of them are here in this book. You want advice about love? You want advice on how to forgive or ask for forgiveness? How to take care of yourself? How to go after the things you want? How to let go? And do you want them straight and true and not delivered in a cheesy way that will make you roll you eyes and not mourn the money you’ve spent on the book? Then trust us when we say you will get all that from Cheryl Strayed aka Sugar. A quote from the book that will give you one last push to get the book: “Forgiveness doesn’t sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.” Sold? We hope so.

What If This Were Enough? Essays By Heather Havrilesky

What if someone told you that you already have what you need to change your life? We know you know that, but we tend to forget and think, if only I had more time then I would write that book or spend more time with my children; if only I had more money then I would start my business and travel more; if only I had the latest iPhone then I would be happy… and the list goes on. Renowned critic and columnist Heather Havrilesky reminds us in this collection of essays that shiny new toys aren’t what you necessarily need to change your life, and much more insights on how we get it wrong with change, success or even love. This book is especially for you if you think that self-care is a luxury you simply don’t have the time or money for.

The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome By Harriet B. Braiker

If you suffer from people-pleasing syndrome, don’t be surprised if you constantly burnout – emotionally, physically, mentally. We don’t really blame you, though, some of us, especially women, were taught to be likable, and likability might be one of the things that led to the horrible affliction that is people-pleasing. You’re always doing the things other people expect you to do, always saying yes when you want or should say no, always putting people first and never thinking about yourself and when you do, you feel guilty about it. Well, it is time to stop and thank heavens for Harriet Braiker. She explains the price of being nice, and how you can say no without being rude and without feeling like you’re letting people down. She also offers an action plan that includes how to treat the addiction of approval (the thing that got you here in the first place) and taking care of yourself.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Did you know that thinking about the past and what could have been, or worrying about the future can be detrimental to your self-care intentions? You can’t change the past, and the best thing you can do is pick the lessons and use them to improve the present. You don’t know what the future holds, so why are you so anxious about it? Ruminating about the past and future can steal the joy from the things you presently have. There is power in living in the now as meditation teachers and science have proven, and this classic reminds you about the importance of living in the present and will give you pointers on how to do it.


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