The recent emphasis on and active encouragement to take care of oneself has set into motion what I would like to call a ‘self-care revolution’. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, government enforced lockdowns around the globe have evoked a new outlook for the public – to not only take more care of others, but to place more emphasis on taking care of our own health and wellbeing.
Self-care encompasses everything from our exercise regime, sleep schedule, and dental care to what we eat, and is a pivotal concept that active engagement with can lead to lasting potent benefits for our mental and physical health.
So, if you’re well into your self-care journey, or if you’re just beginning, continue your self-care education by reading any one of these books to change your outlook and wellbeing for the better.
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given
Her debut book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given gives an insight into the feminist conversation using an intersectional lens to examine its progression and its impacts on the body image, self-esteem, relationships and more, of women.
It’s eye-opening and, in some cases, hard-hitting, with lessons that speak for themselves – the book sold 100,000 copies in its first six months of publication in 2020. Other topics of discussion include rape culture, slut-shaming, internalised misogyny and gaslighting, helping to encourage a future of feminists, and aiming to change and reshape – for the better – the introspective and societal views of females everywhere within the patriarchal society in which we live. Undoubtedly, Florence’s messages help us to greater understand the world in which we live, contributing to us caring for ourselves more.
The Anxiety Journal by Corinne Sweet
Corinne Sweet helps us all battle through our worries and woes in a constructive and practical manner in The Anxiety Journal. We all encounter anxiety during our daily lives, for some this is more than others, leading to anxiety disorders – evoking a downward spiral of panic and worry which unfortunately can affect our daily lives.
A book for everyone. Whether you experience the odd worry or concern, if you’re a frequent worrier or even have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, this book is for you.
Its practical nature, teaching you mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy exercises and techniques, gives you a tried and tested way to help combat your anxiety, backed up by scientific evidence. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Marcia Mihotich, the Anxiety Journal is the perfect companion to help you work through your anxieties, fears and worries – no matter how big or small.
The Comfort Book by Matt Haig
Matt Haig, author of The Midnight Library and Reasons To Stay Alive, brings another much-loved hit to our bookshelves. The Comfort Book is a compilation of consolations from others, helping to show the reader that there are better days ahead – with words of hope and encouragement when times may be hard.
If anything, it is a reminder that life is filled with both ups and downs and that both work to give us an improved outlook on, and a more meaningful, life.
I’d liken The Comfort Book to a warm hug, there to support those in times of need and remind us of the better days ahead, and that we just need to keep looking for them.
The Self-Care Project: How to Let Go of Frazzle and Make Time for You by Jayne Hardy
Every persons’ 101 guide to self-care, the Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy is worth a read if you’re looking to really get in on the self-care revolution.
It is the ultimate guide showing you just how to take better care of yourself, and shows us just how integral self-care is in helping us be the best versions of ourselves that we so long to be.
The book is filled with practical advice, and the author, having gone through her own personal struggles with depression and anxiety, helps us feel that we are responsible for our own happiness, and that it is more than achievable with simple preventative methods.
Just a click away, this book helps us realise just how attainable and realistic self-care is.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
This compact guide is the cutest and most inviting of its kind – just like the lifestyle it is promoting. The Little Book of Hygge helps its readers obtain an attitude towards daily life, helping you cultivate happiness in a multitude of ways, whether it be through intimacy, feelings of cosiness or friendship, it is no wonder that Denmark is considered to be one of the happiest places in the world.
The Little Book of Hygge will share with you Denmark’s best kept secrets for a happier and more self-caring you, and who better to hear it from than an expert. The author, Meik Wiking, is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, thus is a professional in the art of all things Hygge, so you can rest assured you are in good hands whilst learning about this life-changing attitude on your path to self-care success.
No Such Thing As Normal by Bryony Gordon
A relieving and reassuring guide to navigating life, No Such Thing As Normal is a holistic guide to better the self. Covering topics ranging from worry, self-image, addiction, sleep, mindfulness and much more, the founder of ‘Mental Health Mates’ (a network of peer support groups online and in real life) Bryony Gordon gives us practical advice to help our mental wellbeing in an increasingly overwhelming world.
Bryony is here for us, giving a no-nonsense direct guide to understanding and improving our mental health through self-help, and – most importantly – she shows us that it is normal to have struggles with our mental health, and guides us on a path to become our stronger self.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles
One of my favourite books to date, Japanese living has long been known to be a freeing and serene lifestyle, but Ikigai sums up its most important lessons and teachings so that you can incorporate its practice into your daily life easily.
Ikigai is considered to be the secret to a long and happy life. Roughly translating to ‘life purpose’, this book will help you along your way to find and follow your own Ikigai and lead a more fulfilling life. Whilst drawing on the principles and insights from science, psychology and art, this book is an inspirational masterpiece that will help you cultivate a happy life.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your journey to becoming the best version of you that you can be through adopting new self-care techniques and outlooks with any one of these books. The real question though is: which one do we start with?