8 Best Inspiring and Self-Help books to Ease Your Mind
In a period of uncertainty and constant bad news, it seems tempting to spend your day sleeping under the comforter or watching Netflix. Although these are both valid ways to spend your coronavirus quarantine, it’s also important to keep up self-care during this stressful time and to try to limit any behaviors that could negatively affect your mental health, such as scrolling news updates or worrying about getting the virus.
If you need a little help with these issues, there are many self-help books that could guide you along the way. I compiled a list of 8 of the most inspiring reads that will give you the tools to tackle worry, calm your anxious thoughts, and strengthen your relationships with others.
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t, Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz
If you have been meaning to start a meditation routine for a while or if you never gave it much thought, there is evidence to suggest that practicing them could have many benefits – including lower levels of stress and anxiety, an improved physical and mental health, and a better night’s sleep. In Just Sit, Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz provide the basics of what meditation really is. They share the science behind those benefits and how to maintain motivation. They also give tips on how to develop a routine. During these challenging times, the simplest meditation routine could be an essential item in your toolbox.
This Too Shall Pass: Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings By Julia Samuel
There is a sense that we are living in the apocalypses. It can be useful to look back on past challenges and times of crisis and remember they didn’t last forever. The human race is resilient. Even when things get bad, we tend to come through the other side, learning something along the way. In This Too Shall Pass, psychotherapist Julia Samuel takes a look at how many times crisis will flow through our lives. She also provides helpful advice for coping with life’s challenges.
The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace, Patrizia Collard
If you’re short on time, The Little Book of Mindfulness promises to bring a moment of calm with simple thought exercises that only take 5 or 10 minutes of your day, and could even be shortened to a minute or two if necessary. The book is just shy of 100 pages. It is a quick read but will leave you with strategies for coping with anxious moments that you will be able to use for a lifetime. If you’re in the habit of checking the news multiple times a day, just stop it. Try replacing an hour of television or social media for a moment of mindfulness and see if it improves your mood.
Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig
In 2018, in the midst of endless bad news, author Matt Haig published this guide for coping with an unrelenting news-cycle and recognizing its effects on our mental health. We could do this now more than ever. Notes on a Nervous Planet takes particular aim at the internet and the always-on nature of modern life, looking at how it can increase anxiety, and provide food for thought when it comes to limiting interactions with news and social media.
What a Time to Be Alone, Chidera Eggerue
During this time of isolation and social distancing it could be a great opportunity to connect more deeply with your own thought patterns and reflect on your relationships with others. In What a Time to be Alone, Chidera Eggerue shares tips for evaluating and taking control of your own self-worth, understanding where other people are coming from while avoiding taking on their demons, and building the confidence and tools to remove yourself from toxic relationships.
The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It, David Carbonell and Stephen Paul Aulridge Jr.
If you’re finding it hard to escape feelings of worry and fear, it’s worth trying out some skills that will help you observe and understand those thought patterns without judging yourself or becoming overwhelmed. The Worry Trick provides techniques based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that aim to help you break the cycle of worry and start observing your anxious feelings with distance and clarity.
The Comparison Cure: How to Be Less ‘Them’ and More You, Lucy Sheridan
During this quarantine, we’re all probably spending too much time on social media at the moment, even though there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that doing so could negatively affect our mental health. If you’re particularly prone to comparing your own experience to that of others, try Lucy Sheridan’s Comparison Cure. Her advice involves recognizing the negative feelings that social media might bring up, changing the way you engage with your feed and putting in place necessary boundaries, before finally working on a few strategies that will help you keep these new good habits in place.
Eight Dates: To keep your relationship happy, thriving and lasting, John and Julie Gottman
For those spending more time than they are used to with their partner, whether your in a long-term or new relationship, now is probably a good time to work on behaviors that will nurture and protect that relationship. In Eight Dates, well-respected relationship counselors John and Julie Gottman provide specific exercises and conversation starters for strengthening a romantic union, and working through these could be a nice alternative to date nights outside the home.