Put down the diet books, pack away the scales, throw out that weight loss article ‘20 ways in 20 days’. I’ve got the perfect set of books to give you the right kind of self-help this January.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to feeling the January guilt and making unrealistic weight-loss resolutions. But whilst I’m making the usual post-Christmas efforts to eat healthy, I’m also balancing it out with cake and chocolate. Because personally I think we all put too much focus on changing our image this time of year. Why don’t we all make 2017 the year we look after our mental well-being, our precious time and of course our family, our friends and our home.
Here are three fantastic books to help you do just that (and when I say fantastic, I mean fantastic!)
I was advised to read this book when travelling through South America by a fellow backpacker. We were discussing the pressures that come with backpacking, including the pressure of trying to tick everything off a ‘Must See’ list, dealing with the guilt you feel when you decide to skip the number one activity recommended on trip advisor, and then the worry about what other backpackers will think of you for skipping said activity. Whilst explaining this to my new lovely friend over a glass of wine, she frowned, put down her glass of wine and pulled out this very book.
Sarah Knight shares her own story of exhaustion and far too much people pleasing that almost lead to a breakdown and eventually thinking ‘F*ck it, I’m done.’ She explains exactly how she went about changing her life by not giving f*cks anymore, and she shares with us how to manage your very own F*ck Budget. Because you can’t give a f*ck about everything can you? Seriously, when you think about it, you just cannot give a f*ck about every little thing. So don’t.
It’s a theory so simple, so freakin simple, and yet none (or at least very few us) apply it to our lives. Why are we all doing things we don’t like just to please other people?
I immediately downloaded it onto my kindle app and even just reading the first few pages I felt so empowered and ready to tighten the purse strings on all my f*cks. So what if I went all the way to Cusco and didn’t fancy doing the Sacred Valley? I didn’t travel thousands of miles across the world to feel guilty.
Reading this book completely changed my whole outlook on my trip, and life actually, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sarah’s teaching of how not to give a f*ck, in the politest way of course, will leave you spending more time doing the things you want to do, without pissing anyone off.
Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear
Liz Gilbert is quickly becoming one of my favourite people. Like, ever. This woman gives the most amazing advice.
I originally downloaded this as an audio book last year and listened to it in a matter of days – twice! I loved it. In fact I loved this book so much I recently bought the paperback copy to keep on my desk as my bible, there for me to refer to should I need a boost of confidence.
Although a book written to help creative types pursue their creative dreams, this book can quite easily be applied to all dreams and ambitions of any kind. Broken up into six parts, Liz Gilbert writes about facing your fear by, oddly enough, learning to live with your fear, befriending your fear and ultimately controlling your fear. Because as Liz reminds us, we need fear, of course we do, fear is our friend when it’s telling us not to get in the car with that creepy man. But fear is not our friend when it’s stopping us from certain challenges or embarking on our dreams (The open letter she pens to fear itself is one of the best things I’ve ever read – I actually typed it up and have it printed out on my desk).
Through personal stories – some you won’t believe! – and a lot of awesome pep talking, the lovely and rather hilarious Liz Gilbert will have you feeling inspired, motivated and ready to unleash your creativity by the end of the book.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness
Marie Tourell Søderberg
So, this is actually my Mums book that I am still technically reading, but what a book to start my year with. I’m sure you’ve all seen the #Hygge trend kicking off – if not what rock have you been living under? Actually that’s none of my business, I don’t give a f*ck.
Hygge is a Danish word (pronounced hue-gah) that basically means making something ordinary, wonderful. Therefore the art of Hygge is making your everyday life one of comfort, love and wonderful warmth. And with Danish people apparently being the happiest in the world, how could I not want to read a book about how to live a Hygge life? Published by Penguin, they claim that whilst other books have told you about Hygge, this is “the only book that will show you.” And trust me it does. Filled with beautiful photography, lovely quotes, interviews and recipes and beautifully written, Marie Tourell Søderberg will have you wanting to invite all your friends and family round for a cosy dinner party, wrapped up warm, catching up over wine.
This book also very importantly reminds us that Life is not about wasting time on electronic devices and scouring the web for likes, but about spending what limited time we have here on Earth with the people that matter the most to us – something that hugely ties in with one of my on New Year Resolutions.
So there you have it. Three books that I think can make a huge difference to your well-being, and either or all would be a great book to kick off your year.