Quarantine has definitely been a series of ups-and-downs. In July, I was really, really down. I would work from home each day for 8 hours — clock out — and sit on the couch for hours. Completely unable to move and just in a terrible, irritable, yet sad mood. You could say that I was a bit depressed. Sometimes, I would even cry for seemingly no reason out of no where. Without a doubt, this year has definitely been a challenging, emotional ride for everyone.
There has been SO much that has happened during quarantine — both good and bad… And it led up to a lot of emotions. A lot of things that I needed to process, but kept putting it off because of the hard, emotional work that it was going to take when confronting the things that were holding me back, angering me, or making me sad.
What did I do?
Firstly. I got my butt off of social media.
Every day, negativity and bad news were just flooding my timelines. It was 100% contributing to my depressive state. I turned off notifications and vowed to myself that I was barely going to touch my socials and mindlessly scroll. My social media use was going to be limited and with purpose. I would only go online to upload content, interact with my community, and peace out. No scrolling. I also made sure to start following more inspiring, positive accounts to keep me in a good headspace.
Secondly, I headed to my local Barnes & Noble.
I spent hours in the Self-Help section finding books that spoke to me. It’s tricky to find a book that aligns with your current state/needs sometimes! After selecting a handful of books, I toted my shopping bag home and began this transformative self-care of reading.
These books that I’m about to list off CHANGED MY LIFE. They resurrected me out of my quarantine funk and helped me find freedom from all of the baggage that I was carrying. I got my ish together and focus on becoming the best version of myself. I started making better habits. I tried to clean more often since it makes me happy. I started to set boundaries in all relationships — family, friendships, work, etc. I learned how to forgive and cease my horrible road rage. I feel so much more in control of how I react to certain situations and of my life. I 100% recommend them.
This book. THIS. This is my holy grail book. If I could narrow it down to just ONE book that completely changed how I see the world, this would be it. I think I’ve highlighted and taken notes on the whole thing, hehe. 🙂
This book has taught me how to…
• Manifest the life that I want.
• Forgiveness and how to let things roll off my back to protect my positive energy when I’m angry or upset.
• Take risks, stop lying to myself, and live life without fear.
• Completely go all-in with decision making and follow my goals — no matter how big or small.
• Stop comparing myself to others and to truly love myself.
• Practice gratitude and how gratitude leads to greater manifestation and overall happiness.
This is literally a manual on how to live a good life without taking anyone’s B.S.
It is a guide to becoming your highest self and manifesting literally anything that you could dream of.
I feel like I am a better, confident, and more relaxed person because of this book. It helped me overcome a LOT of the obstacles that quarantine threw at me. This book… Just get it. It will change your life and your outlook on the world. There aren’t enough words to describe how this book has helped me — I plan on getting all of Jen Sincero’s books now.
Like the title states, this book helped me accomplish small changes every single day in so many facets of life. It covers how to create better habits and ways of life in work, your home, relationships, your health, etc. When focusing on health, Sarah Harvey harps on how important self-love is and to be grateful for what our bodies can do. In quarantine, I really needed this reminder. Health is not being skinny or fitting a societal standard. It’s about feeding your body right, acknowledging the wonderful things it does for you, and to focus on what you can do to improve its function to hopefully help you live a longer life.
It taught me little tips and tricks on how to tidy up my home every day and make it a more enjoyable space, as well as how to set boundaries at work (i.e. work/life balance, turning off your phone at certain times so you can relax and give attention to loved ones after clocking out, etc) and productivity tips. This is a GREAT little book that has tidbits on how to live a simpler, happier life and how to incorporate Sarah Harvey’s great tips each and every day.
Sarah’s tips are highly effective by illustrating both SHORT-TERM and LONG-TERM goals for each facet of life.
The meaning behind “kaizen” is, simply put, gradually making improvements every day. It’s easier and more effective to make small changes to your life (or even to a business! which is what the term stems from) little by little than to jump in, head-first, and exhaust yourself by trying to accomplish a HUGE goal in one sitting.
What I really have loved about Jennifer Ashton’s book, “The Self Care Solution”, is that you are meant to read it monthly. The book is broken down into months — from January to December. Each month, there is a new self-care topic for you to focus on. For instance, January is “Dry Month” (Less Alcohol), May is “More Meat, Less Plants”, August is “Mindful Tech”, September is “Less Sugar”, etc. Right now, I’m on October — “Stretching.” Each month gives you challenges to complete to focus on self-care and bettering your help — which I love! I don’t feel alone while reading this book because simultaneously, Jennifer Ashton writes about her experience with doing the challenge. It’s almost like you’re doing each monthly challenge alongside her.
Another thing that I love: Jennifer gives the science behind each tip that she incorporates. For example, I didn’t know how BAD sugar can age you vanity-wise. Even with all of the retinol in the world… a high-sugar diet can age you like crazy.
“The Self-Care Solution” has helped me become hyper-focused on a goal each month to improve my health. Not only is mental health important, but physical is too — and Jennifer definitely covers all of the bases with challenges to help you live a healthier life.
Lastly, there’s this gem. I’m still in the process of reading it — so I can’t give a full review — but it’s a goodie so far. James Clear speaks behind the science of habits and why we do them — while also giving tips on how to create new, good habits. I like that he shares examples of good habits that he’s incorporated into his life (like drinking a glass of water upon waking) and how he has sustained certain habits over the years.
I am on a mission to create better habits. I feel like a lot of the time I’m just going through the motions — mindlessly eating, consuming content/watching tv, and going to sleep/waking — and in turn, creating bad habits over the years.
Some things that I want to accomplish are waking up earlier, stretching, drinking more water, tidying up my space more frequently, etc. My excuse for these things is that I’m often too busy — but quite frankly, most of the time, I have bad habits because I get lazy and simply just don’t feel like doing the laundry (and then leave the heaping pile of freshly cleaned clothes on a chair for 2 weeks…).
I hope that this book along with The Self-Care Solution will be a solid guide to accomplishing these goals.
So… This post got a bit personal. I’ve always had a really hard time opening up about mental health. I’m definitely the kind of person that tries to seem like I’m happy 100% of the time, even if I’m not. I think a lot of us can relate, but even with the increasing advocacy for mental health, it’s still been reaaaally hard for me.
That being said, thank you so much for reading, and if you choose to check out these books, I hope and pray that they help guide and motivate you to become your highest self.
If you have a life-changing book that you’d recommend, please leave me a comment! I am dying to read more and more self-help books. There is no such thing as too much self-care, learning, and growing in my eyes! 🙂