FGRLS Bookclub: #SelfCareWeek Special

image by @missgloriadesign on instagram

Awareness weeks can sometimes trivialise important topics, but overall, they’re a brilliant way to start conversations and educate people. #SelfCareWeek can quickly become overrun by bath bombs, Jo Malone candles and kale smoothies; which are all great, but nonetheless should be used as elements of a wider routine or mission to self-love, not the core tools. To help you shift focus, I’ve compiled a list of books that all delve into the deeper side of self-care and will hopefully help you take better care of yourself…

1)       Self-Care For The Real World

by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips

This book is a practical guide to wellness for people with busy lives. From food to heartbreak, they cover it all. This little nugget of advice is something we should all try to live by “Do something that scares you. It could be making a speech, talking to a stranger at a party or trying a new hobby. The more you practice the things that feel scary, the less intimidating they become and the more confidence you will have for new challenges.”

2)      The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

by Marie Kondo

Bit of a classic but for good reason, this de-cluttering guru (yeah, that’s a real thing) gives advice on how de-cluttering your home can purge your life of excess baggage. The mantra is short but sweet: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life”.

3)      Heartburn

by Nora Ephron

Oh Nora, the woman who needs zero introduction and probably zero promotion. The romcom genius (she wrote screenplays like When Harry Met Sally, has delivered a truly life-changing book, not because it’s uncovering hidden truths about life, no, but because it is so painfully funny and heart-breaking. Complete with some great and carby recipes. My favourite extract is this, the bread and butter of every writer’s mind…

“Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”
So I told her why.
Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.”

4)     How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook

by Lee Crutchley

A great title and an even greater book. Journaling is recommended by most therapists and is truly a useful way to make sense of your thoughts. This gives you a little helping hand, full of creative prompts and starting points.

5)      I Thought It Was Just Me

by Brené Brown

Shame manifests itself in many ways, and Brown spent 6-years studying how it does this in women’s lives, and how we can break the habit. This powerful passage will persuade you to read this book more than anything I can say about it – “The biggest potential for helping us overcome shame is this: We are “those people.” The truth is…we are the others. Most of us are one paycheck, one divorce, one drug-addicted kid, one mental health illness, one sexual assault, one drinking binge, one night of unprotected sex, or one affair away from being “those people”–the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our kids play with, the ones bad things happen to, the ones we don’t want living next door.”

6)      What a Time to Be Alone

by Chidera Eggerue

Okay, so I’ve already reviewed this for FGRLS CLUB. But it deserves another mention here because it’s so bloody good. It’s the perfect “pick it up when you need it” book, looks great on a coffee table and even better, the words really sink into your brain. With wisdom pouring out of it, it’s a timeless work: “Choose yourself. Over and over again. Even when you’ve let yourself down. Choose yourself. Even when it feels uncomfortable. Choose yourself. Even when you’re tired. Choose Yourself.”

So there we have it – in my very humble opinion – some of the best self-care books out there. They’re not about the surface level stuff, but making this world feel a little less daunting; to me, that’s what self-care is really all about.

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