With every passing day, the news is getting scarier and scarier, and it can seem like the world is falling apart. It's easy to get wrapped up in the 24-hour news cycle and social media, where everything from our President dropping a MOAB on Afghanistan to continued police brutality on everyone from airline passengers to pedestrians is reported on and discussed in sickening detail. Of course, it is beyond important to remain informed and to not allow ourselves to get weary of resistance, to stay mindful in the face of encroaching anxiety. But sometimes the only way possible to keep up the strength for the fight is to take some time out for self-care.
But when something like a manicure or a bubble bath just won't cut it, there are some books out there that may help center you, inspire you, and reaffirm what you are fighting for. Because, despite everything, there are plenty of great things in the world to be thankful for, and working hard to achieve, create and to help others along the way is all we can do in the face of such uncertainty. Below are nine books that combine mindfulness research with illustrations, quotes and activities that will help you feel more calm and reignite your purpose. Though they may seem silly at first, these activities are simple ways to get your brain to re-calibrate its main state to one of positivity and resilience. Try working them in before bed to unwind from the day and recharge for what's ahead.
1. 'I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide And Journal' by The Mindfulness Project
Mindfulness is the simple and powerful practice of training your attention. It's simple in that it's just about paying attention to what's happening here and now, and powerful because it can keep you from getting lost in thoughts about the future or past, which often generate more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life. The joyful mindfulness exercises in this beautifully designed and illustrated book will challenge your powers of observation, investigation, and cultivation while bringing new awareness to your senses, thoughts, and emotions. I Am Here Now inspires readers to explore the world with greater curiosity and find moments of mindfulness in everyday life.
2. 'Start Where You Are: A Journal For Self-Exploration' by Meera Lee Patel
Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves, we can appreciate the world around us. This uplifting book presents supportive prompts and exercises along with inspirational quotes to encourage reflection through writing, drawing, chart-making, and more. This book is a powerful tool for positive change.
3. 'This Time Next Year: 365 Days Of Exploration' by Cynthia Scher
What do you want, out of life or for dinner? What are you great at? What's on your bucket list? What motivates you to get up in the morning? Over the course of a year, this prompt-a-day journal will lead you to discover what makes you tick and how you can use that knowledge for greater happiness and success. From identifying your talents to learning what brings a smile to your face, from pinpointing your values to sorting your possessions, it will assist you in taking stock of yourself. Some of its cues are lighthearted, some are introspective. Some call on you to delve into your past. Some encourage you to imagine your future. Combined, they'll help lead you toward a truer understanding of who you are and what brings you fulfillment.
4. '52 Lists For Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration For Positivity, Balance And Joy' by Moorea Seal
The 52 Lists Project is an undated journal of weekly lists that will help nurture self-expression and self-development. Each seasonal section includes list prompts, with plenty of space to write your own lists, and challenges to help you take action and make your dreams a reality. With perfectly timed prompts that meet you where you are throughout the different seasons, this journal will open up new avenues of self-knowledge and help you celebrate, enjoy, and take ownership of your life.
5. 'The Positivity Kit: Instant Happiness on Every Page' by Lisa Currie
Brimming with engaging prompts that focus on the good things in life, this interactive book is guaranteed to bring some lightheartedness into your day, even in the simplest, silliest ways. Prompts include Make A Grateful List, Compile The Perfect Playlist and List 30 Great Ways To Spend A Free Hour. This focus on simple, positive, happiness inducing activities will help calm you, kick up good memories, and make you smile when you need it most.
6. 'Think Happy: Instant Pep Talks To Boost Positivity' by Karen Salmansohn
Happiness expert and Oprah columnist Karen Salmansohn presents a collection of 50 inspirational inner pep talks to boost your confidence, attitude, and mood. These pep talks are different than affirmations because they’re written to be remembered and stick in your brain like a song. You’ll naturally want to keep repeating them, changing your neural pathways so you’re inclined to think positive thoughts, leading to positive habits. Whether you’re feeling stressed or need motivation, these instant pep talks and whimsical illustrations will help you move forward with optimism and resilience.
7. 'The Happy Book: A Journal to Celebrate What Makes You Happy' by Rachel Kempster Barry
The Happy Book shows how to practice and celebrate happiness so you can find it when you really need it. Packed with creative prompts, this is the ultimate pick-me-up. Packaged to encourage doodling and drawing, The Happy Book has space to scribble thoughts, make lists, fill in the blanks, and paste pictures. This book is about creating a record of what makes you glad.
8. 'I Want to be Calm: How to De-Stress' by Harriet Griffey
With the stress and strains of modern life, it is increasingly difficult to be the peaceful and serene spirit that we all wish to be. In I Want to Be Calm, Harriet Griffey explores the issues we may face in our day-to-day lives that make us feel stressed, anxious, depressed or overwhelmed, and shares practical advice on how to overcome them. Covering topics such as the worry cycle, managing emotions and mindful meditation, Griffey shows how to implement easy but effective approaches to find calm. She looks at how we can practice mindfulness at home and work, how to pursue better relationships and making mindful decisions like choosing peace and living in the moment. I Want to Be Calm will still the mind and relax the body, bringing you peace and happiness.
9. 'The Little Book Of Mindfulness' by Tiddy Rowan
In The Little Book of Mindfulness, Tiddy Rowan, herself a practitioner of mindfulness for over 30 years, has gathered together a seminal collection of over 150 techniques, tips, exercises, advice, meditations and further resources that will enable people at every level to follow the breath, still the mind and relax the body, while generating and boosting a feeling of well-being and contentment that will permeate every aspect of everyday life. The exercises in The Little Book of Mindfulness will lighten the mind and the spirit.