Whether celebrating Valentine’s, Galentine’s Day or both this week, these hallmark holidays all focus on celebrating your love for the special people in your life. We tend to interpret that to mean other people but what about showing yourself a little love this Valentine’s Day? After all, as the saying goes, you can’t love someone else if you don’t already love yourself.
Self-care can take the shape of a pamper session, decluttering your space or splashing out on the things you consider fun but it’s important to remember that self-care is more than skin deep. It’s about practising forgiveness, including forgiving yourself, practising acceptance and nourishing your body. Feelings of self-doubt and behaving as your own worst critic isn’t unusual but it’s neither productive or healthy in the long run.
This Valentine’s forget the rest and focus on yourself. Be your own hero with these five books about practicing self-care.
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
The title alone feels like the perfect pick-me-up mantra to repeat to yourself on down days. The book itself is made up of 27 chapters of bite-size information for those who want to improve their lives but don’t want to get busted doing it. Not only will it help you to identify self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours preventing you from getting what you want but it will also teach you how to create a life you love with the added bonus of how to make money doing it. Refreshing and entertaining, lose yourself in the hilarious but inspiring stories, easy exercises, sage advice and occasional swear words within the pages of this New York bestseller.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
This self-help book cuts through all of the usual self-care rubbish that turns so many people off the whole idea. Manson takes it back to the principles of self-care and takes a harsh if true approach to ‘the counterintuitive approach to living a good life.’
Throwing a definite spanner in the works of the mental health industry, “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, sh*t is f**ked and we have to live with it.” Make of that what you will but for Manson, he makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.”
Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media by Jessica Abo
We’re all guilty of social media addiction to some degree. The key is not to let it affect your mental health. This one is for those that get caught in the comparison trap of social media, serving as a reminder that we’re all a work in progress regardless of the judgements we make when measuring our lives against what others choose to share online. The debut book from award-winning journalist, Jessica Abo addresses the relationship between psychology and technology as well as how we address that ironic disconnect and learn to enjoy our lives ‘IRL’ again while avoiding the compare and despair app.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Secret is the reigning champion within the self-help world. In terms of delivery, The Secret couldn’t be more opposite to Manson’s book listed above. The Secret brings together gems from ancient philosophies and religions to present life-changing revelations to all that experience it. The idea is to identify untapped power within you, eradicate obstacles and achieve what many would regard as impossible. Claimed to have changed the lives of millions, The Secret suggests, “No matter who you are, where you are right now, no matter what you want – when you realise The Secret you can have anything.”
Take that for empowering self-care.