Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Books on Living Well

If there's one thing I've learned from the combined experience of going through college and earning a degree in psychology, it's that my mental health just as important as my physical health. The combination of graduate school and student teaching can be stressful, but over the course of the last four years I've learned some great strategies for managing my time and for dealing with unsettling situations. The next year holds a lot of big moments for me: I'll be taking over a classroom for a few weeks, earning a second degree, and making some big decisions about where I want to work and how I'm going to transition my life to a new place after graduation.

I've been slowly evaluating my habits and picking up new ones that help me practice self love. This more intentional attitude towards my well being is helping me look to the future with anticipation rather than anxiety. I have a few books that are my go-to when it comes to being conscientious about my mental health, and I've recently picked up a few more to add to that list. These books include meditations on mindset, on materialism, on happiness and on beliefs. They're not spiritual per se, but they give me a boost of energy and a fresh perspective when I need it most.

Do you have any strategies for practicing self love during stressful times? I am always looking for new habits to add to my repertoire!

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey // I have an addiction to O Magazine; I soak up everything and anything that Oprah has to say. Her column is my favorite part of the magazine but this collection is on my wish list.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff // Another (new-to-me) one that I'm looking forward to reading!

The Velveteen Principles: A Guide to Becoming Real by Toni Raizen-D'antonio // This is one of my favorites. It speaks to materialism and really putting your attention towards what matters most.

Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil, MD // This is another recent purchase for me. I'm really interested in positive psychology and looking forward to hearing the perspective of a doctor. Plus, this guy looks pretty cheery so there must be some wisdom in there somewhere, right?

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord // This is one of my absolute favorites. I first read it a few years ago and still adore it. Definitely recommended if you're not a huge fan of self-help books in their normal form.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. // If you're only going to pick up one book from this list, make it this one. I read this book as a junior in college when I ran into some trouble with physics and felt like a complete failure. It speaks to the nature of failure and what it means to approach things as challenges rather than impossible feats. Since then, I've had it assigned as a textbook and constantly refer to it with my peers in terms of approaching this year (which is full of challenges) with a growth mindset. We've even taught explicitly about Dweck's theories in my classroom. This one is a game changer.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin // This is my latest acquisition and my current read. I'm loving it so far. I really like that Rubin took on this project not when everything was going wrong, but when her life seemed just fine. Her whole purpose was to make a good life even better, and she approaches it humbly. It's nice to know that we're all just human in the end. 

Which books do you turn to when your mind needs a chance to reset?

Happy Reading!

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