Several studies show that reading can help you focus, reduce stress, and sleep better. The poet Joseph Addison said that “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
As a burnout management coach in Seattle, Emily Ballesteros is a big fan of reading as a way to take care of herself. Make It: “It makes you slow down and focus on one thing.” You can’t read a book while you’re doing the dishes, for example. You have to give it your full attention, and I love that. As Ballesteros points out, reading can help you feel better during the winter holidays. It can show you how to live a happier, healthier life in 2022, too. Here are five books about mental health and self-care that she likes the most.
‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ By Greg McKeown
What can you let go of in your life in order to be happy?
In his book, McKeown, a business and leadership expert, tells people how to be successful and not burn out: Get very clear on what is important to you and don’t think too much or overwork yourself.
Essentialism is easy to read and Ballesteros thinks it’s the best book for people who have been burned out and can’t remember what’s important to them. It makes you think about what is truly important for you to live your best life, not just to check off all these boxes you might not even want to check off.
‘Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving By Celeste Headlee
“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert said that Headlee’s writing could “save lives.”
If you want to learn more about capitalism and work, “Do Nothing” is the book for you. It encourages people to spend time alone and with their friends and family. There were candles and light bulbs, which made it possible for people to work later in the day, says Headlee. People used to work when the sun came up. In the beginning, Ballesteros says, “Work started to follow us everywhere.”Book: This one isn’t very action-oriented, but it’s a good reminder that we should stop working this way, where we’re always stressed out because so many things are always demanding our time and energy.
‘Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life’ By Henry Cloud
It’s for people-pleasers who have a hard time saying “no.”
Henry Cloud, a psychologist, talks about the science of setting boundaries in order to help people forget the guilt that stops them from setting limits in their lives. Also, he gives you tools and talking points to help you better manage your own boundaries.
The book “Boundaries” is a good guide for people who don’t know how to set boundaries. Also, it shows that people are not responsible for how they react to your boundaries, and that it’s OK if some limits make people angry. This is a message that many people need to hear.
‘High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way’ By Brendon Burchard
It can be empowering to make a decision to change your life, but taking the steps to do so can often cause you to be confused and afraid. Is this the right way to start?
Burchard, a performance coach, spent three years and close to $1 million studying high achievers to figure out the six habits everyone should adopt to make their lives better at home and at work. “It’s a great mix of interesting stories and proof that these habits made these people more effective,” Ballesteros says. A few of Burchard’s suggestions are to show courage, recharge during the day, and set clear steps to reach your goals.
‘Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones’ By James Clear
The most common problem Ballesteros sees people having when they start a new healthy habit is that they don’t stay with it long enough. In Clear’s best-selling book, “Atomic Habits,” he talks about how to make small changes to achieve big changes. It also talks about how to get over a lack of motivation and how to get back on track when you fall off the path you were on.
But most important, Ballesteros says, is that it shows how to make a habit last: Make the habit a part of who you are. As a person who reads or walks every day, she says, “sometimes you have to be willing to fully identify as someone who does that habit.” “The right habits can help you become the person you want to be,” says the teacher.
The Weariness of the Self by Alain Ehrenberg
When you chose Alain Ehrenberg’s book “The Weary Self,” we’ll talk about it now. It’s about the history of depression in the modern world. Why did you choose this text?
It is the most systematic way to deal with the effects of burnout on your mental health. We get a very clear picture of how it affects people in the real world. In addition, I think this gives us a better sense of the social conditions that could lead to burnout.
It’s a book that is very supportive of psychoanalytic thinking, but it also questions it a little bit. In light of what I’ve said about habit, habitual thought, and compulsive activity, a psychoanalyst needs to be able to question his own paradigm. It’s one of the interesting things he says: “Look, we have a certain account in Freud and in psychoanalysis of why people feel bad and inadequate about themselves.” The superego, of course, is the account of what we can and can’t do. This is about license, what we can and can’t do. It happens when we do something we shouldn’t. When we do that, the superego comes along and tells us how bad we are. It makes us feel like we’re not good people.
“Positive thinking is meant to be empowering.” That’s not true at all. Instead, it sets us up against an ideal of ourselves in which we are always short of it.