This week (14-20 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, this year the Mental Health Foundation is focussing on stress, which I think all of us can relate to. In honour of this week I wanted to share some books that helped me through a difficult and very stressful time last year. Unfortunatly in my previous job I was bullied and treated unfairly, it took me a long time to realise this was happening and I tried to ignore it, the stress I was put under by a particular person really affected me mentally for quite a few months. Even after leaving the job the stress and anxiety stuck with me for about 8 months. However these books I am about to share with you all have a special place in my heart and really helped me through a difficult time.
1. The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
This book was actually prescribed to me by a therapist. Books on prescription pretty cool aye! Using the 6 principals of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Russ Harris helps you to reduce stress and worry, rise above fear doubt and insecurity, handle painful thoughts and feelings more effectively, break self-defeating habits and create a richer and more meaningful life. This book really calmed down my anxiety and helped me overcome a lot of worry and stress, there are really useful tasks to do along the way which you really should complete to get all you can out of the book. This isn’t a book to rush through in one night, I took my time with it practised what I learnt and it made such a different to my overall happiness. Really recommend it!
2. Little Book of Positivity by Lucy Lane
A lovely friend of mine who knew I was going through a bad patch sent me this tiny book in the post. She told me to carry it around with me and if I was feeling low or needed a positive boost to randomly flick to a few pages and read. That’s exactly what I did, this book might be tiny but it has been a massive help and small enough to carry around in my handbag. Full of inspiring quotes, easy to follow tips and practical advice, this small cute book is amazing!
3. The Self Care Project by Jayne Hardy
This book is for those who have been feeling off kilter and can’t quite understand why, Jane Hardy who suffers from depression herself has written a beautiful book about self-care and how to combat feeling overwhelmed, stressed and ill in this hectic modern world. The book is full of hints, tips, advice, ideas, telling you to just chill make that time for yourself, cancel on friends if you need some “me” time. This book is fantastic though I read it in small chunks as there is a lot to take in.
Jayne Hardy is also the founder of The Blurt Foundation a charity dedicated to helping those with depression. They create something called a Buddy Box, which I have got for myself a few times. A hug in a box is how it’s described, basically a small box of self-care treats that should help you be calm, de-stress, feel pampered or get creative. A superb book, charity and subscription.
4. Happy by Fearne Cotton
I absolutely LOVED this book. From the beautifully designed cover, to the amazing illustrations inside, to the insightful interviews with Fearne’s closest friends and family to the useful activities and practical exercises. The only thing I negative I have to say is I wish I read this about 6 months ago when I was going through a “dark place” of my own.
The book is set out into different sections for example Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Families. Each section has some insightful thoughts and comments from Fearne, some sections have interviews and every section is pact full of helpful activities, such as: writing down a list of positives about your day, writing down your imperfections, the smile chart. I ended up reading the whole book then going back through to do some of the exercises that I thought would benefit me most. I love that this book can be a stand alone read but also I think it will be great to use as a reference in the future, if I’m feeling down or need some tips on relaxing I could flick to pretty much any page of this book and find something useful and helpful. For my full review on this book click here.
5. In the Moment Magazine
Okay so this isn’t technically a book it’s a magazine, I came across this randomly in a supermarket one evening, it stood out as the cover design was something so different to what you usually see in the women’s magazine section. I absolutely adore this magazine, and buy it religiously every month. Packed full of mindful and de-stresing articles set out under sections of Wellbeing, Creating, Living and Escaping this magazine is full of beautiful illustrations, insightful interviews and articles, there’s always a free gift. It’s just a really feel good relaxing magazine that makes me happy. After reading the first copy I emailed In the Moment Magazine and explained my story and how reading particular articles had really helped me, the next month they published my email and thanked me for my insight and story. Only £5.99 a month this magazine is fabulous!
I hope these books and magazine will help others like myself in the future. Mental Health is nothing to be scared of or ashamed about we all go through bad times in life but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a lot of support out there you just need to reach out for it. If you have any positive thinking, de-stress, mindfulness books that have helped you along the way I would love to know about them so please do get in touch. If you want to read more about Mental Health Awareness Week click this link. Thanks for reading. Katie x