Monday, April 12, 2010

Mental Health Monday: Books Are Good Self Care!

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch." ~Augustus Hare

I have a stack of books next to my bed that never seems to disappear.   I love historical fiction, but found myself seriously wrapped up in the Twilight series recently.   I also like motivational and educational books- I continuously reference my business text books and have been wanting to re-read a few of the excellent marketing and leadership books that I was only able to skim over while completing my coursework.

Books can be both an escape and an enrichment.  Both pursuits are equally supportive of one's self care.

I have been making a point of taking one evening a week to read and exercise my mind.    We gave up television years ago and while there are some shows I miss,  I think having an evening of reading is one of the gifts that we provided ourselves when we cleared our evenings of mindless channel surfing.

Also, books are so wonderfully portable!  I am always much more content and patient to wait in a line, to wait for my number or name to be called, to wait for my husband to meet me-when I can pull out a book and escape for a few minutes.

A few good reads I have discovered lately:

  1. The Twilight Series - Stephenie Meyer:  If you have not read this series, run (don't walk) to your nearest young adult section and pick up the first book.    You will find these books to be well written with excellent character development and references to classical themes, like Romeo & Juliet and Wuthering Heights.   Most women can relate well to Bella's predicament of having two gorgeous guys vying for her attention (ahem...or at least the fantasy of Bella's predicament....). 
  2. The First 100 days - Brandt, Check & Pedraza:   An excellent book for executives (but I think effective employees will benefit too) This book provides great insight into what to do in the first 100 days of taking a new job.  Good information that will have you hit the ground running and will help you avoid some common pitfalls of transitioning into a new job.   There is also some excellent advice for interview prep as well.  
  3. The Sweet Life In Paris: This is a memoir and cookbook by David Lebovitz which recounts his fabulous experience of living in Paris.   I tried the French Macarons and they were heavenly.   The book provides great insight into the Parisian culture as well.  (And you just never know when you might find yourself on holiday in Paris!)
  4. Total Money Make Over: Dave Ramsey is an amazing person.  I cannot say enough good things about him or his message.  His financial planning advice has had a huge impact on Mr Self Care and I.   (We have followed his plan for the last two years and are debt free except for our mortgage.)  He advocates that couples work together on their finances,  live within their means and stop accumulating debt- especially credit card debt.    Quite simply, Dave makes money make sense and he has a huge heart for people too.

Have you read any good books lately? 

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." ~Francis Bacon

Take Good Care!

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