Caring for yourself

You know the adage about putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others, right? We’ve all heard that line during the safety demonstration on airplanes and I can’t think of any time when it’s more apt than right now.

And I can’t think of any time when it’s harder. Taking time to look after yourself–whatever form that takes–feels unnecessary, selfish even, when there are so many other more important things to worry about. And yet. What’s more important than making sure you are okay? If we take the time and make the effort to care for ourselves, we are much more capable of extending that care to other people when they need us.

So, at the request of Reader Caitlin, here are a few of my favorite self-care books:

*UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle. I’m still reading this one and it’s the kind of book that shifts your tectonic plates. (There are a handful of books I’ve read where I can feel my perspectives moving and changing as I read. This is one.) Doyle takes a good look at the societal structures which keep women (and men) in unfulfilling, damaging, binary roles. And then she takes a match to them. Highly rec’d.

*THE YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes. (Tectonic plates straight up made earthquakes with this one.) Written in her trademark conversational style, TYOY is what happens when a phenomenally talented woman stops playing small and safe in her personal life.

*WHEN THINGS FALL APART by Pema Chodron. This book ought to be depressing. And yet. It’s gentle and wise and just what I needed right now. Perfect for people who want a Buddhist perspective.

*Anything by Joan Anderson, especially if you’re in the middle years.

*ON BECOMING FEARLESS by Arianna Huffington, which I quite enjoyed, but you might want to first look at her book on sleep because if you’re not getting enough rest, everything else is crap.

*DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER and TRAVELING WITH POMEGRANATES by Sue Monk Kidd. The first for smashing up whatever patriarchal nonsense is still holding you back; the latter for mother/daughter realness and some good old-fashioned travel memoir.

*THE JOY OF DOING THINGS BADLY by Veronica Chambers for a timely reminder that it’s okay to enjoy things you’re not good at doing.

*DARING GREATLY by Brene Brown. This is my favorite of her titles although anything she writes is pretty timely.

*BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. See above.

Bought but not yet read:

*GODDESSES IN OLDER WOMEN by Jean Shinoda Bolen and GODDESSES NEVER AGE by Christiane Northrup for middle years stuff.

*HEART TALK by Cleo Wade for a poetic take.