Nonfiction November Book Recommendations {Nonfiction Book Favorites from 2019}

nonfiction November

Nonfiction November

Are you a nonfiction reader? I love a good nonfiction book, especially related to mental health and parenting. It’s no surprise that out of all the non-fiction books I read this year, those genres ended up being my favorites. If you are participating in #nonfictionnovember and are needing a few more recommendations to finish your month off strong, I have some great recommendations!

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Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

I first read Fair Play this past September when I received a copy from Putnam Books to review. You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

I was immediately enthralled with the concept of Fair Play and was talking all about all over social media. I was so excited when a few weeks later Reese picked it for her Hello Sunshine book club selection.

Fair Play was the perfect follow up book to All The Rage, which I am discussing below. As someone who has been parenting for 9+ years, we have fallen into many societal norms and expectations that we didn’t see coming when we found out we were going to be parents 10 years ago. This book helps you feel less alone and then gives you a proactive answer on how to alleviate it!

I ended up communicating with Eve Rodsky over direct messages on Instagram (which was also one of my highlights of 2019!) and we discussed how to make this plan work by not only our initial conversation about it but also ongoing. Eve had some amazing advice, namely, they don’t stop talking about it and they have a time each week when she and her husband sit down and reflect, manage and plan. While this may sound a little… unromantic, I will tell you, it is a lot more enticing than the worst R-word in parenthood…RESENTMENT.

All The Rage by Darcy Lockman

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I listened to All The Rage on Audible and wow, what a powerful read! You can read my full review HERE.

In All The Rage, Darcy Lockman shares a well researched and relatable look at social expectations, male privilege, and sexism when it comes to parenting in the 21st century. Lockman uses studies, research, interviews with parents, and her own personal experiences which results in a well balanced and deeply impactful look at the gender inequity that working mothers still face today and the mental load women face as mothers.

Whether you are a parent or thinking about becoming one someday, this book is so insightful and thought-provoking. I appreciated Lockman’s personal experiences as they related to many issues we faced in our own experiences as partners and parents. While many people think “this won’t happen to me” a large percentage of family’s fall into the expectations that have become ingrained in our society.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a book everyone should read. You can read my full review HERE.

Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. This book helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing.

While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. I found that there was a perfect balance with the personal stories that will also help her readers become more aware of their own obstacles and moments of growth as they move through this book.

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood

Molly Millwood

Motherhood is the hardest AND most wonderful thing I have ever done. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read To Have and To Hold.

The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

To Have and To Hold

To Have and to Hold spoke to me on so many levels. Millwood’s ability to write with both her voice as a professional and her voice as a mother was a perfect balance. It is relatable and real and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I loved it so much we chose it for our first Better Together Motherhood Book Club selection this fall AND Molly was our guest speaker!!

Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.

I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.

They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives.

Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors. So while this wasn’t my favorite audiobook, this WAS an amazingly helpful book and I added a hardcopy to my collection right away!


I hope one of these recommendations makes your nonfiction TBR list. <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

 

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan | Grand Central Publishing {Book Review}

Book of the Month November 2019 selection

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan

Book Summary:

For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness–how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people–sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society–went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry’s labels. Forced to remain inside until they’d “proven” themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan’s watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever.

But, as Cahalan’s explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today?

Publication Date:

November 5th, 2019

Genre:

Non-Fiction/Mental Health/Medical History

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Book of the Month selection

The Great Pretender was initially intriguing to me as mental health diagnoses and treatment is a topic I am very passionate about and has also been a part of my life personally. Author Susannah Cahalan shares an in-depth look at a study from the 1970s that I had previously never heard of before but still affects the diagnosis process to this day. It was an eye-opening experience to see how mental health has been treated both historically and some practices that still continue today.

Cahalan’s first book, Brain on Fire, was a personal look at her own experiences and I loved that this book was a wonderful follow up to this important and timely topic as a whole. While we have come so far, we still have a way to go when dealing with mental health stigmas and treatment.

Non-fiction books like this are such a powerful and important conversation starter. While this novel was insightful and thought-provoking it wasn’t an easy read at times. With that said, sometimes discomfort is what can fuel the fire for change and I am so glad I gave this once a chance.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own. 


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you.

The Transformation by James S. Gordon, MD |HarperOne {Book Review}

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The Transformation by James Gordon

Book Summary:

 A world-recognized authority and acclaimed mind-body medicine pioneer presents the first evidence-based program to reverse the psychological and biological damage caused by trauma.

In his role as the founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), the worlds largest and most effective program for healing population-wide trauma, Harvard-trained psychiatrist James Gordon has taught a curriculum that has alleviated trauma to populations as diverse as refugees and survivors of war in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, and Syria, as well as Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, New York City firefighters and their families, and members of the U. S. military. Dr. Gordon and his team have also used their work to help middle-class professionals, stay-at-home mothers, inner-city children of color, White House officials, medical students, and people struggling with severe emotional and physical illnesses.

The Transformation represents the culmination of Dr. Gordon’s fifty years as a mind-body medicine pioneer and an advocate of integrative approaches to overcoming psychological trauma and stress. Offering inspirational stories, eye-opening research, and innovative prescriptive support, The Transformation makes accessible for the first time the methods that Dr. Gordon—with the help of his faculty of 160, and 6,000 trained clinicians, educators, and community leaders—has developed and used to relieve the suffering of hundreds of thousands of adults and children around the world.

Publication Date:

September 10th, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help, Healing, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Book Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

discovering wholeness and healing after trauma

When I was offered a copy of The Transformation in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance. Trauma is often misunderstood and not only does Dr. Gordon give a wonderful explanation about what it can look like, but he also shares how we can indeed heal from it.

This book is readable while also being informative. Gordon shares a wonderful balance of stories, research, and techniques which as the reader can help you feel heard while also feeling like a proactive step in your own healing. His writing is also very accessible as someone who does not work in the medical field.

Gordon starts off by discussing the misconceptions of psychological trauma. He has a wonderful way of explaining that while it may look very different for people, it is something that can or will affect almost everyone in some capacity throughout one’s life. While this may sound dire, it can also help someone feel less alone.

“Trauma comes to all of us, and its consequences can be terrible. That’s the truth and the bad news. The good news is that all of us can use tools of self-awareness and self-care to heal our trauma and, indeed, to become healthier and more whole than we’ve ever been. If we accept the pain that trauma inflicts, it can open our minds and bodies to healing change-Our broken hearts can be open with tender consideration and new love for others, as well as ourselves.” -James Gordon, MD

Instead of subduing our fears, anger, and sadness, which can cause us to feel stuck, Gordon teaches us that there are alternatives. These new processes allow us to express emotions, become aware and deal with these emotions and also learn from them. When we learn how to use this emotion cycle, it can become a way for us to not only deal with past trauma but navigate it in the future.

trauma healing

Gordon incorporates many things like soft belly breathing, movement(shaking and dancing), connecting with nature and diet into his practices and it was fascinating how powerful these tools can be.

As someone who successfully uses medication for anxiety, I also appreciated that while Gordon emphasizes the importance of these more natural coping mechanisms, he isn’t against medication which can often be a very important part of someone’s healing and ongoing wellbeing. His approach is well rounded and I appreciated his balance between both traditional and more holistic practices.

I loved learning more about this thoughtful and compassionate approach towards something that has affected not only my life but many people around me and I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Dr. Gordon and FSB Associates for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

self-help books, healing

On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff | Dutton | Book Review

Jennifer Pastiloff book review

On Being Human by Jen Pastiloff

Book Summary:

“Centered around the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.

Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential. After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”   

Exuberant, triumphantly messy, and brave, On Being Human is a celebration of happiness and self-realization over darkness and doubt. Her complicated yet imperfectly perfect life path is an inspiration to live outside the box and to reject the all-too-common belief of “I am not enough.” Jen will help readers find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness.”

Publication Date:

June 4th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

On Being Human is the best title ever, and before this book, I had never heard of Jennifer Pastiloff…but the cover totally sold me. This book is primarily a memoir of Pastiloff’s life from childhood to present. She did not have an easy road and parts of this book were incredibly difficult to read but I so appreciated her honesty and her ability to share in such a raw and open way.

I always love memoirs and think sharing our stories is SO important, even when they are not totally relatable to us at first glance. I ended up connected so much with Pastiloff and found myself nodding along as I read. She has so much insight and wisdom but in a completely approachable manner.

I felt like she was talking to me, not down to me with her writing. And while she now leads retreats all over the world, it felt like I was just talking to a friend who happened to be introspective but also totally real. Pastiloff writes about how we talk down to ourselves and believe our own bullshit stories which can make us think we are not good enough.

Many people have tried to share this message before but it has never come across like this to me..maybe because they felt they have conquered it? Pastifloff it is relatable because this is something that is a lifelong struggle, no matter the hurdles you face and accomplishments you “achieve”. She has this humility about her that made this different than anything I have read before.

I especially appreciated her sections on her struggles with her mental health. While it isn’t exactly a “self-help” book I found so many thought-provoking lines that I kept underlining throughout.

“Depression is a response to past loss, and anxiety is a response to future loss.”

“ There will always be the one who doesn’t like you, the one who says, ‘No, you should not do this, Yes, you suck’. And we always always have two choices: keep going or shut down.”

Sometimes her honestly made me a bit uncomfortable, but I think that is what made this book so powerful. I can’t put my finger on it as it took me a bit to get into the book and I wasn’t sure about for it a while but now that I am finished, I can’t stop thinking about it. She has a unique ability to share in a way that made me think about my own choices and reactions in my life as well and it is one I won’t forget as a reader.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia & Emily Nagoski | Book Review

Burnout, audiobook, book review

Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski

Book Summary:

“This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?

Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. In these pages you’ll learn

• what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation
• how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration
• how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it
• why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout

With the help of eye-opening science, prescriptive advice, and helpful worksheets and exercises, all women will find something transformative in these pages—and will be empowered to create positive change. Emily and Amelia aren’t here to preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they tell us that we are enough, just as we are—and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

10 Things to Tell You Podcast

I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.

I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.

They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives. Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors.

There is a big emphasis on “the patriarchy” in this book. I found that it was not the most powerful part for me as a reader but it certainly was beneficial in some ways. I think this book would have been strong enough without that section because the stress cycle parts were so hugely beneficial to me. All that said, there certainly is validity in how patriarchy affects women’s daily stress.

If you are looking for a book either as a refresher on stress management or if you are feeling like you need some new tools for handling daily stressors, I highly recommend checking this one out.

2019 Summer Reading | New & Upcoming Book Releases

2019 Summer Reading!

2019 summer reading

Transitioning to “summer mode”

Today is our first (unofficial) day of summer. Our boys finished school on Friday and today we are starting off on our new summer routine. I get a lot of apprehension before big transitions but then usually do just fine once we are in the swing of things. Does this happen to anyone else?

I love summer so much but there is a lack of routines and consistency that as a someone who thrives offs that stuff, well…it can be a bit of struggle. I know I am not alone in this feeling which helps, and whenever I start feeling this way I think about all the wonderful things about summer, like all the new books!!!

ALL the books

I don’t know if I am just noticing it more this year but this spring/summer has the most unbelievable amount of new releases from so many of my favorite authors! Every week another great book is released, and I have met some new to me authors along the way too.

Organizing when life feels chaotic…

Last week I was organizing all the things. In between my last week of solo working and the end of the year school activities, I decided I should work on getting my life together, ha! I have done this since I was a child, and I find it incredibly calming. Amidst the chaos, finding peace through organizing can be quite helpful when you get to worrying.

Summer Book Stack

On our last official day of “freedom” (AKA the last half day of school), I decided to find all our favorite spring and summer reads that Kristy and I have collected together and photograph them. I am sure this was a super great use of my time, but it did pay off for sharing on here!

Between the two of us, we have read all of these and thought they would make great summer reading recommendations stack! We read a lot of the same books and while we don’t always agree with our love for something, we agreed about these!

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Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

I am starting off with a book that won’t be released until the beginning of August but it is worth the wait. Kristan Higgins is one of the best summer reading authors in my opinion. Her books are unique, the characters are layered and they are always page turners and totally satisfying. You can read my full review of Life and Other Inconveniences HERE.

In the meantime, if you are looking to read some of her writing now, check these out.

On Second Thought, Good Luck with That & If You Only Knew (which also is a Kindle Deal right now!)

beach books

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

There are certain authors I associate with summer and Jane Green is one of them. Green’s newest release brings us a book about complicated relationships in a completely engaging storyline. I love books that bring in current issues and that seems to be a great theme of 2019 reading. The Friends We Keep brings us betrayal, forgiveness, coming back “home” and a second chance at happiness.

Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I know, I need to stop talking about Mrs. Everything…but I can’t! Books affect everyone differently, which is one of my favorite parts fo reading. I just connected so much this book and it made me think, long after I had finished it. You can read my full review HERE. And if you have read Mrs. Everything already, did this touch your reading heart too?

summer reading, St. Martin's Press

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

There is nothing like finding a new author to love and Montauk did that for me! Nicola Harrison’s writing is beautiful and captivating and she drew me right in from the very first page of Montauk. The storyline was layered and the ending totally caught me off guard! You can read my full review HERE.

summer reading

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new to me author is Beth O’Leary! There are a million reasons why I love being a part of Bookstagram, but one of my very favorite things is learning about books I might not have otherwise. The Flatshare came highly recommended to me by some of my favorite book reviewing friends on Instagram. I am easily persuaded by other peoples suggestions and was not disappointed by this charming and relatable novel. You can read my full review HERE.

Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand 

And finally, the queen of summer reading, Elin Hilderbrand takes us back to the Summer of ’69 in her first historical novel. I am reading this right now and am just loving it. Her books rarely disappoint me and her ability to transport us back in time while still keeping her beach book vibe alive is amazing. I have never been to Nantucket but almost feel like I have been of her incredibly detailed writing. I always love her alternating narrations and storylines and I can’t wait to share my full review of this book soon.

I grabbed my copy a little early through my Book of The Month subscription but this will be released TOMORROW if you hoping to pick it up at your local book store or at your favorite online book retailer.


I hope you have enjoyed this list of recommendations and I would love to know if you have any that you would add! <3

 

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig | Book Review

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“The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological “advancements” that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.”

“I sometimes feel like my head is a computer with too many windows open. Too much clutter on the desktop. There is a metaphorical spinning rainbow wheel inside me. Disabling me. And if only I could find a way to switch off some of the frames, if only I could drag some of the clutter into the trash, then I would be fine. But which frame would I choose, when they all seem so essential? How can I stop my mind from being overloaded when the world is overloaded? We can think about anything. And so it makes sense that we end up thinking about everything. We might have to, sometimes, be brave enough to switch the screens off in order to switch ourselves back on. To disconnect in order to reconnect.” ― Matt Haig, Notes on a Nervous Planet

This book was my first by Matt Haig and I found it very engaging. I love how he normalizes mental health issues but also asks such thought-provoking questions within his writing. I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and devoured the short chapters which led to very interesting conversations with my friend who also was reading the book at the same time.

The chapters are short and quick and so it is a book that is easy to take in a little at a time. I love the importance he places on true connection with each other. Some of it was a little “out there” but I do agree that technology has changed the ways we interact and connect with one another and he had some powerful reminders and perspective about this.

Happy: A Journal by Fearne Cotton | Journal Review

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From Goodreads.com:

“This book is open, and it’s all about you! It’s a retreat and a safe haven from the stresses of everyday life, a place to work through your problems and confide your worries, fears, and secrets. It offers you a chance to focus on life’s positive aspects and find the things that make you happy.

Each page of this daily journal is filled with new ideas, creative prompts, and words of wisdom that will help you write a little joy into every day of the year. The ideal place to express what’s happening in your life — bitter, sweet, and everything in between — this book promises to be your faithful friend and assist you in finding and unlocking your inner happiness.”


What a little gem! I love the idea of journaling but I struggle with knowing where to start. Happy: The Journal is a guided daily journal with thoughtful prompts to get you writing, reflecting and planning.

I immediately ordered a hard copy of this journal so I could get started. It starts in January and leads you through the year with timely journaling prompts that have a great balance between gratitude, reflection and goal setting. There is an adequate amount of space to write without it feeling overwhelming. This is a great guided journal for someone who wants to get started with daily journaling and I highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Dover Publishing for this copy, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday Randomness | Reflections & Mantras of 2018

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I am not a big New Year goal setter or resolution maker but I am big into reflecting on things. I think we can learn so much from what we go through and often the hardest situations can teach us the biggest and best lessons.

This year was a hard one and one that pushed me in ways I never expected. Mantras are a newer thing for me but something that have helped me so much in times where there was a lot of sadness and unknown. I struggle in times of transition and times when things are out of my control. Having mantra has helped ground me and have been great reminders when my worries and thoughts feel really heavy.  I love Pinterest for inspiration for this stuff and that is where I found all of these…


Some things I have learned in 2018…

I would rather make mistakes than not put myself out there at all. I am not a perfectionist but I certainly struggle with worrying about what other people think of me and what I am doing. Letting go of this is a work in progress but staying true to myself and knowing that that is enough has been very powerful. When you make mistakes it means you are out there doing something. Some of my biggest “failures” and challenges have lead me to some of the most wonderful things in my life.

I have tried to let go of negativity. Putting my energy towards the people and things that are positive has helped create more of that. It sounds simple but you really can choose where your energy goes. It doesn’t mean that hard things won’t happen, but you do have control over how you react and move forward. I have SO many positive people and things in my life and focusing on these has really been a game changer.

As a people pleaser, not overthinking things does not come easily for me. I wish I didn’t care so much but I do. Sometimes when I overthink things I get so stuck in the “what ifs” that I don’t do anything at all…which was one of the reasons it took me so long to start this blog. I was thinking so much about it when I just needed to start! It is really freeing to just make a decision and move forward. If things don’t work out, you make another decision and you move forward again. I am a planner by nature and its hard for me to take things step by step but it makes such a huge difference.

You make time for what you want to fit in and everyone has different priorities for this. I can do a lot of things, but I can’t do everything. I have worked on feeling in control about what I choose to prioritize and not getting stuck in what I don’t. This has also helped me when I see someone else doing something and wonder how they fit it in. We all make choices about how we spend our time. Again, this has been such a empowering mindset and lets me feel like I have authority over my days and weeks instead of them controlling me.

Looking back really helps me realize how much we learn and grow every single day. I don’t know what 2019 will bring but I do know that when you know better you do better. I want to appreciate the wonderful people around me. I want to recognize the good because there really is so much. I want people to feel heard, when they are happy or excited and also when they are scared or worried. I want to say yes to the things that really matter to me and say NO to things that don’t feel good. I want to keep sharing about the things I love, and I also want to be honest about the things that are challenging. Life is so much better when we are all in this together. <3

 

Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out | Book Review

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I was very excited to read this new release by Samantha Brody because I am in a stage of life where I often feel pulled in many different directions. This book was exactly what I needed and had such a wonderful overview of why we feel stress and also a plan that can help minimize the feeling of daily overwhelm.

Brody introduced her reader to the idea of overwhelm being a bucket. In this bucket there are things you can’t change, things you can change and things you don’t want to change. Everyone’s items in their bucket will be different and there isn’t a right or wrong answer. With this concept, Brody wants you to have the understanding that what you choose to change (or not) and what is out of your control entirely, is able to help you have acceptance over what takes up your time, space and energy. The power is in your hands.

“There is a sweet spot where our choices line up with our values and health goals. When we are in our sweet spot, we wake up feeling the best that we can possibly feel mentally, psychically and emotionally. We feel confident in our choices, we have the energy we need to care of ourselves and to be there for the people we love.”

Brody shares that while this is the goal for all of us, how we can get there can be different. She asks the reader three important questions…

What do you want to be?

How do you want to feel?

What do you want to do?

Once you answer these questions, she wants you to establish a mental and logistical foundation for how you will reach these feelings and goals. She asks what your support system is and how do you best make changes. Finally, she looks at your foundational mindset. She reminds the reader to remember their power, and that they are not at the mercy of all the things that happen in their lives. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges and difficult circumstances, but rather there are always things you can do to lighten your load…which include:

Believing in yourself.
Being judicious and not taking on too much at once.
Being the author of your life.
Being realistic.
Being kind to yourself.
Being flexible-having an open mind/open heart.
And most importantly…being yourself.

She takes a well-rounded look into her readers whole self, by asking questions about physical, mental and spiritual health, their environment, community, habits, and lifestyle.

This book inspired me to take proactive steps so I can be more mindful the decisions I am able to make myself and reminded me of the power I do have about how I react to things that are not in my personal control. Brody gave not only useful but also very practical advice that I could use right away. I found her ideas to be inclusive, no matter where you fall on the scale of more natural medicine vs. traditional medicine and I appreciated that aspect.

A big thanks to NetGalley and Sounds True for providing me with a copy of this book, all opinions are my own.