February may be the shortest month of the year, but it can also be one of the most important for self-care. We’re past the excitement of the holidays, our enthusiasm for our resolutions may be waning, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is still plodding along, which means many of us feel stuck (stuck inside, stuck feeling a little sad and unmotivated, or just stuck in a rut). Luckily, there are some fantastic books this month that will help address whatever may be dragging you down.
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1. Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
by David Ulrich
Whether you’ve made a resolution to journal or embrace your creativity, or you are just looking to appreciate the world around you more deeply, Zen Camera is the book you want to pick up. Ulrich offers six lessons based on Zen principles that help you develop your self-expression through mindfulness and the simple art of paying attention while photographing your surroundings. The 83 gorgeous photos in the book are an inspiration as much as an illustration of instruction, and a fantastic bonus is that most of us will use our smartphones for this photographic journaling, which will change how we interact with technology and help us live more authentically.
2. The Metabolism Revolution: Lose 14 Pounds in 14 Days and Keep It Off for Life
by Haylie Pomroy with Eve Adamson
Weight loss is always a popular New Year’s resolution, but what makes The Metabolism Revolution so great is that it’s about improving your health, not a fad that will help you lose weight briefly via an unsustainable meal and exercise plan. Instead, Pomroy, a leading health and wellness entrepreneur, focuses on food as medicine—an idea touted by none other than the ancient health guru Hippocrates—which helps readers use macronutrients to improve their metabolism and boost their energy for life. Yes, that means you’ll lose some weight if you follow The Metabolism Revolution plan, but it also means you’ll improve your skin, build muscle, and feel the best you’ve ever felt. With meal maps, shopping lists, and recipes, you can customize the Revolution to work for you, making it perfect to pick up for those looking for weight loss, health improvement, or an increase in vitality.
3. Journey Through Trauma: A Trail Guide to the 5-Phase Cycle of Healing Repeated Trauma
by Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD
Healing is possible.
Healing requires courage.
Healing cannot be done alone.
These are the three principles of healing that Gretchen Schmelzer discusses in her new book Journey Through Trauma. Healing is always a difficult journey to go on, but after introducing the reader to these three principles, Schmelzer offers a map to help guide them on that journey. Though healing is a process that involves some of the hardest ups and scariest downs we may ever navigate, it’s a process that is immensely eased through the accessibility of Schmelzer’s techniques and tools. If 2018 is when you’re finally ready to take the next steps toward healing, Journey Through Trauma is the guidebook for your shelf.
4. I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life (Audiobook)
by Maria Shriver (narrated by the author)
The beautiful thing about Maria Shriver’s new book I’ve Been Thinking… is that it is as appropriate as inspiration for those who are struggling as it is support for those who are succeeding. As a prominent woman who has long fulfilled many roles at the same time while in the public eye, Shriver knows how life’s unexpected turns can knock you down and lift you up–sometimes in the same hour. I’ve Been Thinking…, read by Shriver herself, will make you laugh and cry, as well as offer up acceptance, passion, hope, and grace through its quotes, prayers, reflections, and anecdotes. For both those struggling and for those sailing through, it’s a galvanizing listen.
5. Finding Fire: Cooking at Its Most Elemental
by Lennox Hastie
What better way to feel warm and cozy than a fire? Cooking and eating are also high on the list of things that make people feel good, and with this book, you can do all three. Though cooking over a fire is no longer the only way to cook, it is a popular American pastime, and with Hastie’s help, you can figure out what wood is best for what foods, how to build a safe and effective cooking fire, and how to cook amazing food with the most natural heat source on the planet. With over 90 recipes, whether you want to learn how to cook in your own fireplace or over a bonfire on the beach, Finding Fire goes beyond hot dogs and wood-fired pizza and can certainly cozy things up for you this winter.
6. The Natural Health Bible
by Marilyn Glenville
Women go to the doctor more often than men and tend to make New Year’s resolutions more than men, so Marilyn Glenville’s Natural Health Bible for women is quite possibly the perfect book for many of us this month. It includes a detailed analysis of how a woman’s body works plus a study of common ailments. Glenville also offers nutrition and fitness guidelines, tips, and recipes in this illustrated guide. It’s chock-full of useful information about everything from how our bodies work to conventional and naturopathic remedies, with specific sections on issues like conceiving, pregnancy, and menopause. No matter what winter is throwing at you—from dry skin and low energy to a cold and stiff joints — The Natural Health Bible belongs on your shelf.
7. F You Very Much
by Danny Wallace
There is no denying that winter weather can get us down. It makes many of us less patient and tolerant. Author Danny Wallace is here to assure us: It’s not just you. Whether you’re the one feeling a bit short or you’ve recently had your head bitten off, Wallace and his hilarious book will help you put it into context. Though laugh-out-loud funny, F You Very Much also contains informative interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and more to help you understand, process, and handle bullies, road rage, trolls, and tantrums—both your own and others’. If you could use an attitude adjustment or just some insight into bad behavior, then F You Very Much is for you.
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