Welcome to the second post of the March self care series! (technically third if you count the intro). If you’re not caught up on this series, no worries, here is the entire Bliss Bean March of self care line-up, all linked up and ready for you to read!
With this post, I wanted to give you a collection of resources that you can use to deepen your understanding of self care, motivate yourself to prioritize it, and give you ideas for how to practice it!
This is a much a list for me as it is a list for you. I have not read/watched all of these (not even a quarter of these), but simply hope to show you the vast amount of resources available on the topic of self care and to curate them into a handy dandy little list for you to refer to. And you can bet I’ll be referring to it as well. I’ve already put some of these books on my “To Read List”
The items on this list that are marked with a star are those that I have personally read/watched.
Hygge is the Danish concept of coziness and comfort. This book is quite a quick read - it is “little”, after all! But it makes you feel so comforted and content and is so full of little tips to implement into your life that you keep coming back to it. In that sense, it is a very “big” book.
This may not belong on this list. It’s a poetry book, by one of the most popular poets today (@rupikaur_) However, 2 reasons made me include it. 1. Reading a book of poetry is an act of self care if I’ve ever seen one. And 2. Rupi really emphasizes the message of loving yourself first (italics). She’s so honest, and it hits hard. Definitely a book to read if you feel like you need to re-center and get back in touch with yourself.
3. Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark
You know you want another book with a pale, daintily illustrated cover that you’ll want to display on your coffee table. But if you get it for its looks, I suggest reading it as well. While the Little Book of Hygge focuses on the happiness “secrets” of Danes, Lagom focuses on the Swedish concept of “not too little, not too much”. Intuitively, these concepts seem to complement each other.
Wiking is back at it again with his little books on happiness. This one has also gotten very positive reviews. The difference between hygge and lykke, for you non-Danes? Lykke is basically happiness (a topic I like to write about), and the book encourages you to practice lykke by “pursuing and finding the good that exists in the world around us every day”. The book is divided into 6 factors of happiness and the actions we can take to increase each. Although I have not read this book, the organized format of this book is tempting me to check it out.
Wow, EXTREME self-care. I have to say, the title put me off a bit but I was impressed with the amount of positive reviews on Amazon. You know I love organized books and this one comes in 12 chapters, theoretically one per month for a year. Reviewers have commented that the action steps and recommendations in the book are clear and helpful, albeit sometimes hard to implement just because they ask you to make changes to your life that can be difficult sometimes. But hey, do hard things, right?
Let us begin with how absolutely GORGEOUS this book (journal) is. I’m a sucker for a pretty cover (no amount of “don’t judge a book by its cover” can help me). And the prettiness extends to the pages, too. Beautiful illustrations and lettering fill the book. Journaling is one of my main acts of self-care, and it’s something that I do every day, sometimes even three times! This book encourages the habit with fun questions like “What are three thoughts that made you smile today?”, “If you could only own four possessions for the rest of your life, what would they be? Draw them here,” and “Write down ten big dreams that haven’t come true yet”. That “yet” is EVERYTHING.
When I see 81 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.8 stars, I click fast. This is a lot like the above book, but with somewhat deeper, more thoughtful prompts like: “This is what home feels like”, “These are the ones who show me who I am”, and “This is how my body feels after meditation”. And again, this book is packed with beautiful watercolor illustrations. If I don’t finish writing this post soon I’m going to end up buying all of these books. Someone stop me.
A no-nonsense workbook. A common theme among reviewers and commenters is that if you put in the work, the book will work for you. I flipped through the Amazon preview of the book and had a good chuckle about some of the pages. One asks simply: “Do you feel like crying?”, with checkboxes for “Yes - That’s ok, have a little cry now” and “No - Seriously? That’s cool! But maybe you should have a cry anyway?”. And then the next page has ideas for places to cry in. I already love it.
9. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is practically a celebrity in the world of minimalism, and I actually first heard about her on The Minimalists podcast (btw, I love podcasts). Besides just being an immensely inspiring person (who ever said that being an organizing consultant couldn’t turn into an incredible career?), the glowing reviews of people who, for example, locked themselves in their “house for 6 straight weeks” and completely changed their lives by drastically reducing their possessions makes me look around my room with a sudden fire to throw everything away.
YouTube, like most places you can visit on the Internet, can suck your energy/enthusiasm straight out of you. For example, if you get caught in the trap of clicking around on links and end up reading an article on the best types of zipper for waterproof backpacks when all you were trying to find out is whether you can get polyester wet (true story).
BUT, if you use the Internet/YouTube mindfully (setting timers for how long you’ll watch, resisting the urge to stray off topic, etc.) it can be an immensely inspiring resource.
Gosh, I just discovered Rowena’s YouTube channel and I already love her. This girl gives you practical tips for day to day self care in such a calming voice.
The editing on this video is just… so good. Just so good. Everything is so smooth, so carefully filmed. I love this video because we all know that feeling when our life is just like asldkjfkdjflksj; and we need to do something ASAP to get back on the right track. In such instances, simply drinking a glass of water or doing a 5-minute meditation won’t help. You need something MORE. And Aileen beautifully explains the full routine that she followed when she felt this way.
If you have never watched Yoga with Adriene, two questions 1. Who even are you? and 2. Why are you not getting your yoga mat out at this very moment? This may be a self love yoga class but EVERY Yoga with Adriene video is an emotional adventure led by someone who I am convinced is the best yoga teacher on this planet, so you won’t go wrong no matter what video you choose.
Ah, good old Buzzfeed. Sometimes it’s really nice just to listen to other, real people talk about self care. It can remind you that you aren’t alone. You aren’t the only person struggling with taking care of yourself and trying to figure out how to deal with sadness, and that is a beautiful thing.
I only quickly previewed this video but just that bit nearly made me cry. I want to be friends with Iskra.
A talk that focuses on how much we value our physical health, and have all sorts of tools to treat our bumps and scrapes, but don’t give our psychological health nearly the same importance. Why?
Wow, someone actually made a game. As soon as I saw this, my immediate reaction was: “This is the exact opposite of Cards Against Humanity”. Perhaps after a round of the terribly disgusting (and absolutely hilarious) card game, you could balance that out with some “hyggeligt” conversations with your friends?
A cold, rural village in the wilderness may not seem like the ideal setting for self-care and happiness, so what makes its people happy?
Gotta love a concisely named movie. This documentary is about happiness, all the way “from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata”.
Sometimes you just need to shut your mind off and sit in awe of the intricacies of our planet and its life to realize that your daily little stressors are insignificant in the grand scope of things. Planet Earth always manages to put me in a trance.
Hey, it happens. This website takes you through an interactive “choose your own adventure” style quiz, prompting you to check on various aspects of your well-being that you may have left unconsidered. Have you eaten in the last 4 hours? Have you taken your medications? Etc.
Well, another extremely long blog post, done and dusted! I, of course, don’t expect anyone to read all of these blog posts word for word. This is a resource, a reference. I hope you find use from skimming this and clicking around on the links.
Let me know if you have read/watched/visited any of these! What would you add to the list?
Thank you for reading, and as always, Take good care of yourself.