New Year, Same You
Posted on December 30, 2020
So many new year’s resolutions, so little time. After the dumpster-fire year of suffering that was 2020, start off fresh in 2021 by rethinking the urge to make resolutions. Instead, embrace who you already are, and focus on living compassionately with whatever comes your way. Here are a few titles that can help.
By Katherine May
Wintering explores the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down. Katherine May explores how she not only endured a painful time of illness and unexpected changes, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered. A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat and invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear.
You’re a Miracle (And a Pain in the Ass): Embracing the Emotions, Habits and Mystery that Make You You
By Mike McHargue
Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? McHargue explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different–and what you can do to close the gap. For thousands of years, scientists, philosophers, and self-help gurus have wrestled with one of the basic conundrums of human life: why we so often don’t do the things that we want to do, why we binge Netflix when we know taking a walk outside would be better for us, or why we argue politics on Facebook when our real friends live just down the street. We like to think we’re in control of our thoughts and decisions, but science has shown that a host of competing impulses, emotions, and environmental factors are at play in every action we undertake. McHargue shows how some of our qualities that seems most frustrating–including “negative” emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety–are actually key to helping humans survive and thrive. In doing so, he invites the reader on a path of self-understanding, and ultimately, self-acceptance.
I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have To: True Life Lessons
By Loni Love
An inspiring, hilarious memoir about learning to resist the pressures of conformity, love yourself for who you are, embrace your flaws, and unlock your true potential. Now cohost of Fox’s The Real and SiriusXM’s Café Mocha, Loni Love hasn’t taken the typical path to becoming famous. She grew up in housing projects in Detroit, more worried about finding her next meal than going on a diet. When she moved to Hollywood after graduating college with an engineering degree, seeking to break out in the entertainment world, she spent years trying to fit in. Here, she relates the funny story of how she overcame the trap of self-improvement and instead learned to embrace who she was. Love explores all of the embarrassing mistakes, terrifying challenges, and unexpected breakthroughs that taught her how, by committing ourselves to our own path, we can take control of our destiny.
The Gifts of Imperfection
By Brene Brown
An expert on the psychology of shame presents advice on how to overcome paralyzing fears and self-consciousness, and at the same time increase feelings of self-worth, gratitude, and acceptance. Here, Brown explores the psychology of releasing our need to overcome an ‘imperfect’ life and how to embrace living authentically. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, she provides ten ‘guideposts’ that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty– a perfectly imperfect life.
How Not to Diet: the Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss
See also: The How Not to Diet Cookbook
By Michael Greger
Every month seems to bring a trendy new diet or weight loss fad — and yet obesity rates continue to rise, and with it a growing number of diseases and health problems. It’s time for a different approach. Enter Dr. Michael Greger, nutrition expert, physician, and founder of Nutritionfacts.org, who lays out the key ingredients of the ideal weight-loss diet — factors such as calorie density, the insulin index, and the impact of foods on our gut microbiome — showing how plant-based eating is crucial to our success. Dr. Greger builds the ultimate weight loss guide from the ground up, taking a timeless, proactive approach that can stand up to any new trend. Chock full of actionable advice and groundbreaking dietary research, How Not to Diet will put an end to dieting — and replace those constant weight-loss struggles with a simple, healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Beyond Beautiful: a Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in Looks-Obsessed World
By Anuschka Rees
Between picture-perfect Instagram celebrities, ultra-lean fitness gurus, and effortlessly chic fashion influencers, it’s getting harder and harder to feel good about the way we look. Despite the growing movement toward female empowerment and body positivity, the pressure for women to conform to beauty standards is higher than ever, and the culture of social media has raised the bar. But it’s not too late to break the looks-obsessed cycle and live a happy, confident, authentic life. Beyond Beautiful is a no-fuss, psychology-backed guide to help women develop a healthy attitude toward their bodies, looks, clothing, health, and aging. Beyond Beautiful is a much-needed breath of fresh air that will enhance your confidence and joy, and help you live your best life.
Home Edit Life: the No-guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything
See Also: The Home Edit (print)
See Also: The Home Edit (ebook)
By Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
At home or on the go, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life–whether you’re a busy mom, a roommate living with three, or someone who’s always traveling for work. You just need to know how to set up a system that works for you. Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin go beyond the pantry and bookshelf to show you how to contain the chaos in all aspects of your life, from office space and holiday storage to luggage and pet supplies. Get to know your organizing style, tailor it to your family’s lifestyle, and lead the low-guilt life as you apply more genius ideas to every aspect of your life.
The Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation
By Tami Simon
Even after years of spiritual practice, self-improvement, or therapy, many of us still have trouble with one essential challenge: self-acceptance. How do we stop from constantly judging ourselves as inadequate, finding fault with our bodies, or being plagued by our inner critics? The Self-Acceptance Project was created to help us find a solution. In this collection of essays, contemporary luminaries in spirituality, psychology, and creativity offer insights and teachings for truly embracing who we are no matter what our circumstances.
I Love You But I Hate Your Politics: How to Protect Your Intimate Relationships in a Poisonous Partisan World
By Jeanne Safer
Do you thrust unsolicited partisan articles upon your spouse? Are you convinced that you can change your coworker’s mind, if you could only argue forcefully enough? Political disagreements have been ravaging our personal relationships like never before. From friends to relatives to lovers, no relationship is immune to this crisis. Safer draws from interviews with every type of politically mixed relationship, as well as her own experiences as a die-hard liberal happily married to a stalwart conservative. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, this book offers frank, practical advice for salvaging and strengthening your bonds with your loved ones.
How to Break Up with Your Phone: the 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
By Catherine Price
Okay, this one is a little “resolution”-y, but it’s one very doable change that is likely to boost us all to a better place. This is a practical, hands-on plan to break up–and then make up–with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good. You’ll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and learn how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You’ll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will ultimately enable you to take back control of your life.
Mindfulness for Dummies
By Shamash Alidina
No matter who we are, stress, worry, and sadness sometimes invade our lives. Millions of people have found the antidote in mindfulness, and you can too. Written by an expert who’s been teaching the art of mindfulness for more than 20 years, this simple guide can show you how to disconnect your brain from that endless loop of negativity and get back in touch with all that makes life worth living. Learn to relax your body and mind, reframe your attitudes, be aware of your surroundings, and improve your relationship with yourself.
After the relief of getting through 2020 fades, it will be difficult to start a new year without yearning for “something better,” but maybe the best approach is to find a way to be okay with what you currently have. Showing compassion towards yourself is just as important as being compassionate towards others. Let’s make 2021 the year of emotional and physical recovery and care, and gently ease away from 2020.
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