No matter what you’re going through in life—a divorce, a career change, an identity crisis, or just generally feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic—we can all rely on self-help books to give us a little pick-me-up.
They have helped many people to process their thoughts and are probably one of the best ways to expand our minds, improve our wellbeing and fill our brain with positive words and uplifting concepts. But how can we choose the most appropriate ones for us?
It’s true, every year there are so many self-help books in the market: they come in several different formats, style and tone and sometimes they don’t really keep their promises (never judge a book by its cover), however, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of good words.
Like in a process of trial and error, self-help books allow you to try different techniques and find what works the best for you. According to the mental health charity MIND: ‘Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.’
Amongst those ones meant for midlifers, there are some I feel that I should recommend: not because they are miracle makers but because they might be a great source for the mental health of women feeling stuck in the middle of their journey, and especially for those ones who see this challenging time as an opportunity to reflect and change.
‘Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable’ by Jamie Kern Lima (Gallery Book)
If you’ve ever doubted yourself or felt truly underestimated, this book will inspire a new kind of belief and confidence in you and your dreams! Imagine overcoming the things holding you back, breaking through the barrier of self-doubt and fully becoming the person you were born to be. In Believe IT, Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics, shares the wild but true story of how a once struggling waitress turned her ‘against-the-grain’ idea into an international bestselling sensation, eventually selling the company for over a billion dollars and becoming the first female CEO of a brand in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history. Faced with self-doubt, body-doubt, God-doubt, down to her last few dollars and told “No one is going to buy makeup from someone who has your body,” Jamie reveals for the first time what really went down, how she almost didn’t make it, how she learned to trust herself, and the powerful lessons you, too, can use to go from underestimated to unstoppable.
‘Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living’ by Shauna Niequist (Zondervan)
A classic, with more than 500,000 copies sold. In these pages, New York Times bestselling author Shauna Niequist invites you to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life. As a wife, mother, friend, and writer, Shauna shares with vulnerability and transparency about the reality of living wholly present in our relationships with our families and the others we love and inspires readers to discover their own path to this more fulfilling way to do life. A great read for anyone feeling a little overwhelmed by their daily grind.
‘Invisible to Invaluable: Unleashing the Power of Midlife Women’ by Jane Evans, Carol Russell (Little, Brown Book Group)
Coming soon (out on the 27th of May), this book is a celebration of what midlife women do, who we are and what we are capable of – and a rallying cry for us to change the world for the better. With personal stories, exciting research and insights from a cast of inspirational women, Jane Evans and Carol Russell’s manifesto blows open the ageism that’s sidelined midlife women at work and in society and sets out an empowering vision for a world where we can unlock our full potential. In a collection of chapters that range from the powerful to the playful and from the distant past to a brighter future, Jane and Carol show how there is no longer just ‘young’ and ‘old’ – there is a whole new middle that can be the best time of your life.
Even if we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom, or have disappeared entirely, there is a way back for all of us. This book will remind you how far we’ve come, and show you what we’re made of.