Self-care is a good thing. Here are some new books and podcasts to help you.

Five Mindfulness Books to boost your self-care

  1. Self-Compassion For Dummies

Does the title contain an oxymoron? It’s true. As Steve Hickman points out, “Being willing and receptive for change to buy a book named Self Compassion For Dummies shows that you’re humble and open to changes, which actually is where you should be to get the best from this book.”

Each chapter is devoted to a specific aspect of self-compassion, but a common theme runs through them all: asking yourself, “What do you need?” It’s easier said than done. Hickman, a long-time teacher of Mindful self-compassion and founding director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, leads us witty, reassuringly, beginning with defining it and its three components: common humanity and kindness. He explains the science of compassion, then moves on to sections such as “How Kindness Transforms in the Fire of Life” and “Dancing with the Inner Critic & Making Change.” He also dispels myths surrounding self-compassion. It’s not “soft,” “feminine,” or “will make you lose your edge.” Self-compassion (like mindfulness) is more likely to increase your purpose, motivation, and clarity. Hickman says that self-compassion is also about being kinder to ourselves. “Moments of self-compassion are moments of comfort and encouragement. Not striving, forcing or berating,” he reminds us. Self-compassion doesn’t mean ignoring or pushing through difficult emotions. It’s a way to “encounter these feelings” and not control them but change your relationship with them. This book will teach you as much as any other book. AT

Enjoy Every Bite

Enjoying your body, eating mindfully, and living with joy are all ways to eat, love, and live with joy.

Lynn Rossy * New Harbinger

A person’s relationship with food is intimate. Food may seem like a toy for a child, but as you grow older, your relationship with it can change. It begins to affect how we see ourselves and our sense of self-worth. Lynn Rossy’s Savour Every Bite was written as a compassionate response to the culture of strict beauty standards. This culture often makes many people feel like they are outsiders. This book aims to remove the external noise and encourages readers to listen to their bodies and heart. Rossy breaks down a journey of discovery and self-love into five chapters, including mindful practices. The goal is to love yourself whole, not pick it apart. – OL

  1. Mindfulness for Teenage Stress 2nd Edition

Christopher Willard, PsyD New Harbinger

Since the first edition, a practical and approachable workbook for teens, the number of teens reporting living with Anxiety has increased from 1 in 6 to 1 in 3. This revised and updated version, including new material about social media, bullying, school anxiety, and more, is welcomed. Christopher Willard’s years of working with youth are brought to bear in a clear, simple, and deep, but never clinical, examination of what Anxiety feels like and what triggers it. He also examines how mindfulness can ease the symptoms. The book is aimed at teens and does not try to be cool or talk down to them. The exercises in the workbook are comprehensive and helpful without being overwhelming. Additional resources can be downloaded. SD

  1. Turnaround for Teacher Burnout

Strategies for Empowered Teachers

Patricia A. Jennings * Norton

The plight faced by teachers was brought home to us when a pandemic hit the world. Tish Jennings, an education pioneer and co-founder of the CARE program (a mindfulness-based professional training program) and The Compassionate Schools Project, traced the causes of teacher burnout back to a “factory-farm model” that was designed to create uniform students who were assessed using a standard which stigmatized differences, instead of celebrating them. Teachers are then asked to teach twenty-first-century skills within a system from the nineteenth century. Part 2 explores how to think differently about schools using design and systems thinking. Part 3 offers a way for students to take control of their learning. Teachers can find the resilience and renewing energy needed to live a life dedicated to fostering others’ discoveries. – BB

The Healing Otherness Handbook

You can overcome the trauma of identity-based bullying and find power in your differences.

Dr. Stacee Reicherzer * New Harbinger

Dr. Stacee Reicherzer guides the reader on a healing journey to help them see how the pain of “othering” (being cast out or separated from the crowd) shows up in their lives in a limiting manner. She then equips her reader with practical and joyful tools to help them progress. What are the tools? Clarity, compassion, and creativity are the tools. This last quality is crucial–having the audacity and courage to move forward, even when others think you should remain stuck. She writes: “Sass represents the resilient, bold, and spirited nature of our being that longs to be liberated.”

Dr. Stacee begins the book by telling a visceral story of her experience as a woman who is transgender. She uses her own and others’ stories to dispel myths that we tell ourselves, such as why we should accept or be grateful for less than what we deserve. The book is filled with mindfulness practices that help us put these truths into action.


Three Mindful Podcasts You Should Listen To Now

  1. Walking each other home

Episode: Rhonda Magee, “The Importance Of Narrative In Social Justice”

Rhonda Magee and Mirabai Bush, two mindfulness experts and old friends, engage in an engaging conversation about the importance of narrative to help us develop empathy and understanding. Magee draws a direct link between mindfulness and antiracism as a “way to engage our practices fully…to move from our cushion into the real world, informed and supported by our practice.” Magee says mindfulness is the perfect tool for dealing with racism and isms. SD

  1. Laugh A Purpose

Episode: “Mindfulness”

In an open discussion with Laugh 4a Purposes “Big Kev,” Jason Gat discusses mindfulness FAQs. He is the Athletic Mental Skills coach at Village-Tribe and Behavioral Healthcare Educator at Kaiser Permanente. The majority of answers are based on the idea that mindfulness is something we all possess. Gant says that anyone who is listening, or even present today, is a lifelong mindfulness practitioner. Gant illustrates how mindfulness is evident in daily life. For example, he gives measures such as stopping to look in both directions before crossing the street or enjoying the warm water and suds in the shower. He affirms that we can achieve this level of awareness through practice. KR

  1. Men Talking Mindfulness

Episode: “Stop Complaining?? ?”

The hosts of this podcast, Jon Macaskill, a retired Navy Seal Commander, and Will Schneider, a “hippie” meditation teacher, give us much to appreciate: they begin each episode with an introductory practice, share what’s happening in their lives, and interpret topics based on their own experience and growth. They discuss how to practice mindfulness when patience is short. What gets your mind and body going during times of inconvenience? Macaskill says that you can’t be mindful and practice patience. You are being patient and cautious when trying to stay calm and not react.