Non-Fiction Book Review: Everyday Stress Relief

Everyday Stress Relief by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW
Everyday Stress Relief: Essential Techniques to Boost Emotional Resiliency and Improve Your Health
by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW

4 out of 5 stars


This book provides practical suggestions for dealing with stress in a positive and healthy way. It includes commonly stressful scenarios and how to cope when dealing with each one. Some of the scenarios include, death of a loved one, losing a job, starting college, retiring, buying a home, parenting a difficult child, getting dinner on the table, commuting to work, feeling lonely, or being in a car accident.

Each section begins with a description of the struggles of the scenario and the possible emotions that may arise. Then there is a stress-relieving exercise to try such as meditation, physical exercise, journaling, or reframing your thoughts in a more positive light.

I love that this book focuses on gratitude, resilience, and gentleness. The writing is very encouraging, and gives excellent advice for navigating the strong emotions that can come up during stressful times. Continue reading

Book Review: Self-Care Check-In

Self-Care Check-In by GG Renee Hill
Self-Care Check-In: A Guided Journal to Build Healthy Habits and Devote Time to You
by GG Renee Hill

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives you some journal prompts and activities to do that help to promote self-care and happiness. I really love how the prompts guide you through difficult questions, to find what will bring you the most balanced life and a sense of well-being. How to set self-care boundaries, how to say no to others, how to be confident with spending your money, how to trust your own instincts, and many more issues are explored in a calm and caring way.

This book encourages self-acceptance, slowing down to reflect, making positive changes with baby steps, and designing a life that is full of wellness and joy!
Each page has three sections: Reflect, Focus, and Do. There are one or two sentences about an issue you can Reflect on, then a prompt to Focus on what you really need and what would make that issue better, and finally an activity to Do that will help you to realize your self-care goals. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Sleep Workbook

The Sleep Workbook by Renata Alexandre
The Sleep Workbook: Easy Strategies to Break the Anxiety-Insomnia Cycle
by Renata Alexandre

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with an analysis of why people might have trouble falling asleep, and explains different sleep disorders. Then the author uses cognitive behavioral therapy to gently guide the reader into a better sleep pattern that will leave you feeling refreshed and energetic.

There are several sleep assessment quizzes you can take to determine some of the causes and details of your sleep issues. This really helps to pinpoint personal habits you might have that are hindering your sleep, or specific anxieties that are keeping you awake at night.

At the end of each section there are some journal prompts and room to write your thoughts about your sleep journey. There is also a sleep log that you can fill out to keep track of your sleep patterns. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Essential Pranayama

Essential Pranayama by Jerry Givens
Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace
by Jerry Givens

4 out of 5 stars


This book goes in-depth about the energy centers of the body and how the breath can move and create energy, soothing and refreshing the body. There are instructions for different types of breathing rhythms, and different postures for sitting or lying down as you meditate and breathe. I love how many details and explanations there are about different aspects of the breathe and lungs.

There are breathing exercises to try, with clear instructions and a list of benefits. There are exercises for an energizing breath, or for a calming breath. Some of my favorites are included like Alternate Nostril Breathing, Buzzing Bee Breath, and Ocean (Ujayi) Breath. There are breathing techniques for mental clarity, stress relief, and for better sleep through calming and cooling breathing. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal

Cultivating Calm by Brandi Matz MSW LCSW (Author)
Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal
by Brandi Matz 

3 out of 5 stars


This book is divided into two sections: one with journal prompts and space to write, and one with meditations to try. Each page begins with an inspirational quote, and a short paragraph describing a situation or theme for you to journal or meditate about.

The themes include things like financial stress, being alone, being late, getting rid of clutter, taking an exam, family relationships, crowded spaces, conflict with others, housework, social media stress, fear of driving, fear of dying, and fear of public speaking, among many others.
Each of these are addressed, acknowledged, and then the reader is guided into a more productive and calm attitude, along with tips for dealing with each situation and handling anxiety in a healthy way. Continue reading

Journal Review: Holistic Self-Care Guided Journal

Holistic Self-Care Guided Journal by Carley Schweet
Holistic Self-Care Guided Journal: Nurture Yourself, Expand Your Mind, Embrace Who You Are
by Carley Schweet

5 out of 5 stars

This book helps you to reconnect with your core self, grow in your courage and creativity, and engage in your relationships, all in baby steps that remind you to take care of yourself and reflect on what you truly need. This book has sections to “Nurture Yourself, Expand Your Mind, Get Creative, Move Your Body, Get Organized, and Embrace Your Community.” Each section has insightful journal prompts, affirmations, meditations, gentle activities, and inspirational quotes to get you motivated.

I’m truly impressed at how this book uses thoughtful prompts and deep themes to sweetly guide the reader into a better understanding of the many aspects of self-care. And yet it never feels too heavy! Each activity is a simple little thing, a cup of tea, a walk in the sunshine, listening to a favorite song. And yet the impact is immense because of the introspection that is happening. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Trigger Point Therapy Made Simple

Trigger Point Therapy Made Simple by Richard Finn LMT CMTPT
5 out of 5 stars


This book outlines where trigger points are located in our muscles, and how massage, pressure, and other therapies can help to alleviate that pain. The self-therapy techniques include self-massage, breathing exercises, stretching exercises designed to alleviate nerve tension, massaging or compressing a trigger point in your muscle, and Swedish movements for stretching your range of motion.

I really like the attitudes in this book, putting the power of healing back into the hands of the patient, instead of relying on doctors who don’t give any answers or solutions other than prescription pain medication. The writing is so encouraging and gives good information about using techniques to heal yourself and find relief from pain and tension. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Joy at Work

Joy at Work by Marie Kondō
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life
by Marie Kondō ,Scott Sonenshein 

4 out of 5 stars


Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein give some wonderful guidelines in this book for tidying up your work. They focus on not just your desk and workspace, but also your time, contacts, email and digital documents, and decision-making process. They give advice on team-building, evaluating tasks, and how to run an effective meeting.

I liked the chapters that Marie wrote the best. Her voice is so inspirational and clear. The advice given by Scott is also good, but I didn’t connect with his voice as much.

I really liked that the circumstances and examples of each job could apply to almost any job or field of work, no matter your level or profession.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person

The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person by Amanda Cassil
The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person
by Amanda Cassil

5 out of 5 stars

As a Highly Sensitive Person, it is such a relief to have a book like this! It describes the HSP experience so clearly, and gives real and practical ideas for navigating the strong emotions and overwhelming sensations that come with having an HSP brain.

There is a quiz you can take to determine whether or not you are an HSP. The quiz says that if you score a 14 or higher, then you are an HSP. I scored a 24! I am extremely sensitive, and it’s always been a struggle. I’ve felt misunderstood my entire life, and have spent years telling myself, “Why can’t you be like other people? Why does this bother you so much? Why can’t you just let it go?” This book spoke so compassionately to my frustration and emotional pain, as well as my physical struggles. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Stretch

3 out of 5 stars

I picked up this book because the author has co-written the new Marie Kondo book, Joy at Work. I wanted to check out other books by this author before I read Marie Kondo’s new book.
I was disappointed.

The writing is much too verbose, taking forever to make a clear point. Every chapter is FULL of stories; true stories, anecdotes, business stories, and examples of people who succeeded or failed. Then the author uses the example from the story to illustrate their point about being resourceful with little instead of grasping for more. Continue reading