• Sandra Jojo

Mental Health During Lockdown: 5 Must Read Books to Improve Your Well-Being

For the past few weeks many of us have been left unemployed or working from home, due to life-changing, global Covid-19 pandemic. I have personally been placed on furlough leave where I am still 'technically employed', but at the same time I am not allowed to do any actual work. It has been a challenge at first to adjust to my new life after a hectic nine to five office job. However, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I started enjoying my new reality.

I have realised that I need to create a new daily routine which I will stick to and make sure I am focusing on my mental health as much as keeping physically fit. In this article, I will share 5 books that will give your new daily routine structure, productivity and balance. Those 5 books will teach you how to create new, powerful habits, let go of unpleasant situations, enjoy the moment and most importantly be happy with yourself every day.

Audiobooks Vs. Reading

All my friends know that I am not an avid book reader. Since I was little I was really struggling to focus to read a single book from the beginning until the end. I would get constantly distracted and find more exciting things to do. However, I did realise the necessity and power of reading books so I chose another option to consume information: I started listening to the audiobooks instead. I have signed up to Audible, downloaded the app on my phone and was able to listen to numerous books online no matter where I am.

Why I love Audible:

  • I can listen to books when commuting to work.

  • I can stop listening to one book and quickly resume listening to another.

  • I can put Audible on speaker when cooking or cleaning.

  • Audible is world's biggest selection of audiobooks so I can always find the book I am looking for.

To sign up for Audible, click here. I will now share 5 must read books to improve your well-being. They are available both on Audible or to order as a paper book from Amazon.

Disclosure: Feel Good Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

5 Books That Will Change Your Life:

1) Atomic Habits by James Clear

Since lockdown, I had plenty of time on my hands and surprisingly I started reading books again. One of my new daily habits was to read 10 pages of the book every day. I knew if I create a realistic (for me) goal I will stick to it. And it worked! For the past two months, I have been reading every single day. I absolutely love my new habit and I must say Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear has helped me a lot to implement new habits to my daily routine.

How this book improves your well-being?

  • The book offers practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits.

  • It helps you overcome a lack of motivation and willpower.

  • It reshapes the way you think about progress and success.

  • It teaches you how to break bad habits and addictions.

  • The book explains how tiny changes will help you design the life you love.

2) Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender By David R.Hawkins

During these challenging Covid-19 times, it is normal to feel more anxious and emotional than usual. I personally stopped watching the news because I noticed how negatively it impacts my mental health. However, I do know that avoiding triggers or unpleasant, stressful environment will not fully solve the problem. In order to be in piece with yourself and to accept the world as it is, we need to learn how to let things go. For this particular goal, I can recommend an incredible book: Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender By David R.Hawkins.

How this book improves your well-being?

  • It teaches you how to become free of negativity.

  • It highlights the importance of letting things go.

  • It helps you manage anxiety and fear.

  • The book explains how to remove the inner, emotional blocks to achieve happiness, love, joy, success and health.

3) The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle

During lockdown, we may have found ourselves worrying about future or remembering past times where we were allowed to freely travel abroad, see our friends and family. However, it is now especially important to focus on the present moment. Think about it this way, we are only fully in control of what is happening right now so why not to use this power to enjoy this particular moment? The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle is the best book for making every moment count.

How this book improves your well-being?

  • It explains how living in the now is the truest path to happiness.

  • It discusses how our thoughts and emotions can negatively impact our well-being.

  • It teaches how to creatively use your mind.

  • It makes you realise the enormous amount of time you spend either worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past and how it affects your daily life.

4) The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Two years ago, I noticed that I mostly live life by looking forward to the future. I absolutely love travelling so I would usually book a few trips a year and when things get tough at work and I am stressed, I think about my trips and then I feel better. I realised that I forgot how to simply enjoy life 'here and now'. So I signed up for 8 weeks mindfulness course (If you live in Edinburgh and would be interested in the course, let me know and I will send you the details). In 8 weeks, I learned how to stop my mind from wandering and focus on the present moment. I can now observe my breath, tune in with my body through body scan and fully immerse into what's happening right now. I would recommend learning about mindfulness for everyone. Two years later, I still use my mindfulness skills every day. Mindfulness is all about 'upgrading' your daily experience by savouring things, becoming fully aware of surroundings and giving your full attention to the present moment. If you don't have time to take a mindfulness course, I would recommend reading this incredible book: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer. It is my absolute favourite book that explains mindfulness and its effect in very simple terms. I loved this book so much that I got a 52-card deck created by the author. Every single morning I randomly pick one card and read it as 'the message of the day'. It is now a part of my daily routine which I really enjoy. If you would like to get your The Untethered Soul card deck, click here. The card deck features profound and uplifting quotes that will inspire you to discover who you really are.

How this book improves your well-being?

  • It explains how to enjoy current moment rather than thinking about the past or future.

  • It teaches you how to discover inner peace and serenity.

  • It helps you understand the effects of mindfulness and meditation.

  • It teaches you how to let go of painful thoughts and emotions.

  • It explains how to free yourself from the noisy inner voice that holds you back.

5) The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Since Covid-19 global pandemic has started, we all had to make decisions, how and where, we will be self-isolating. I have my own place and live on my own so the past couple of months I have been spending all the time with me, myself and I. At first, I was anxious about this idea. I have always been a very sociable person who spent most of my time with my friends. I predicted to be really bored and going crazy without socialising. And I was wrong. Being on my own for the past few months has been an incredible experience - I was able to realise what my biggest priorities are, how overworked and stressed I was in my office job and most importantly I felt how all the love and appreciation I could possibly want is already inside of me.

You don't need other people to make you 'whole' or 'loved'. You already have everything to live every day surrounded by love - even if you live on your own, like me. Don't get me wrong, I do miss my family and friends dearly and cannot wait to see them again. However, these couple of months made me reassess my values and make sure I am on the right path to be the best version of myself. If you struggle, with 'self-love' and feel lonely or 'out of place', I would like to recommend this beautiful book: The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide To The Art of Relationship written by author, Don Miguel Ruiz.

How this book improves your well-being?

  • It explains how to open yourself up.

  • Great book for analysing relationship issues and suggesting solutions.

  • It teaches you how to fall in love with yourself first and then how everything else falls into places.

  • You learn the importance of kindness to yourself and surrounding world.

I know you will love these 5 books that will improve your well-being and will inspire you to be the best version of yourself. If you read any of the books on the list, please leave a comment below. I am always so happy to hear your thoughts! Sending you all lots of love.

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