With COVID-19 affecting the entire world, we hope you’re safely indoors and taking care of yourself.
In moments of crisis, it is best if you take care of yourself and the people around you. If you’re making the transition to working from home or have already done so, we would love to know how you’re keeping your routine in check.
This month, we’ll try to focus on content that helps you feel better and keeps you occupied while you are home.
Here is a list of 7 books you should read to relax yourself and learn more about slow living.
1. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.
Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.
2. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy —only keeping her from meeting her goals —she decided to set herself a challenge:she would not shop for an entire year.
The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.
3. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo―he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.
4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.
5. Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World
Are you constantly striving to keep up with life's busy expectations? It's easy to feel consumed with the desire to "succeed" and "acquire", and miss the simple opportunities waiting for you to slow down: a walk in the forest, sharing laughter with family, a personal moment of gratitude...
Once upon a time, it became clear to Brooke McAlary that the key to happiness was discovering a simpler, more fulfilling existence. She put the brakes on her stressful path, and reorganized her life to live outside the status-quo, emphasizing depth, connection and meaningful experiences. Alongside Brooke's affirming personal stories of breaking down and rising up, Slow provides practical advice and fascinating insights into the benefits and challenges of the slow life, such as:
—Decluttering to de-owning —Messiness to mindfulness —Asking why, to asking where to now?
Slow is an inspirational guide on creating a life filled with the things that really matter, and is meant for anyone seeking peace, meaning, and joy in their otherwise rapid lives. Slowly—of course.
6. The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More
A tweak here, a twiddle there; every strategy in The Art Of Frugal Hedonism has been designed to help you target the most important habits of mind and action needed for living frugally but hedonistically. Apply a couple, and you’ll definitely have a few extra dollars in your pocket and enjoy more sunsets. Apply the lot, and you’ll wake up one day and realise that you’re happier, wealthier, fitter, and more in lust with life than you’d ever thought possible.
Never has such a compelling case been made for putting your wallet away and looking around at every other form of pleasure with freshly attentive eyes.
Annie and Adam are lifelong cheapskates who operate on the principle that enjoying life is a lot more likely to happen if you learn how to do it on little or no money. Decades of this approach saw them realise they also had more free time, savings, and flexibility than many of their more fiscally-oriented peers. Not to mention smaller ecological footprints, and blissful immunity to a raft of common modern ills, from social isolation to obesity.
The Art of Frugal Hedonism reveals their core strategies for lowering your consumption while raising your quality of life. Whether you are already challenging cultural consumption assumptions (but would love a little backup), or are looking for a real kickstart to help you revise your current relationship with spending, there is something in here for you.
7. Break the Twitch: A Practical Guide to Minimalism, Intentional Living & Doing More of What Matters
Every day, we make hundreds of small actions without even thinking about them. Pulling out our smartphones, clicking the one-click purchase button, pulling down to refresh the social media feed, and more. Automatic actions that have become so deeply programmed into our lives that we don't have the chance to stop and ask ourselves a very important question:
Do I actually want to do this right now?
This book is all about taking a step back, identifying the Twitch—the impulsive, unproductive responses we have to discomfort—minimizing those distractions, kicking the clutter, and doing more of what matters.