A few months ago I was contacted about writing a book review of Ailbhe Malone’s self help book, 101 Tiny Changes to Brighten Your Day. The topic of self care and self esteem has always been very personal to me and this post is by no means a delve into my issues and thoughts on the subject. What it is though, is a review of Ailbhe’s book and a little guide to taking some time out for yourself and making sure you’re prioritising self care.
As I’m writing this post, I’m sat in bed during the middle of the day on a Saturday afternoon, feeling a little under the weather. I was supposed to go to the gym and I was supposed to tidy my room. But I didn’t do either and that’s okay.
My initial reaction to “failing” my plans for the day, is to scold myself and feel guilty. The usual “but it’s only the 13th of January and you’ve already sacked the gym off” rings through my head on repeat. True, but that’s okay. Today I don’t feel my best and I couldn’t face going to the gym so instead I took a little time to myself and I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow. As well as vowing to get more in shape this year, I also vowed to lead a healthier lifestyle as part of my new years resolutions and that means taking some time out for myself every once in a while.
We live in such a fast paced world where we have so many things that need to be done and need to be done now, it’s easy to get sucked into a cycle of self guilt-tripping and feeling like a failure if, god forbid, one day we just don’t feel like getting shit done. I am sick of beating myself up because I couldn’t be bothered to wash my hair on Tuesday or because I didn’t reach 10,000 steps on my Fitbit on Friday. W H O C A R E S. Yes I want to lead a healthy life and work out and socialise regularly, but I also want to respect the quality of my state of mind and take some time out where I feel confident enough to say no and to treat myself to some alone time without feeling bad about it.
And this is where Ailbhe’s book has been a god send. Written in an easily accessible format, particularly helpful on days where blocks of text in times new roman are just too much, the larger font and splashes of illustrations of a cute dog are exactly what I need from a self help book. The PR package even arrived with a little cactus candle, two sachets of tea, a small bar of chocolate and some of Ailbhe’s inspirational quotes on little cards. Alongside the book itself, it was the perfect self care package.
With a different tip on each page, the book is separated into different 9 sections which makes it great for navigating exactly what kind of tips you’re looking for. My favourites are the sections with tips on Dealing with the Internet (because sometimes it is just the worst) and the All Too Much section.
Having read many a self help book in my time, Ailbhe’s comes as a breath of fresh air. From her chatty and therefore relatable tone of voice, to her very relevant observations on today’s world and the problems that come with it for your mental health, this book has become one of the first things I reach for on days (like today) where I just need some guidance and reassurance that having a day where you don’t feel okay, is in fact, okay.
I have linked Ailbhe’s book below for anyone who would like to buy it and experience this perfect little pick-me-up for themselves.
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