These 4 Books Can Help You Practice Self-Care Over the Holidays

girl sitting at table reading with her JanSport SuperBreak Velvet

Take advantage of your hard-earned downtime to focus on your own well-being.


The holidays are almost here, which means it’s time to hang out with your family, stuff yourself silly, and enjoy the fact that classes are over until the New Year. One more item to add to your agenda? Taking the time to read a self-care book or two. We’ve gathered four filled with tips, tricks, and strategies for helping you not only keep calm and stay in the moment, but also grow.


The Little Book of Self-Care: Restore - Recharge - Flourish by Joanna Gray

This self-care guide may be small enough to fit into a Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack, but don’t let its size fool you. A perfect little pick-me-up, it’s packed with thoughtful tips and inspiring quotes, like this one from playwright Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Other highlights include a list of 10 meditation apps; a DIY mineral bath recipe for an at-home spa night; tips for mindful listening; and a great list of reminders for why self-care matters in the first place, including the all-important “Hey, who needs an excuse?”


The *More or Less* Definitive Guide to Self Care by Anna Borges

On the other end of the spectrum, Borges’ book is formatted as a self-care A-to-Z list containing more than 200 tips, activities, and stories. For such a comprehensive tomb, it gets right to the point, with Borges defining self-care in the first sentence as “making time to take care of yourself for the benefit of your overall mental and physical well-being.” It sounds simple, but Borges understands that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Her book is designed to help you find what works for you, not anyone else. So if a recommendation doesn’t appeal, she’d be the first to tell you to skip it and focus instead on the ones that do.


How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Maybe you’re not looking for an overall guide but rather a more focused approach to self-care. If you suspect that you may spend more time online than you should—or if you’re just looking for ways to be more present—Odell is here to help you slow down. In part, it’s about stepping away from the internet and social media. But it’s also about finding more meaningful ways to connect with others and the world around you—and how doing nothing becomes a political act in a society where attention is often monetized.


The Girls’ Guide to Growth Mindset: A Can-Do Approach to Building Confidence, Courage, and Grit by Kendra Coates

Written for anyone who identifies as a girl, this book is filled with activities, exercises, and prompts designed to help get you out of your comfort zone and tackle new challenges. So what is a growth mindset anyway? Coates defines it as “the belief that your intelligence, abilities, skills, talents, and even personality are not fixed.” They can change—and grow—over time if you approach learning as a chance to get better at something, not a chance to prove how smart you are. Having a growth mindset enables you to gain new skills, talents, and abilities, whether you want to learn to pack your Lunch Break with your very own recipes or tackle the great outdoors with only the things you can carry in your Far Out 65.


Looking for more reading recommendations? We’ve got you covered.


By: Jessen O’Brien