As you grow, you realize that life’s canvas is much more vast, colorful, and filled with plenty of terrains that do not comply with your imagination or comprehension. Some years seem easier and more enjoyable than others. And then there comes a time that does not seem to end. It is as bleak as black can be.
Sometimes the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the diagnosis of a disease, or even a painful heartbreak throws us off the cliff. We just keep falling and falling, fearing the pain that the final hit will cause us. Now these are some situations and problems that are so apparent, they are acknowledged by people around us and we may still find some solace in them.
But beyond these, some issues go unaddressed and pinch us hard every day. A little jibe at the workplace over your dress, some random grapevine, an unnecessary comment in a family gathering over your weight gain, an extra piece of advice during postpartum, or even a little reprimand from a teacher at school. Just about anything can upset the cannons in you. We must address the elephant in the room that sometimes goes unnoticed despite its palpable presence.
Luckily today, everyone wants to pet and take care of this elephant. Ring a bell? I am talking about – Our Mental Health. Across the globe, 10th October is recognized as World Mental Health Day.
I am not going to bombard you with advice or ways of keeping your mental space sane. At least not today. But I will share with you just one way of handling it better.
Something doable. Something that has helped me through my college years, heartbreaks, workplace politics; marriage, and my never-ending motherhood mayhem, the pandemic; Most importantly my struggle to get back on my own feet by way of my books and blogs; If there is anything that has been a source of happiness, positivity, and strength through it all, then it is – Reading Books
And it is my credible and humble companion, whose company I urge everyone to seek.
There isn’t one way in which books help you. I could write a blog on 100 ways in which books help us in life and it still would not be a comprehensive one!
So, trust me when I say this, start reading books. They are the most powerful and sincere tool to keep your mind healthy and your soul happy.
What better way of celebrating WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY than sharing with you some of the books I feel everyone must read? Here is a list of books I love with all my heart.
- TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE -MITCH ALBOM
Words of a man dying from ALS, this is a book for keeps. If there is one book I must pick up for someone who wants to live life to the fullest, then this is it. Read it. Gift it to your children and ask them to pass it on to their children.
- THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED – M. SCOTT PECK
As suggested by a colleague from my days as a trainer, I read it in 2010 and have re-read it at least twice again after that. For those wanting to begin a self-awareness journey, this one is truly instrumental.
- WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR – PAUL KALANITHI
A rattling and heartbreaking memoir of a dying surgeon, this book is about courage and perseverance. Not an easy read but one of my most cherished books.
- LIKE THE FLOWING RIVER – PAULO COELHO
Most people I know, know Paulo Coelho for writing THE ALCHEMIST. For me, this is another of his beautiful works. It is a compilation of thoughts and reflections from his brilliant mind and life. Fit for travel and vacations. Also, the kind of book you could begin your day with.
- THE WISDOM WE ARE BORN WITH – DANIEL GOTTLIEB
A book written by a therapist and psychologist with great care and affection. Inferences from his own life and his patients have been used and woven into an eye-opening book. It is a book to nourish your soul, to keep you going.
- A CUP OF COMFORT FOR MOTHERS – VARIOUS AUTHORS
Mildly depressed, and mostly irritated with one baby and one toddler to take care of, I picked up this book from a local bookstore at a discounted rate. What a blessing it turned out for me! Stories of motherhood compiled from across the globe, this one is part of A CUP OF COMFORT series. A great gift for a new mother or even your old lady! 50 real stories from real women all over the world.
- THE HAPPINESS PROJECT – GRETCHEN RUBIN
An enjoyable read with some great food for thought. The book explores the concept of happiness most uniquely. You will find yourself smiling through a lot of pages and thinking during the rest.
- LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – NELSON MANDELA
There are many autobiographies I can recommend but this one will always make it to the top of the list. The story of one of the greatest men born, I have nothing to say here except to read it.
- THE SEAT OF THE SOUL – GARY ZUKAV
A book that demands your absolute attention, patience, and trust. I read it at the start of this year and since then have been wondering why I couldn’t get myself to read this earlier. It is a book I will re-read every year I guess. Because there are some questions I have not yet written the answers for. It is truly a book for your soul—one of the best books on self-awareness, and finding a purpose in life.
- THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX, AND THE HORSE – CHARLIE MACKESY
There is a famous saying – Children are made readers on the lap of their parents.
It’s true. And this is one of the few books you can read out to them at the start of your journey. A book that helps you understand companionship, friendship, and hope in the simplest manner possible. It’s a book for children and adults too.
Your list could be different from mine and still be the best! Do share it with people around you. They might need it. I will keep sharing more such lists in the future.
Until then, take care of yourself. Your health is important. Both Physical and Mental.
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