The stars of October this year have aligned to indicate a crying need for some self-care among many listening readers. We’ve heard enough about beer to cancel most interest in Oktoberfest; October is Anti-Bullying Month; and it’s also the month we recognize Mental Health Awareness. Here are four tips for taking active measures toward self-care, and our recommendations for audiobooks that can encourage that positive response to stress.
Get outdoors and enjoy nature
Before you head to the woods, the shore, or a city park, listen to Bob Reed narrate INHERITORS OF THE EARTH, by Chris D. Thomas. You’ll learn new details about the human relationship to nature in a delivery that is as brisk as the pace you might want to set in the outdoors. Instead of listening while you’re on the move in the natural environment, however, listen first, and then go celebrate all you’ve learned by discovering—or rediscovering—the place you have in Earth’s ecosystem.
Avoid overconsumption of both depressants (alcohol) and stimulants (caffeine)
While political realities make it seem like a great idea to indulge in an extra drink, indulge in A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 6 GLASSES instead. The effects of alcohol and caffeine—one or the other an ingredient in each of the six glasses here—can offer what seems to be relief. However, that relief is temporary, and the chances of creeping addiction mount with degree of indulgence. On the other hand, technology writer Tom Standage has some fascinating dope to offer that will make you want to linger over a single glass or cup. Sean Runnette reads with a smoothness befitting the best of each of the six beverages discussed.
Eat good food that’s good for you
Good-for-you food can console just as well as food that’s not so good for your body and your mind. In REAL FOOD, FAKE FOOD, Larry Olmstead offers insights on authentic foods’ pleasures and fake foods’ limitations. Jonathan Yen performs this well-researched book in a conversational style that has him sounding like an engaging dinner guest. Add a second helping of good eating insight with Sophie Egan’s DEVOURED, with its Earphones Award-winning narration by Ann Richardson. As with the natural world, the interface between foods and ourselves informs much more than just the fueling of our bodies. Could we make our culture better by eating better?
Spend quality time with friends
TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME, by Kayleen Schaefer and read by Lauren Fortgang, serves as a great reminder that friendships among women can be both empowering and refreshing to those involved. If you’re an introvert and need a bit of a nudge to seek social distraction in the face of bad and worse news, Schaefer and Fortgang can inspire you to take that step of calling on a friend. Remember, too, the health-provoking benefits of a beloved animal friend. Julie Klam’s YOU HAD ME AT WOOF, read by Karen White and an Earphones Award winner, offers an inspiring account, delivered with humor and enthusiasm, of how rich such friendships can be for both animal and human.
Times are tough and stress is high. Self-care is just one of the responses you can consider. However, without self-care, the times can become too overwhelming to make other effective responses strong enough to matter.