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An article in Woman and Home last month caught my eye. It asked ‘Do Self Help Books Work‘?

To be perfectly honest with you I have no idea if they work but many people have turned to them over the last year due to the pandemic and not being able to see a therapist for real. From sleep problems to chronic pain, anxiety and a lot more. Many of us have suffered at least one of these over the last 18 months.

They write that some books can be like ‘having a therapist on speed dial but without the hourly charge.‘ Reading something that can relate to you and guide you, can be life-changing. But, of course there are times when these books should be used with guidance from a professional.

Woman and Home suggest that you pick a self help book that focuses on a specific area of your life that you want to work on and check the reviews on it. Look for books that ask you questions and ask yourself these questions.

Some books they recommend to boost your body and mind during this difficult time for many are –

Self-Care for Tough Times: How to Heal in Times of Anxiety, Loss & Change by Suzy Reading – perfect for dealing with stress, grief, loss, change and transition. Also to help with loss of a loved one, illness or simply feeling exhausted. Self-care for Tough Times is a gentle yet powerful toolkit to help during difficult times, such as the end of a relationship, loss of a loved one, career change and times of heightened emotions or anxiety. These are the times when self-care is most important and yet often forgotten, but just a few small moments can make a huge difference to how we feel, how we release emotions rather than bottle them up and how we ride the ups and downs.

The Science of Sleep : Stop Chasing a Good Night’s Sleep and Let It Find You by Heather Darwall-Smith – perfect if the pandemic has sent you sleep routine out the window. Heather Darwall-Smith’s message in this book is simple: don’t panic! Humans are biologically programmed to sleep, and by interrogating all the factors – sociological, physiological, neurological, and psychological – that might be impeding this innate instinct, each of us can work out the changes we can make in our own lifestyles to allow ourselves to sleep naturally again.This book demystifies the bewildering data around sleep by combining science with natural self-help techniques.

I’m So Effing Tired by Dr Amy Shah – with many people in chronic pain or just exhausting from doing nothing constantly feeling exhausted in no fun. This book will help you beat burnout and help you feel less exhausted.

Are you feeling overwhelmed, overstressed, and overtired? If so, you’re not alone – and you don’t have to settle for feeling this way. Inspired by her personal wellness journey, Dr. Amy Shah has created this program so that you can regain your energy and reclaim your life. The key is tapping into the powerful energy trifecta: the complex, interconnected relationship between your gut, your immune system, and your hormones. Drawing on the latest science and her work helping thousands of clients, Dr. Shah explains how to transform your life by changing:

What You Eat: increase your fiber-rich, prebiotic vegetables, without giving up your wine and chocolate!?
When You Eat: intermittent fasting – the right way – can revamp your energy
Why You’re Stressed: discover simple exercises and herbs that ease anxiety

In just two weeks, you’ll feel your energy surge. In three months, you’ll feel like a whole new person. It’s time to regain the energy you’ve lost, so you can get back to the life you want to live.

The Brain Fitness Book by Rita Carter – A Healthy Mind helps you keep a healthy body so this training manual for the mind will keep you feeling great. A book of logic puzzles and cognitive exercises to improve memory, beat brain fog, boost processing time and sharpen problem solving.

Packed with expert advice, brain tests, and a range of exercises to stimulate your memory and mental agility, The Brain Fitness Book will equip you with everything you need to keep your brain working to its maximum potential. It includes puzzles, sensory exercises and step-by-step introductions to activities from playing the guitar to beginning yoga and tai chi.

Discover how to achieve a brain-healthy lifestyle!

This empowering guide highlights the role of quality sleep, a healthy diet and physical exercise to help you look after both your physical and mental well-being. Our mental fitness is just as crucial as our body’s, with regular training your brain helps you to be less prone to age-related decline, as well as conquering stress, anxiety, and the risk of depression. The Brain Fitness Book is the perfect gift or purchase for anyone interested in maintaining mental health and cognition.

Source: Woman & Home

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With so many health apps to choose from nowadays its difficult to know which one is the best.

Here are my top 4…

1.Manage My Pain – It allows you to feel more in control of your pain, you can describe your pain, track it against activities and spot patterns and trends. You can lot your pain when you take different medication to see how well its working which is a great way to try something new.

2. Headspace – A very popular app which gives guided session starting from three minutes long. It also includes lots of breath-guided exercises and CBT work to challenge unhelpful thought processes.

3. Sleepio – This provides instant access CBT for poor sleep or insomnia over a six week programme. It is automated, personalised and delivered digitally and allows people to access support whenever and wherever they wish to use it. It is backed by the highest quality evidence with 12 randomised controlled trials, and has been trusted by the NHS for over seven years to treat insomnia in more than 100,000 patients !!!

4. Patient Access – It has more than 3000 information leaflets, all written by GP’s in patient.info website offers comprehensive advice on a vast range of symptoms, conditions and medicines. About 60% of people in England and Scotland can use the app to link to their GP and order repeat medication, book appointments, view or securely download your medical records, find NHS self-referral resources and more. An app that should definitely be on your iphone or ipad.