17 books to cultivate professional and personal self-care from the inside out
With the end of year approaching, there is no better time than now to focus on what matters most — you. From inspirational stories on how to live life to the fullest and simple techniques you can add to your daily routine to stay calm and focused, learn how to look after every aspect of your well-being. These must-reads will arm you on the road to self-care — both at work and at home.
Today, as businesses prioritize their bottom line over employee satisfaction and workers become increasingly isolated, the need to safeguard your well-being is crucial. Through tactical advice on how to approach work in a smart and healthy manner, which includes knowing when to sign off for the day, doubling down on our capacity to learn, fixing finances and beating impostor syndrome, Ruettimann lays out the framework necessary to champion your interests and create a life you actually enjoy.
Our work lives revolve around our ability to communicate — to share information, exchange ideas and make decisions. Effective communication is essential for cultivating trust and team collaboration, as well as our sense of purpose and well-being at work. With teams experiencing more anxiety, stress and burnout than ever before, strong communication skills have never been more essential.
Our ego holds us back at every stage of our career. Ryan Holiday explains why it’s the barrier to our goals, our successes, our failures — essentially, everything we do in life. He shares how to manage and tame our insatiable egos so we can lead the most meaningful lives.
The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn’t felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails and unnecessary tasks? They can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress and undermine our well-being. In Joy at Work, bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters.
Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It’s the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother isn’t one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. And it’s the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.
Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation and character to show how to get the most out of life, unveiling an electrifying new theory of what makes a good life — for individuals, for communities and for nations. In a fascinating evolution of thought and practice, Flourish refines what positive psychology is all about.
Emotional agility is a revolutionary, science-based approach that allows us to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness and an open mind. Renowned psychologist Susan David developed this concept after studying emotions, happiness and achievement for more than 20 years. She found that no matter how intelligent or creative people are or what type of personality they have, it’s how they navigate their inner world — their thoughts, feelings and self-talk — that ultimately determines how successful they will become.
Sometimes the smallest gestures make the biggest impact. Through his wife’s illness, author Brad Aronson recalls on the acts of “humankindness” friends, family and even strangers showed during the difficult time. This feel-good book shares real stories of kindness and encouragement that we could all use a little more of right now.
In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies — from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy — Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk — what he calls “chatter” — can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections and cause us to fold under pressure.
It’s important to understand how mental health affects employees, and how companies can take care of their team. This new comprehensive book “provides guidance for both employers and staff on promoting positive mental health and supporting those experiencing mental ill health in the workplace.” Filled with practical advice and case studies, this book provides a great background on how you can improve well-being and strengthen mental health at work.
This inspiring and positive read reminds readers to “take a walk on the bright side” and “celebrate life just because.” Through a collection of essays, award-winning writer Irene O’Garden encourages readers to take a closer look around you to enjoy the little things. Even through the darkest moments of struggle and setback, this meaningful book serves as a reminder that there is still reason to be glad to be human.
Instead of turning lemons into lemonade, Mark Manson wants you to learn to stomach lemons. He’s not a fan of fake positivity. In this comical read, you’ll learn how to confront painful truths, accept limitations and embrace fears, so you can truly become a better, happier person.
What’s difference between being at your best and giving your best? Only one of them is completely within your control (hint: it’s not being at your best). In his book, Stop Living Your Life on Autopilot, career success coach and renowned leadership speaker Antonio Neves challenges us to examine the effort we give our personal and professional lives. Are you giving your family, your job and yourself your best or are you phoning it in? This book is a “raw and inspiring how-to guide that will help you recommit to your life, find your drive, and take action to stay bold, honest, and accountable for lasting happiness.”
In Do Nothing, award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee illuminates a new path ahead, seeking to institute a global shift in our thinking so we can stop sabotaging our wellbeing, put work aside, and start living instead of doing. Pulling together threads from history, neuroscience, social science, and even paleontology, Headlee examines longheld assumptions about time use, idleness, hard work, and even our ultimate goals. Her research reveals that the habits we cling to are doing us harm; they developed recently in human history, which means they are habits that can, and must, be broken.
In his New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, James Clear presents an easy, actionable guide to making big changes in your life by starting with the smallest steps. Whatever goal you want to achieve, this book provides practical strategies to form good habits and break bad ones to lead you to real results. If you feel like you don’t have the time, motivation or willpower to get back on track, this book is for you.
Mental strength and well-being are essential — both at home and at work. Author Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor and psychotherapist, shares her advice for how to master your mental strength.
Building resilience takes time and practice. Through letters from a former SEAL comrade, “Eric Greitens shows how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more.”
Experience professional and personal transformation with these inspiring reads
This HR winter reading list offers a wide range of resources on self-care, from inspirational stories to practical techniques that can be incorporated into daily routines. By taking care of yourself, both at home and at work, you can improve your well-being, productivity, and overall sense of fulfillment. So, take a moment to dive into these must-reads and start arming yourself with self-care strategies that will help you lead a more fulfilling and balanced life. Remember, the most important investment you can make is in yourself.
Happy reading and cheers to a season of pouring into ourselves!
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