Treasures and Travels
Want 2018 to be a healthier and more productive year? We suggest treating yourself to a wellness book (or two). Well, wouldn’t it be great to start 2018 feeling positive, relaxed and motivated?
Wellness is so much more than taking the time to put on a good face mask or running yourself a long, hot bath with your favourite aromatherapy oils. Whilst they’re great little self-care rituals, if you are wanting to delve a bit deeper into the wellness world (from being more mindful to recipes that’ll have your skin glowing), these books are must-reads.
Even though these books are about much more than looks alone, we must say our inspiring picks are all pretty good-looking too—they’re just begging for a #shelfie pic.
Click through to discover the 13 books Byrdie HQ loves right now.
If you’re looking to embrace simplicity, slow down and feel better, this is the ideal read for you. Author Brooke McAlary recognises we’re all overworked, overconnected and overstressed. Through Destination Simple, she wants to show readers that (no matter how busy you are) you can feel in control of your days, minimise stress and find pockets of peace in every day.
The cover alone, with its cosy woollen jumper and hands around a warm cup, make us feel like taking five minutes out. Destination Simple says it’s okay to stop rushing around, say no and not try to do it all. Broken down into bite-size sections, these changes are achievable, and the advice comes in a calming way, so it doesn’t seem like another must on our to-do list. Read for some peace of mind in 2018.
Not only is this book’s purple hue and rose-gold embossing aesthetically pleasing, but it's also packed with some powerful and thought-provoking advice too.
Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge tells of finding precious moments of silence during his solo treks to the three poles (the North, South and the summit of Everest). He wants us to bring some of that calm into our day-to-day lives, revealing just how vital the need for some quiet time can be.
With so much noise, physically and metaphorically in our modern lives, we rarely sit in silence just for the sake of it, without the company of an electronic device. This gem of a book is guaranteed to slow you down, shifting your focus to quiet reflection. With beautiful art house images of nature throughout, this makes for a thought-provoking yet relaxing read.
You may not think life lessons from an ex–Navy Seal would apply to you, but listen up, as this is a number one best seller for a reason.
Admiral William H. McRaven draws on his 37 years in the Navy to advocate that “little tasks completed … can change your life.” Learn how something small, done right (you guessed it: making your bed) can inspire you to achieve more when it comes to the bigger things in life. McRaven also believes learning “that life isn’t fair” will help us learn to step up when times are tough—Navy or not.
Through simple, practical advice that everyone can relate to, this book offers encouraging and inspiring life lessons on overcoming challenges, taking risks and bringing some braveness into your day-to-day. We think everyone could do with a little bit of that, don’t you think?
The fiery orange print of this sweet pocketbook is enough to give you a pang of happiness. It offers the “10 keys to being the best you can be,” including living for now, taking charge and letting go. Who doesn’t want to be the best version of themselves?
It’s said that when we’re trying to find out something in life, all we can do is look to others who have things sorted and learn from them. Author Domonique Bertolucci is one of those people, and she wants to share her wisdom with you. She believes we’re not taking the time out to relax, reflect and focus on ourselves. “We focus on external aspects; finishing a work deadline, worrying about relationships,” she says, noting that enduring happiness is a choice, and an easy one at that.
This smart book argues that the simplest and most effective way to make our lives better is to change what we repeatedly do every day, starting today. Even the title, ritual (defined as “a series of actions performed in a prescribed way”) encourages the positive changes suggested to be a habit, rather than a chore or task to be completed.
You can open this book at any page and find practical, positive actions you can perform right now, no matter where you are. It’s brilliantly broken down into readable sections, so there are no daunting long reads here. The morning rituals ensure you wake with determination, the afternoon rituals focus on living with purpose and the evening rituals focus is on activities to help you retire with satisfaction.
We particularly love the chapters “Higher Selfie”, all about radiating beauty from within, and “Stretching Instead of Reaching for Your Phone”. The book also includes entertaining anecdotes, advice for hitting roadblocks (very useful!) and some fantastic quotes from great thinkers.
It’s great to read about mindfulness, different yoga practises to calm or the food the wellness set are ingesting, but if you’re looking for exactly where to find these in the capital, then this beautifully packaged where-to guide is the book for you. The city has an abundance of choice when it comes to wellness, but it’s often hard to filter down to what’s best.
The London Wellness Guide showcases the most delicious cafés, trendy fitness studios and the best yoga spaces and serene spas. It asks experts in fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and motivation for their top picks, so you know these places are good. Whether it’s a fun new activity or a relaxing way to wind down, we think you’ll find it in here.
Believe it or not, breathing is something a lot of us aren’t doing right, even though we all do it around 600 million times in our life. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class and felt great after the relaxing breathing exercises, this book will tell you why and help you bring that feeling into your day-to-day life.
Do/Breathe/ is split into three practical sections: Prepare, Practise and Perform. Reading like a how-to guide to calm, though it tackles some of the “big” life struggles everyone faces, it manages to be an easy and inspiring read. From asking what gives us energy to feeling fear and making new habits stick, this book is a wonderful mix of fascinating facts and information, breathing exercises and advice. It pulls practices from yoga and mindfulness training and there’s even a smoothie recipe for feeding your mind.
Quite simply put, this book is stunning from cover to cover. Here, chef Carla Oates shares her 15 years of wisdom working in beauty and health industries. From being a beauty editor and columnist to a goodwill ambassador for Australian Organic, this is the follow-up to her first book, Feeding Your Skin.
We rarely find a cookbook that has us wanting to make and eat everything in it, but this does just that. Carla believes the gut is where the seeds of health and beauty are planted, the recipes included are designed to have you glowing from the inside out. All are gluten-free and mostly dairy-free, combining the joy of cooking with the science of nutrition.
Each meal is photographed beautifully, from drinks and small snacks to nourishing dinners, The Beauty Chef packs an impressive 300 pages, which is a lot of book for your money.
“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger it gets,” writes Harriet Griffey. In this quirky, illustrated pocketbook, Griffey identifies what it takes to improve confidence and offers practical tips on embracing it in our daily lives. In an age of social media when we’re interacting so much with people online, we’re actually becoming worse at day-to-day interactions, and studies are showing social awkwardness is on the rise.
Offering tips on acing job interviews, body language and making a great first impression, this book has straightforward advice to improve everyone’s confidence and self-esteem. Learning and self-improvement are wonderful skills anyone can benefit from—it’s never too late to learn or change even the most “set-in” behaviours.
The Swedish really have things right, don’t they? Their word “lagom” means “just the right amount” and is widely translated as “in balance” and “perfect-simple.” Offering insight into how Swedes eat and cook, this arty, fresh cookbook is filled with gorgeous recipes and imagery from cover to cover. The recipes fit around the seasons, times of day, occasions and reader’s appetite.
Lagom will have you embracing food that is good for your body and soul—its food is unfussy, delicious and sustaining. The Swedes understand that balance is everything and there is a time and place for every kind of food. From a smörgåsbord (a table of open sandwiches) and foods for Fredags mys (cosy Fridays), all the way to the sweetest treats of lördagsgodis, this would make a perfect gift for a health-conscious foodie looking to try something new.
Finding you don’t have enough time in the day? Listen up, Taoist minister and New York Times best-selling author Pedram Shojai shows how the ancient spiritual practice of “stopping time” can be turned into a simple and effective life skill to help you feel less stressed, more rested and able to focus on what matters most. Shojai spent four years as a Taoist monk before deciding to bring the lessons he learned back into the real world to make an impact on people’s lives.
This beautiful gold-embossed glinting cover packs a lot of wisdom. Using the concept of a 100-Day Gong, an ancient Chinese technique for forming new habits over 100 days, you’ll learn to set aside time each day to perform a certain task. Specific meditations make you feel like you have more time, even when you are busier than ever. As you’re taking a small amount of time out to relax, you complete tasks in a more efficient, less frenzied way.
From taking time off social media to using our time when driving or commuting wisely—this book knows the struggles of our modern lives but wants to bring us some calmness anyway.
If you could do with introducing a little bit of peace into your day, this book may be the answer. The 16 mindful breathing exercises included are each based on the words of Buddha. This clever book guides you to harness the power of your breath. It’s a tool that’s with us all the time so we can connect with it wherever we are. Rose Elliot believes we need nothing else in order to feel calm every day.
Like with anything, practice makes perfect, but the good news is that you can practice this for free anytime, anywhere. It’s such a simple undertaking, but done daily it can really alter how you feel. Deep breaths, everyone.
We love The School of Life’s philosophy to “entertain, educate, console and transform.” Plus, the colourful titles look so pretty on our bookshelf.
Being nice may seem a slightly lacklustre subject on the surface, but this book delves deeper to look at a quality that “deserves to be rediscovered as one of the highest of all human achievements.” The School of Life believes “niceness is compatible with strength and is no indicator of naivety.”
This book breaks down what motivates our being, talk’s emotional intelligence, compassion and friendship. This is a thought-provoking read that may have you looking at your own way of being. It aims to make us less irritable, more patient and readier to listen. There’s advice on a whole host of topics, from “how to be charitable” and “how to forgive” to “how to reassure.” These are handily broken down into manageable chunks, it’s a delight of a read and is sure to bring niceness back into your day to day conscience.
Up next, read the wellness tweaks that will transform your body and mind in seven days.