Hello and welcome…
I read an article this morning about people’s stress and anxiety levels during the pandemic and I wanted to just say a word about that.
This is an unprecedented global crisis. I cannot count the innumerable ways that I have experienced sadness surrounding COVID-19. I cannot quantify the number of anxious thoughts I have had. So here you are listening to a podcast called Live HAPPIER Longer and I feel perplexed because honestly–it’s pretty hard to feel happy right now. And what I really want to let you know is that whatever you are feeling right now–it’s NORMAL. And if you are battling real depression right now, it’s very understandable to feel overwhelmed by the current situation.
I hope that if you are truly needing professional medical or psychological attention that you are able to get it. I am including in my shownotes a list put together by verywell mind that provides online therapy resources. This includes video chat services, medical appointments–if you need help I encourage you to check it out. https://www.verywellmind.com/best-online-therapy-4691206
Have you all seen that meme that is floating around that says something like If you don’t come out of this quarantine with: A new skill, your side hustle started or more knowledge, you never lacked time–you lacked discipline?
Ouch right…I want to make sure that whatever recommendations I’ve given you over the last few weeks you understand that they are basically suggestions to help you FEEL better during this time.
And feeling better is RELATIVE. If you’re feeling OK right now, then maybe these steps will just prevent you from feeling worse. If you’re feeling really bad, really low–then start with one small step to help yourself feel better. And just like in our 30 Day Ultimate Habit Building System–look for your own Minimum Achievable Commitment will be for the week or even just for today.
Keep that promise to yourself, no matter how tiny it seems and build for the next day.
This isn’t about discipline or lacking it–this is about self- care, being compassionate with your brain that is being inundated with a LOT of unusual circumstances right now. Even if you are doing a great job managing the amount of information. Every day that we are staying home is a day unlike any we’ve had before and the length of time that it extends creates new feelings every day.
Alright–todays’ episode I wanted to revisit some of the books that I’ve read in the past year and a half as a part of the podcast. This is a great time to read some books–either by audio, or via hard copy or kindle, and because I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many authors as well as just read and summarize some really valuable books on the podcast I thought it would be valuable to revisit and provide this list. Of course I will link to all of these books in the show notes where you can buy them directly as well as a list of all the episodes mentioned. Here we go….
It seems appropriate that the very first author we spoke to wrote a book called Tiny Life Changes: A guide to achieving your goals and dreams one day and one step at a time. In relation to what I was just talking about. Author Lisa King, has actually been on the show twice and you can listen to those episodes–episode #4 and episode #19. In the first we really dove into this book and on Kindle you can get this book for only $2.99 and its just a great little book–easy to read, and also a tool for application. . It’s Full of positive affirmations and ideas for improving your life. The tone is uplifting, inspirational and provides practical tips for taking small steps forward every day. Definitely recommended reading during a pandemic.
I should also note that I’m doing this list in the order of when I either interviewed the author, or reviewed the book. I will say that I have read in entirety all of these books and will note that when that is the case.
Book #2 I have definitely read this one and highly recommend it along with it’s follow up book. This is the Book “Girl Wash Your Face by Rachael Hollis, which we reviewed in episode #14.
I loved this book and I loved her next book “Girl Stop Apologizing”. I listen to these on Audible and Rachel reads them herself and I for one find them inspiring, funny and relatable. I think Rachel has a pretty impressive story and I am very happy to see a woman be at the forefront of motivational speaking when it has been men for so long. She also has a lot of good quotes which we created some pretty great downloads for so I will link that download in the show notes as well.
Is anyone else feeling like the show notes for this episode are going to be a LONG as a book??
Alright book #3 and we talked about it in Episode #23. This one is for those of you who like me are fascinated with HABITs and habit building. It’s called the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I don’t know why the concepts of the Compound Effect which I understood in terms of compound interest and finances, I had never applied to goals and habits such as they were explained in this book and I found it really motivational. It got me headed in the right direction in terms of understanding the motivation behind taking actions and having a compelling “Why” to fuel the compound effect of small, seemingly insignificant daily actions. A great book to start figuring out what your life story is going to be about.
Book #4, like I said the Compound Effect got me going and Atomic Habits by James Clear became like my new “bible” This book I preferred to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This one seems more practical and a little less sciency, and in episode #25 of the podcast we give a pretty high level overview of the book. There’s a lot in this book, I recommend reading and re-reading because the fundamentals of building habits that serve you or replacing habits that don’t serve you is so paramount to the outcome you will achieve no matter what it is you are trying to accomplish. One of my favorite quotes comes from this book–we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. A great book for your pandemic reading list.
So these next books–I have not read in their entirety–I’ve read a lot of them, skimmed parts and dove deeper into the chapters that really interested me. These are all authors that we spoke to and I think all of these books have information that is of interest for anyone who’s interested in longevity and overall happiness. Check out episode #28, and the book “The Life of Riley” written by Phil Riley where he talks about changes he made to impact his own health and longevity based on the statistical outcomes for things like obesity, alcohol abuse, and smoking. In Episode #32 we talked with Dr. Nisha Jackson about her book Brilliant Burnout–and this is a great book for women especially if you’re experiencing hormonal issues. A lot of great information by someone who’s been applying integrative medicine techniques to her patients for many years now. Another awesome author we talked to in episode #33 is Dr. Catherine Sunderson and her book the Positive Shift. This book is a great resource for understanding how we can impact our preset disposition for optimism. No matter what our natural tendency, with practice we can make minor tweaks in our mindset that will improve the quality—and longevity—of our life. Lots of parallels between what Dr. Sanderson writes about and the five habits we describe for living happier longer.
The last author of a book that I haven’t read completely is Maria Olsen’s 50 After 50-Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life it’s episode 40. I enjoyed Maria’s sense of adventure and learning about her experiences including moving to Nepal and going completely off-grid which I’m fairly certain I could never do.
Back to books that we reviewed again…In episode #39 we dove into Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. This is just book one of many that Brene Brown has gone on to write, but there is so much to learn from this book. I mentioned that when we talked about this book I had just heard of Brene Brown from her Netflix documentary…and I felt like I had been living under a rock. Like how had I never heard of her before? We chose this book because it was her first “best seller” and I think it’s a great one to add to your pandemic reading list.
In Episode #63 I reviewed the book SMILE The Astonishing Power of a Simple Act. Not going to lie, this wasn’t my FAVORITE book, but I was compelled to read it because honestly I have an issue with forgetting to smile. Call it resting b face or what you will, I literally have to remind myself to smile. I’m often just caught up in thoughts–but what I notice is that when I DO remember and make a mindful decision to smile at people, I feel better and I feel like it makes other people happier too. An interesting book to understand WHY you should want to practice smiling.
Episode #68–this book is the first book that I told listeners that HAVE to read. Now it might feel like a heavy topic during a global pandemic, but honestly I felt like this book was freeing and relieving in many ways. It’s not going to bring you levity during this stressful time, but was a very comforting book to me. So I still believe you should add this to your pandemic reading list. Really just get it read. Period.
Lastly, and not in chronological order but one more book where we were lucky enough to interview the author. Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland, it’s episode #54 and this book is funny, uplifting and a good reminder that no matter what is going on in the world…you have to CHOOSE happiness every day. You can’t control the circumstances of life, and this book gives us many examples of how to smile anyway. Talking to John was great fun and reading the book just underscored for me how much mindset is something that even as we age–we in control of.
I hope you will look into these books as a way to spend some of your time when you might be doing other things if we weren’t staying home. I highly recommend audiobooks and walking as a way of “killing two birds with one stone” and it’s something we can safely do during COVID-19. Thank you to everyone who is on the front lines keeping our healthcare system going, the grocery stores open and our local restaurants who are fighting hard to make it through this crisis. If you have any books you’d like to recommend to ME, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org that’s email@example.com (not com) and I’d love to hear from you.
Take care and I will see you next week!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- This list is put together by verywell mind and provides online therapy resources. This includes video chat services, medical appointments–if you need help I encourage you to check it out. https://www.verywellmind.com/best-online-therapy-4691206
Episode #4 Your Goals Accomplished with Tiny Life Changes https://fiveforlife.co/ep-4/
Episode #19 Reducing Sugar, Eliminating Toxins with Fiber and Eating for Alkalinity https://fiveforlife.co/sugar-fiber-alkalinity/
Episode #14 Roadblocks to Happiness and Goal-Setting: A Discussion About “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis
Episode #23 Healthy Diet Options and “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy
Episode #25 How to Create the Habits of a Happier, Longer Life: A Discussion of “Atomic Habits” by James Clear
Episode #28 The Five Secrets of a Longer, Healthier Life
Episode #32 Rewiring the Body and Brain to avoid Burnout with Dr. Nisha Jackson
Episode #33 The Science of Happiness and Mastering your Mindset with Dr. Catherin Sanderson
Episode #38 50 After 50-Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life with Maria Olsen
Episode #39 Living a Wholehearted Life: A Discussion of Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection”
Episode #63 “Smile: The Astonishing Power of a Simple Act” by Ron Gutman
Episode #68 A Discussion of “Being Mortal: What Matters in the End” by Dr. Atul Gawande