The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care: From A to Z by Anna Borges, senior editor at Self, “is here to help you exist in the world,” states its publisher. Self-care tips, notes the author, aren’t all-curing but one important tool toward improving one’s lot.
Moreover, according to blog Sakhile Whispers Borges isn’t just writing for the mainstream audience, who may have easier access to some tools than other folks. “Self-care isn’t selfish but doesn’t mean we’re not capable of using it as an instrument of selfishness. Racism, ableism, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism and classism all influence our ability or inability to perform self-care.”
Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews, reports that Borges “blasts myths, touts benefits, and reveals an enticing array of opportunities for nurturing one’s self.”
The book gives its audience full permission to engage in whatever nurturing practice feels right at the time, no matter what the ‘experts’ might say. Some suggestions are surprising: one woman handles her stress by working to take her mind off of her worries; for the workout-obsessed, sometimes not moving is indicated.
The book’s list of resources is ample, and tips for locating a compatible therapist are included. A colorful and insightful chart pairs what’s being felt in the moment with an eye-opening list of options for self-care to meet that specific need. Graceful illustrations featuring people with rounded bodies enhance the text and are, in themselves, stress-relieving.
The encyclopedic format of the book means that entries are covered cursorily, and so the guide is most useful as a compendium of ideas that one can peruse and explore further elsewhere…Borges’s welcoming tone and plethora of ideas will be helpful for readers whether they’re looking for ideas for being just a little bit happier or struggling with serious mental health concerns.
A few thoughts that have shown up recently in Borges’s Twitter feed:
…(u)nfollow That Person you’ve been meaning to unfollow. you don’t need their tweets or the tweets they’ve liked on your feed, i promise.
me some days: i’m the queen of self-care that’s why they let me write a book on it me most days: i’m a trash human who doesn’t know how to take care of herself why did they let me write a book on it
if you’re working on setting more healthy boundaries but don’t know where to start, here’s a small one you can put into effect immediately: give yourself permission to leave situations when you’re uncomfortable.
Clinical psychologist and writer Ryan Howes, PhD, heaps praise for The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care and its author:
Anna Borges has done more to promote health and wellness for the general public than any other contemporary writer I know. Weaving together scientific truths, personal experience, and regular people’s stories, Borges calls out the stigma and shame that prevents us from prioritizing our well-being. This is an often hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking guide for anyone feeling overwhelmed. As a therapist, I’ll recommend this book to my clients to help them cope with stress and manage their emotions between sessions. It’s so entertaining and informative they (okay, I) won’t put it down.