A little yoga in overpriced sportswear, eating the super popular vegan fitness bars, taking a bubble bath in a trendy old building - and you'll feel good. If you believe some Instagram posts, self-care is really easy and doesn't take much effort. Self-care isn't that easy - if you do it sustainably and sincerely. Svenja Gräfen also poses this in her book “Radical Self-Care. Now!” firmly.
The author could never have imagined writing a book about self-care. She explains this herself in the intro. But 2020, a year full of challenges, taught her that it is good for everyone, especially everyone, to consciously take time for themselves in order to be able to deal with adversity better. She makes it clear why self-care and feminism are not mutually exclusive.
Because taking care of yourself is not a dispensable luxury and has nothing to do with beauty rituals. But it means being kind to yourself, going through life mindfully and knowing what you fundamentally need in order to be less stressed and therefore be good to others, explains the author. And that this care is needed in order to be able to go through life healthier, to be more resilient and happier. And not in order to be able to perform better at work. But the whole thing goes much further.
Its concept is profound and motivates readers to engage with themselves. Like most of the books presented in this series, it does not provide run-of-the-mill instructions with tips that have already made the rounds on every third Instagram slide. Gräfen makes it clear that self-care has nothing to do with lifestyle products, but rather with self-reflection and tackling the causes of stress or dissatisfaction. So a profound and individual concept that first requires effort in order to reach the point of satisfaction and relaxation.
For example, journaling can be a helpful method for some people to uncover their own thoughts or to become aware of how negatively they speak to themselves. Meditation or other mindfulness exercises, on the other hand, may be right for others. Or a walk in nature, without the stress of everyday life.
Svenja Gräfen motivates us to take a close look at our own everyday lives and ask ourselves whether the tasks we take on every day are perhaps too much, are the right ones or whether we should consciously take a break every now and then or organize our everyday lives differently. Topics such as procrastination, our performance society, supposedly negative feelings, stress, control, recovery, boundaries and other important building blocks when it comes to our mental well-being are found in this book in a clever and authentic way and stimulate thought - and in addition, to come to terms with yourself. Entertaining illustrations and a glossary complete the reading, which is never strenuous to read but rather enjoyable to consume. A consumption that doesn't cost much and can still help us move forward - unlike many other products that promise self-care.
Tip: You can find more book recommendations from the editorial team on our topic page.
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