Relaxing Reads to Help You Melt into Summer

Remember when you were a kid and the words “summer” and “vacation” were inextricably tied to one another? Now, most of us struggle to take a vacation any time of the year, let alone during the most expensive travel months. But listen, that’s a blessing in disguise! Turn your vacation into a stay-cation and catch up on some much-needed self-care with these five books focused on helping you relax into your best self:

The Weekend Effect
The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork
by Katrina Onstad

“A good weekend is alert to beauty. A good weekend embraces purposelessness. A good weekend wanders a million different paths, but always involves slowing down and stepping out of the rushing stream of modern life.”

When was the last time you had a weekend that felt like that?

Thanks to domestic chores, overbooked schedules, and the incessant pinging of our devices, Sunday nights are rarely associated with the feeling of emotional rejuvenation after a weekend well-spent. Instead, Monday appears to crash in like the proverbial Kool-Aid man, and it’s like those longed-for days off never even happened at all. With no space to tune out and recharge, our collective quality of life is suffering, sacrificed for the notion that all-work and no-play is the true American way.

Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad wants to fix that. Tired of suffering from Sunday night letdown, Onstad digs into the history, positive psychology, and cultural anthropology of the great missing weekend and how we can revive it. Filled with personal and professional inspiration, The Weekend Effect is a thoughtful, well-researched argument to take back those precious 48 hours – and ultimately, to save ourselves.

 

Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal
Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life
by Lori Deschene

“Life can by hard, and life can be beautiful. Both of these things are true.”

Look, here’s something that isn’t often said in the era of “#blessed”: feeling sincere gratitude on a consistent basis is difficult, and it takes practice. Thankfully (see what I did there?), Lori Deschene, founder of TinyBuddha.com, is here to help with Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal. This flexibound, interactive journal includes a question or prompt on each page to help us reflect on everything that’s worth appreciating in our lives.

And on days when connecting to that inner-gratitude feels particularly difficult to express with words, Deschene encourages adults to partake in the singularly most under-rated adult activity for grounding and relaxation: coloring. Sprinkled throughout this soulful journal are fifteen coloring pages depicting ordinary, often overlooked objects that enhance our lives in ways we often don’t even realize. So grab some colored pencils, get comfortable, and give yourself permission to connect to that peaceful inner-child you may have been neglecting.

 

Ganja Yoga
A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery
by Dee Dussault, Georgia Bardi

“Altered states are a means of breaking through the barrier of our cultural conditioning into the expansive, free, information-rich universe of direct experience and infinite possibilities. They connect us to our truest selves and lead us toward our highest potential. Altering one’s state of consciousness is a spiritual practice that brings healing and deeply meaningful experiences.”

Yes, by “altered state” we mean getting high off marijuana, and yes, this is a serious thing. Yogis have been using cannabis to enhance spiritual practice for millennia. It’s only been through the modern-day stigma against cannabis that we’ve lost this traditional practice of yoga – and along with it the ability to truly relax, self-connect, and find peace.

Certified yoga instructor Dee Dussault is the first person to bring ganja yoga classes to North America, and through her book is taking this ancient tradition into the mainstream. Suitable for beginners and sages alike, Ganja Yoga will show you how to assume an altered state in a safe, energizing way that facilitates a deeper connection with the body and mind.

As cannabis is embraced more and more as a source of health and wellbeing, there is a growing cultural conversation about the role it can have in one’s spiritual journey. Ganja Yoga is a welcoming guide, offering a path to intentional relaxation that encourages meditation, movement, and awareness for a more stress-free, harmonious life.

 

The Power of Rest
Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough. A 30-Day Plan to Reset Your Body
by Matthew Edlund

“Rest is the original transformative technology. It’s how we recreate our bodies and minds.  With rest we grow, revive, renew, and fit ourselves into the recurring cycle of our life.”

“Beauty rest” is a real thing – or so Matthew Edlund proposes in this groundbreaking book, which takes a fresh look at the role that rest plays in improving our lives, offering a program to help you enhance your health, look younger, and feel restored. Readers interested in a new plan to help with sleep disruptions, fatigue, lack of zest, weight loss, or diabetes will find many helpful suggestions in The Power of Rest.

 

 

Relaxercise
The Easy New Way to Health and Fitness
by David Zemach-Bersi

No, this isn’t just a pun that your dad makes while pretending to exercise by lifting the TV remote like a hand weight. Relaxercise is a real exercise program based on the revolutionary body-improvement system developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. With these brief, ten-to-thirty minute exercises, anyone can learn to improve their posture, flexibility, physical comfort, and alleviate end the energy drain caused by muscular tension. This popular application of techniques—never before available in such an easy-to-use form—targets such key areas as the lower back, shoulders, neck, spine, eyes, feet, and jaw. Enhanced vitality and elimination of pain and stress is made accessible to everyone through these thoroughly researched and patient-tested techniques that help to reprogram the neuromuscular system and vastly improve your quality of life.

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