Fall is a beautiful but hectic time of year. Finding time to slow down and take care of yourself can be a challenge. These books will help!

1The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change your Life in Ten Minutes A Day by Andy Puddicombe

As the stressors in our environment have increased, so has interest in the practice of mindfulness—an intentional consciousness of one’s thoughts and feelings. Many have embraced meditation as a path to mindfulness. Meditation can decrease stress and improve focus and sleep, and it has been proven to enhance work performance, causing many employers to adopt this practice in the workplace. While the benefits of meditation are numerous, starting a meditation practice can be difficult, especially for those who are used to moving at full speed. Andy Puddicombe, mindfulness expert and creator of the free Headspace app, offers a plan to get started with meditation in just ten minutes a day. For more tips on meditation you can follow Puddicombe’s blog www.headspace.com/blog and sign up for the free Headspace newsletter.

2The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes From My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or an accomplished cook to be inspired by Gleeson’s beautiful cookbook based on her popular blog. Gleeson, once a New York City-based artist, now lives in an enchanting cabin in the California woods in close proximity to an abundance of fresh local produce. While most of us aren’t fortunate enough to live in such an idyllic setting, anyone can recreate her elegantly simple vegetarian dishes and cocktails. Gleeson’s original artwork accompanies her recipes, making this book a feast for the eyes as well as the belly. If you fall in love with The Forest Feast, be sure to check out her other books: The Forest Feast Gatherings: Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends & Family, The Forest Feast for Kids and Colorful Vegetarian Recipes That Are Simple to Make. All three books make excellent gifts! Eggplant tacos with brie, anyone?

3The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner

What do the people of Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, CA have in common? According to a decade-long study by author Dan Buettner, they’re the healthiest people in the world, largely due to their diet.

When life gets overwhelming, healthy eating habits are usually one of the first things we neglect. We grab something not-so-nutritious on the go and swear we’ll do better tomorrow or next week. Of course, we also know that good nutrition is a key element in stress management, so what to do? You’ll find inspiration here. While 75 superfood recipes are included, The Blue Zones Solution focuses more on creating the right climate for nutritional success. Buettner emphasizes the impact one’s physical and social environment has on our nutritional decision-making, and he offers positive and encouraging advice for healthy lifestyle changes that focus on pleasure, not deprivation.

4The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

Danes are often referred to as the happiest people on earth and their concept of “hygge”—loosely translated as “cozy”— may help explain why. Hygge encapsulates not only a cozy home environment but also the idea of savoring moments and relationships. This mindset favors the appreciation of experiences and surroundings over the acquisition of material objects. As nights turn cooler and longer and the holidays approach, this may be the perfect time to bring a little hygge into your life.

 

 

 

All of these books can be found at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, librarypoint.org.

Check out Yoga for All Levels: Salem Church Branch, 1st & 3rd Thursday of every month, 1-2 p.m. Free and open to all.

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