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Resources for a Healthy New Year


With the start of another New Year comes the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. This practice has existed in various forms and cultures throughout time, and it even has origins that can be traced back to the Ancient Babylonians. Most resolutions involve changing a negative habit, making some type of improvement in one’s lifestyle, setting goals for the coming year, or just striving for more happiness in life.

Whatever your resolution may be for achieving a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, what better place to seek information on this than the library? Here is a list of some titles to help bring you inspiration and success! Additional information on Healthy living can be found on Medline Plus.

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secret to Happy Living by Miek Wiking – At first glance you might think this is a book about creating happiness by organizing your home. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga), is loosely translated from the Danish as “coziness”- it is more an experience than a thing. As the title implies, Hygge is a concept that is central the Danish way of living and contributes to them being labelled the happiest people in the world. Wiking walks you through understanding what Hygge is, and how you can incorporate its practices and attitudes. This is a charming little book that offers a simple introduction to the secrets of the Danish art of happy living and how they can be yours too.

The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey needs no introduction and with this book, she shares her journey through life which she offers as a guide to help you along the path of self-discovery. Organized into chapters that reflect the stages along the journey, each chapter contains inspirational stories and wisdom from a wide array of well-known figures who have taken that same journey. This beautifully illustrated book may help anyone wondering what their purpose is and how to discover it, giving them the inspiration and courage to head down that path.

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… and Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven – This book may be short in length but it is full of motivation and inspiration. Admiral McRaven expands his 2014 University of Texas commencement speech into ten chapters, each based on one of the ten principles of Navy Seal training. In each chapter, he shares a story from his military life that powerfully exemplifies each principle. These principles may be the tenets of the Navy Seals, but they are relevant to anyone; as Admiral McRaven says in his summary, adopting them will allow you to change your life for the better, and maybe just change the world.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker – Sleep has become a hot topic in today’s world as researchers are discovering more about the link between sleep and its effects on health and well-being. Matthew Walker, PhD., the Director of the University of California- Berkley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, gives us this comprehensive and illuminating update on the importance of sleep and why it is so necessary to get quality sleep. Although the book predominantly addresses the importance and beneficial effects of good sleep, there is an appendix with tips on healthy sleep hygiene.

What to Eat When: A Strategic Plan to Improve Your Health & Life Through Food by Michael Roizen M.D., Michael Crupain M.D. – By the same author as the popular book, You: the Owner’s Manual, this book emphasizes that it is just as important to know when to eat as what to eat. In the first part of the book, the authors discuss the role that your biological clock plays in eating and how to optimize timing for the healthiest results. They also include an eating plan and tips for mindful eating. The remainder of the book details what and when to eat in specific situations such as when stressed. This is a perfect book for an easy transition into healthier eating. It is easy to read and loaded with lots of substitution recommendations.

Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice by Ann Swanson – Whether you are an experienced yoga practitioner or a beginner interested in understanding the fundamental effects of yoga on the body, this excellent reference book takes a scientific approach to 30 principal yoga poses. The illustrations show how muscles, breathing, joints, and blood flow are affected with each pose. The Q&A section answers questions about the science and benefits of yoga. A good choice for anyone wanting to add a yoga practice for its healthful benefits or take an existing one to the next level.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear – From James Clear comes one of the latest books on building new habits and breaking old ones. What sets this books apart is it offers practical steps in the process of change. Clear proposes that the many systems people use to change their habits actually contribute to their failure to change. His strategy is one based on simple laws and making the incremental steps small. His writing style is engaging and easy to comprehend, supporting each step with one or two real-life examples. Also available on Hoopla.

Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in a Looks-Obsessed World by Anuschka Rees – If your quest for a healthier new year involves developing a more positive body image, Beyond Beautiful is the perfect starting point. Author Anuschka Rees spent a year researching the topic of body image and presents her results in this guide. Starting with a definition of body image, she discusses everything from media influence to beauty standards to beauty routines. You will find this book logically organized, chock-full of tips, punctuated with questions for reflection, and supported by feedback and quotes from over 600 women. An empowering guide for all women.

Creative Quest by Questlove – This last selection might not obviously meet the criteria of improving one’s health, as it does not provide a step-by-step method provided for improving or discovering creativity. Questlove’s analysis of his own life and career as musician, producer, bandleader, and more, and that of so many of the creative people he knows and has worked with, offers much food for thought. Consider this an intelligent discourse of his perspective on creativity’s every aspect. Whether you choose to read it simply as one man’s viewpoint on the creative process or take his observations and advice and use them to enhance your own, this is a fascinating read.

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