Inner Peace

Strengths-Based Stress Relief is especially effective for achieving inner peace.  Try these exercises.  They’ve been tested by positive psychology researchers.

Balancing Our Lives

Sue Bender’s Plain and Simple trilogy is remarkable for its depth in exploring ways to balance and simplify our lives.  In the first, Plain and Simple, she shares what she learned while living with the Amish.  The second, Everyday Sacred, explores the sacred in everyday life, and the final book, Stretching Lessons, helps us stretch beyond our comfort zones.

Beyond Burnout by Gary Cherniss focuses on moving beyond the stress and disillusionment often felt by those in helping professions, including public service employees.

Not much time for stress relief?  Dr. Rachel Harris’ 20-Minute Retreats offers simple self-led exercises to squeeze into the busiest day.  And they’re not all 20 minutes.  For example,  a one-minute exercise suggests looking at an annoying person as if he was a work of art.

On a similar note is Jennifer Louden’s The Woman’s Comfort Book, which offers themed comforting activities, e.g., creating a comfort network and conducting courage rituals.

Practical and focused toward balancing work and personal lives is Dr. Barbara Mackoff’s The Art of Self-Renewal: Balancing Pressure and Productivity On and Off the Job, which offers specific techniques for issues like leaving the office behind at the end of the day.

Using Humor to Cope

Compassionate Laughter: Jest for Your Health by Patty Wooten, R.N., explains the health benefits of laughter and how it can help us cope with caregiving.

Laughter: A Scientific Investigation by Robert R. Provine is the fascinating result of a 10-year project of studying and writing about laughter.

Good-Hearted Living by Steve Wilson is a day-by-day guide that helps put World Laughter Tour laughter club practices in action for a happier, more peaceful life.

For those who enjoy humor writing as a form of stress relief, How to Write Funny, a collection of humorists’ essays about their craft, provides important insights into seeing – and relating – the funny side of life. The anthology includes pieces by notables like Tom Bodett, Bill Bryson and Jennifer Crusie.

Caregiving Relief

Stuck in the Middle: Shared Stories and Tips for Caregiving Your Elderly Parents includes first-person accounts of caregiving experiences and practical information on geriatric health issues, legal issues and housing options.  Authors are Barbara McVicker and Darby McVicker Puglielli.

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