52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal lays out a year-long series of weekly small changes that you can make to improve your overall mental wellbeing. It’s not specifically geared towards people with mental illness, but there are plenty of common sense, realistic ideas that could be useful for anyone.
Each of the book’s 52 chapters is devoted to one type of small change. The author explains why each change is helpful, throws in a research-based factoid or two, and gives practical tips for implementation.
The book was very easy to read. The text was in short, easy to digest chunks, which is always nice given my concentration isn’t that great. It’s visually interesting, using the same colour scheme as the cover.
The change ideas included activities to incorporate such as daily reading, mindfulness-related practices such as setting intentions and being mindful of gratitude, and putting healthy things into your body like green tea. Some of the topics involve attitude changes, like being open to new experiences, stop comparing yourself to others, and silencing your inner critic. Many of the suggestions were doable on your own, but some involved interpersonal interaction, like having deep discussions and asking for help.
At the end of the book, there’s a tools and resources section with assessments and worksheets.
Sometimes books in this genre can be a little too rah-rah cheerleader-ish for me. A pet peeve of mine is books that say you just need to choose to be happy and the world will be all rainbow and unicorns. This book was none of those things. It was realistic, down to earth, and practical, which pleasantly surprised me. There’s nothing new and earth-shattering in the book, but sometimes simplicity is the best way to go.
52 Small Changes for the Mind is available on Amazon.
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The COVID-19/Mental Health Coping Toolkit page has a wide range of different resources that can help make coping a little easier.
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