Back to the Learning Center

By: Kiyana Neil on August 7th, 2020

4 Books to Help Fight Fatigue and Boost Your Spirits

Bibliophiles, this one is for you! August 9th is National Book Lovers Day. If you’re like me and need a break from the daily grind, books are a great place to find solace, inspiration, and some much-needed optimism.

Fun fact: over 130 million books have been published worldwide, and this number has undoubtedly increased since this stat was published. I think it’s safe to say that books are a significant part of our personal and professional lives. And in a time when work-life balance is out of whack for many and each day brings with it a new incident or despairing news, finding a good book to get lost in feels like a great escape.

Reading Is Good For The Mind, Body and Soul

You read that right. Not only our minds are the beneficiaries of reading’s tremendous advantages. Even our bodies can get a much-needed boost when we dig into a book. Reading can help you to:

  • Reduce stress and relax
  • Increase your vocabulary, focus, and concentration
  • Improve your ability to empathize with others around you
  • Get better sleep
  • Improve your memory and retention
  • Become smarter
  • Even live a longer life

I’m not sure about you, but I’ll take one of everything on this list.

The moral of the story is: reading is healthy, and everyone who can should do it! As we settle into Q3, I thought it would be an excellent time to take a look at my physical and virtual bookshelves for some good reads that offer a sense of escapism and optimism. Hopefully, they’ll encourage you to pick up your next new read.

The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brené Brown

When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. They thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion—our goodness. They insist, “I am not worthy.” But we are worthy—of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love. With Brené Brown’s game-changing The Gifts of Imperfection, we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world.

The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done–but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work, the better the outcome. In Rest, he combines rigorous scientific research with a rich array of examples of writers, painters, and thinkers—from Darwin to Stephen King—to challenge our tendency to see work and relaxation as antithetical.

Own The Room: Discover Your Signature Voice To Master Your Leadership Presence by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins

People are drawn to and influenced by leaders who communicate authentically, connect easily with people, and have immediate impact. So how do you become one of them? How can you learn to “own the room”? This book will help you develop your leadership presence.

According to Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, leadership presence is the ability to consistently and clearly articulate your value proposition while influencing and connecting with others. They offer a simple and compelling framework, as well as practical advice about how you can develop your own personal presence.

Finding Time To Read Isn’t Easy, But It’s Worth It

Reading has always been a pleasurable pastime of mine. But finding the time to do it… let’s just say it doesn’t happen often. (I’m looking at you, Becoming by Michelle Obama, currently sitting unfinished on my nightstand.) But building (or building back up) the habit is bound to do wonders for both your personal and professional life.

If you are struggling to find the time or conjure up the desire, here are some bonus tips on incorporating more reading into your life.

Set a goal

Commit to reading for a set number of minutes per day and/or a number of days per week. If you use Apple’s Books app, you can set your own daily reading goal. Who doesn’t like the reward of seeing a multi-day streak of a good habit?

Schedule the time

If you’re motivated by the ping of a calendar reminder, add a time block to yours that is dedicated just to reading—even if it’s just for 15 mins per day.

Join a book club

Check with your school’s alumni organization, LinkedIn, or Facebook groups for a club that already exists. Or create your own among friends. You can even do it virtually. (Trust me, I did it!)

I hope these titles will help you fight off Zoom fatigue and find a glimmer of optimism amidst all that we’re experiencing. Before you head off to download or purchase your next read, take a moment to share your favorite feel-good or go-to books with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.