Reading for your wellbeing and mental health

By Gina

Sitting down and getting lost in a book. Is there anything more comforting? Stories are the best form of escape and can often help you look at a situation from a different perspective. According to the National Literacy Trust, children are reading a lot more since the lockdown started:

“Reading has also provided refuge in this difficult time, supporting children’s mental wellbeing and enabling them to dream about the future”.
Check out their study here and for some more advice on reading to support your wellbeing!

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness week this month, we're here to tell you to keep it up! We'll be providing you a mix of storybooks and helpful guides on anxiety and mindfulness that might bring you, or someone you care about, some much needed support right now.

 

Charlie Star

What better way to begin than with Terry Milne's heart-warming tale, Charlie Star. He's an anxious dachshund and is terrified of what will happen if he doesn't stick to his daily routines. However, he soon learns that change isn't always bad or scary and can be very positive. I think we've all found that we have a nervous dachshund inside, but this wonderfully illustrated story will show children that we can all overcome our fears and live in the moment.

Suitable for 0-5.

 

Baby Loves Calm

 

We couldn't possibly NOT mention Jennifer Eckford's wonderful ABC series that includes Baby Loves Calm and Baby Loves Yoga. You might find you're always on-the-go right now which can make us feel a little frazzled. Yoga and mindfulness can be great tools to battle anxiety and fatigue. Whether you're getting ready for bed or need some down-time after nursery, these ABC books will have you feeling relaxed in no time. This series goes to show that you're never too young to practice mindfulness and learn the language surrounding mental health!

Suitable for 0-5.

 

My Magic Breath

Take a deep breath in...and blow it OUT! I don't know about you but taking a few deep breaths sometimes can really help in overwhelming moments. Emotions, especially when you're young, can be hard to process. Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor have formulated a beautiful meditative book that will help guide children create moments of calm for themselves, with something as simple as managing your breathing.

Suitable for 0-5.

 

The Unworry Doodle Book

 

I think doodlers of all ages can appreciate Alice James's wonderful book, The Unworry Doodle Book. Who hasn't found themselves doodling away when they're struggling to focus or feeling a little nervous? That's okay! Because now there's a book for it. As well as providing lots of empty pages to fill with the products of your imagination, there are also some great tips and prompts to help if you have any worries or anxieties. 

Suitable for 5-10.

 

Get Outdoors

For Mental Health Awareness week this month, the theme was Nature! For the past year, I think many of us have been finding solace by taking lots of walks, spending time in the garden, or just taking comfort in listening to the birds sing and watching the flowers blossom. Being out in nature can be the most therapeutic form of mindfulness. Paul Christelis and illustrator Elisa Paganelli understand just that, and created this helpful guide to get children outside and start observing nature.

Suitable for 5-10.

 

Cloud Boy

Cloud Boy centres on best friends Angie Moon and Harry Christmas. They've been inseparable ever since they were born two days apart, and done everything together from building tree-houses to cloud-watching. But their fun  is soon cut short when Harry starts getting headaches and has to go to hospital. As his best friend, Angie must learn to be there for Harry when he needs her most. Marcia Williams's moving story focuses on friendship and growing up, where both aren't always easy or fun. This story will offer the reminder that you don't have to handle your mental health alone, and that speaking to someone, or even just cloud-watching together, can provide much-needed support.

Suitable for 9-12.

 

12 Hacks to Boost Self-Esteem

We thought we'd finish with Honor Head's 12 Hacks to Boost Self-Esteem. Confidence and appreciating your own worth can often feel like an unreachable goal, especially through trying times like this past year. This book is an essential toolkit for those struggling with their self-esteem and any outside influences may be affecting them. The 12 steps are brilliant aids to help improve your emotional wellbeing, and they're also something you can return to every now and then when you need a gentle reminder to cut yourself some slack because YOU ARE AMAZING. Okay? Good.

Suitable 6-12.

 

So, whether it's taking a deep breath, doodling those worries away, or taking a walk outside, we hope these books have helped bring you some calm RIGHT NOW, as well as provided helpful tools for combating future stress. But the support needn't stop there! Have a look at our Mental Health & Mindfulness collection for further heart-warming and supportive books to help with your wellbeing.


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