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Books to Keep Your Mind, Body, and Soul Active While Social Distancing

My 40 minute commute to school was always the perfect chance to read a book. I managed to finish books left and right because of this time in between home and classes. Now that Ryerson University is fully functioning online and no one is commuting anymore, it can be difficult to choose a book over your phone or device. Still, there’s nothing more fulfilling than finishing a good book, and in times like these, we could all use that. 

Here’s a list of books that will put you in a positive mindset and keep you out of a rut:

“24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week” by Tiffany Shlain

This book will introduce you to a concept we all think about but aren’t committed enough to do: going completely phone free for one day. Shlain has done this for the past ten years with her family and has found that it gives them “more time, productivity, connection and presence.” As a university student, this can be hard, so challenge yourself to turn your devices off for one hour a day until you’re comfortable enough to say goodbye to the e-world for a whole 24 hours.

“The Joy of Now: Mindfulness in Five Minutes a Day” by Paige Burkes

This isn’t quite a novel, but a journal full of colour and positive quotes. It’s all about living in the now, and uses meditations and reflective questions to help you zero in on the present and not worry about the future. With lots of time on your hands, journalling can help you focus and get all of your thoughts out on paper.

“Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection” by Kyle Gray

If you’re not into spiritual stuff, you may want to skip this one. I read this book a few years ago despite not being spiritual myself, and found that a lot of the practices and beliefs can be very useful. Gray speaks about all the ways to raise your vibration (trusting and developing inner guidance, expressing yourself, giving and receiving, manifesting) to deepen your connection. It is meant to be read daily with short passages, called “Vibe of the Day” that will speak to you and give you guidance. 

“Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves” by Kate T. Parker

This is a coffee table book that I will keep with me forever. Parker features photos of real girls living their true selves and emphasizes the idea that beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done. “Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it,” she writes. This book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

“The Art of Communication: How to be Authentic, Lead Others, and Create Strong Connections” by Judy Apps 

Despite not being able to communicate with anyone unless it’s over FaceTime, why not get ahead and start learning more about how to be a better communicator? This book goes into the science behind communication and what makes a good leader. This book is highly recommended, as almost all the reviews I’ve read have said that it offered more than just tips on how to communicate. 

“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

I am sure everyone has heard of this book but it genuinely is worth the hype. This book can help you “identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want, blast your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them and more.” If that doesn’t convince you enough, the Jen Sincero cult following will!

“Be Calm: Proven Techniques to Stop Anxiety Now” by Jill P. Weber

This book also has a cult following for the surprising changes it has made in some readers’ lives. It focuses all on proven techniques that can help curb anxiety, while also explaining why we feel anxious and ways to control these emotions. The text is broken into three sections: Feelings, behaviour, and thoughts. This is one I will definitely be ordering to read while I’m social distancing!

“#Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life” by Bryan E. Robinson

While we are all working from home, this book can really come in handy. The goal of #Chill is to help workaholics let go of anxiety and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Work or school always seems to interfere with home life, and now that our bedroom is where we sleep and work, that line between productivity and relaxation is even thinner. Written by a licensed psychotherapist and professor, this book will certainly help you separate your job and your personal time.

“The Power of Yes: Positive and Practical Advice to Help You Live Life to the Full” by Abbie Headon

This book will certainly call you out for turning down opportunities before you’ve even started them. The whole point of the colourful book is to “embrace and explore the full power of yes and all the amazing things it can do for you.” A book that’s all about ignoring limitations, opening doors, growing confidence and abandoning your fears? Count me in!

“Eat, Move, Think: The Path to a Healthier, Stronger, Happier You” by Shaun Francis

We’ve talked about mental health and books to keep your mind and spirituality happy, but what about your body? Sitting inside all day is obviously not good for your body, and Eat, Move, Think is a guide to living a longer, more active, and more fulfilled life. It’s broken down into three sections: nutrition, physical activity, and mental health, and uses an honest, straightforward, and clear voice. Remember, your body is just as important as your mind!

These books cover a wide range of topics to help keep you, your mind, and your body happy, satisfied, and engaged while we work through this worldwide crisis. Hopefully you can find some inspiration for when social distancing is over!

Ella Bonaldi

Ryerson '22

Born in Toronto, I've always been surrounded by the big Toronto sports teams in the media, and participating in sports was a major part of my childhood. I'm currently attending Ryerson University for the Sport Media program, and I've had the opportunity to write articles for RUtv, as well as create features and videos on Ryerson athletes to tell their stories. I also co-host the radio show called Girls Got Game, which focuses on bringing awareness to the struggles of being a woman in sports and sport media. I'm passionate about opening up the world of sport media to women, and showing readers what the amazing city of Toronto has to offer. You can expect lots of articles about Toronto life, and about sports and pop culture!
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