Renew, Relax, Reflect

Hopefully, the questions in the previous post got you thinking about how you use or could use literacy to generate more peace, clarity, knowledge, and relaxation in your life. We all need it and throughout this series I’ll offer a variety of suggestions.

Never will I forget the hectic, stressful years of my early forties. Our youngest was in second grade, our oldest was a senior in high school, and we had three other children ages seventeen, fifteen, and twelve. My life as a stay-at-home mom had ended and I was teaching third grade and taking college courses at night and in the summer. To top it off, a mysterious illness that resulted in debilitating fatigue began the year I returned to work. It was five years before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.

As usual, I turned to books to discover new ways to practice the self-care that would enable me to juggle the many aspects of my life and not fall apart. I remember reading “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey, ordering my first Franklin Planner, and somehow discovering journaling as a way to clear my mind and clarify my thoughts. It was also during this period that I began reading “The Language of Letting Go” by Melodie Beatty. This powerful book delivers a nugget of wisdom for each day of the year. I still have that same worn copy, and still read it every day. I am grateful for the comfort and support these texts provided and the way they led me to discover the power of self-help and spiritual books.

Those five children are now adults. They live close-by, hubby and I often step in to babysit or drive the grand kids, and I see clearly how their busy lives as working parents leave little time for themselves. Today, a barrage of emails, texts and social media sites constantly encroach on our lives. Most work situations require an instant response and there is a significant decrease in time to decompress. If you lead a hectic life, jumping from one event or task to another, finding a few meaningful books and reading just short snippets at a time can offer a respite to renew, relax and reflect.

In this second post of this series, Self-Care Through Literacy, I encourage you to seek out good literature that will feed your spirit and prompt reflection. My habit of reading something positive to start the day began years ago and I’ve only continued it because it adds such value to my life. This works best when you establish a regular time of day to read (it can be short) and reflect. Underline or jot down a word, phrase, or sentence that speaks to you. Carry it in your heart and call it forth when you’re feeling stressed.

Mornings have always worked best for me, but perhaps you’ll discover afternoons, early evening or right before bed is your sweet spot. The time of day is not as important as regularity and reflection. Give it a try.

Here are a few texts to jump start your search. I invite all of you to chime in and share texts that work for you. Together we can offer support and resources that will translate into a more peaceful, positive spirit.


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The Language of Letting Go and More Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beatty

Good Enough by Kate Bowler & Jessica Richie

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Photo by Thought Catalog on

About Rita K.

Educator and Certified Reading specialist
This entry was posted in Adult Book Recommendation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Renew, Relax, Reflect

  1. Oh I really loved big magic! I’ll have to check out the others 😊


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s