Last week, I shared with you some books on how to not be scared. I know a lot of you are at least nervous or shaken, if not downright quivering in your boots with the fear of possibly getting sick with the corona virus, watching a loved one get sick, or losing your job. I know a lot of you are wondering how to handle stress as you homeschool your kids–who may or may not be climbing the walls–while also working from home, cleaning, cooking, trying to stay connected with friends, etc. I’m stressed too, mostly because my two kids are still not quite getting that they need to work just as hard at homeschool as they did at regular school, if not harder. Plus, there’s just lots of unknowns. So I compiled this list of eight books that are helping me handle the stress, as long as I read the quotes I’ve bolded below frequently and sometimes repeatedly. They’re not in any particular order, and I scoured the internet for the deals. Hope they help you!
What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, by Shad Helmstetter
What it’s about: self-talk (obvs), and “relying on yourself to optimize your outlook, focus your plans, and [stay] on top [of things].”
Quote about handling stress:
Book Deal: $3.99 on Kindle
You are a Bada@!, by Jen Sincero
What it’s about: In a frank and funny way (tbh, I might have guffawed a time or two while reading this), this book tells you how to get out of your own way on your path to a better life.
Quote about handling stress:
Book deal: $7.94 on Amazon (paperback). Everywhere else it’s around $12USD.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
What it’s about: You don’t need me to tell you what it’s about because you’ve already heard about it a million times, right? If not, it’s about seven really key, fundamental, common sense ways to be not only highly effective but good and happy.
Quote about handling stress: “Empathic listening is so powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with. Instead of projecting your own autobiography and assuming thoughts, feelings, motives, and interpretation, you’re dealing with the reality inside another person’s head and heart. You’re listening to understand. You’re focused on receiving the deep communication of another human soul.” This isn’t about handling stress, per se, but it is about getting the focus off of yourself by focusing on others, which reduces stress ipso facto.
Book deal: $4.85 miniature hardback on BooksAMillion.
It’s Not Always Depression, by Hilary Jacobs Hendel
What it’s about: I talked about it here, briefly, but it’s about helping you identify “inhibitory emotions” like anxiety, shame, and guilt, and the “core emotions” (anger, sadness, fear, disgust, etc.) that the inhibitory ones block. Fully experiencing and working through core emotions, Jacobs Hendel says, is what you need to do to “enter an openhearted state where [you] are calm, curious, connected, compassionate, confident, courage, and clear” no matter what happens.
Quote about stress:
Book deal: $8.99 on Kindle. It’s $17 – $18 everywhere else.
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed, by Jessica Lahey
What it’s about: I really should do a whole post summarizing how the content of this book can help you and your kids survive this massive, pandemic-induced homeschool hybrid many of us are doing. For now, though, this quote’s helping me alot:
Book quote: “The key is to stay focused on the endgame rather than the moment-to-moment play-by-play, and keep those long-term goals of a growth mindset, autonomy, competence, mastery, and diligence in mind.” Since I tend to get caught up in the minutiae of what my 11th-grader needs to do–particularly because he’s very good at ignoring said minutiae, this reminds me and him that I’m here to be his learning coach, not to learn for him. Furthermore, because all standardized tests, graduations, proms, etc. have been cancelled for the rest of the year, his “end goal,” academically speaking, seems a bit fuzzy, at least as far as the school district’s concerned. As far as I’m concerned, however, I have access to the core standards that he’s supposed to learn by the end of 11th grade, and the tools to help him learn them. The goal is still for him to graduate 11th grade.
Book deal: FREE on Kindle if you’re an Amazon Prime member, or around $5 – $6 used if you’re not, on ThriftBooks.com.
Solve for Happy, by Mo Gawdat
What it’s about: Mo Gawdat is chief business officer at Google’s [X], an elite team of engineers that comprise Google’s futuristic “dream factory.” In this book, he proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. Then he solves for happy. It’s an algorithm that worked for him and his family, even when one of his children died.
Quote on stress:
Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin
What it’s about: habits. Recognizing them, fixing them, if necessary, making sure they work for you
Quote on stress: “Habit is notorious–and rightly so–for its ability to control our actions, even against our will. By mindfully choosing our habits, we harness the power of mindlessness as a sweeping force for serenity, energy, and growth.” More than ever, unhelpful habits (like catastrophizing, which I [ahem] never do) need to go. Now’s the time to get some better habits, and Rubin’s Better Than Ever is a good, relatable book to get them with.
Book deal: $6.49 used (new, it’s $11 – $12)
Anxious for Nothing, by Max Lucado
What it’s about: Oh, how I love Max Lucado! I’m Christian, like he is, and this book, which is targeted towards people with anxiety disorder and their loved ones or caretakers, which I am, delivers a one-two punch in terms of dealing with the increased stress of a loved one piling more stress on to an already stressful situation. In other words, Lucado’s words are balm to my soul. They’re not meant to cure anxiety, of course, but to work in tandem with other coping methods.
Quote on stress:
Book deal: $8.99 on Kindle, as opposed to around $12 for a hard- or paper-back.
Go to, my friends, read this if you haven’t already and tell me what you think?
What book quotes are helping you handle stress right now?