I am old enough to remember when there was no email, never mind no Facebook. Since becoming a mother and also navigating depression and anxiety, I have often wondered how people managed before Google. In the worst times of Post Natal Depression I was much comforted by the discovery of so many resources reassuring me that I was not alone, and sharing so many hints and tips about how to manage by baby, my home, my marriage, my kitchen, what to eat, how to babywear, how to breastfeed, how to stop breastfeeding, do amber teething braclets really work… It was also a great way to connect with people when I still had a breastfeeding baby and a toddler and felt so trapped at home in more ways than one.
However, over the past few years I have grown increasingly overwhelmed by the quantity of information available, and have started to question how valuable some (most?) of it is, both in terms of content, and my time spent browsing these things. Being sucked down ’10 Ways to XYZ’ rabbit holes for minutes and hours at a time had already started to feel counter productive. Then one day, whilst researching the therapeutic value of aromatherapy, I happened upon an article that sought to remind us not to believe everything we read online about essential oils but to invest in an actual book now and then, too, for the sake of both safety and accuracy. In essence, we must be mindful that the online world is full of people with ‘Google degrees’ – beware! Or at the very least, be selective.
This is the personal research path I now take – real, solid books. This doesn’t mean I take everything written hardcopy as gospel, of course. But an actual published 300 page book about yoga and depression is surely of more value than a 500 word Buzzfeed article on 10 ways yoga helps depressed people plus ads, especially if I didn’t spend hours down an online rabbit hole before and after finding it! Nowadays I am more likely to be found with my nose in a book than browsing online for new information to carry with me on my healing journey. Pictured are a selection of those I have found most helpful to date.
Meditations from the Mat is teaching me about Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and how they apply to modern living as I read a reflection every few days. Living Your Yoga taught me that yoga is not just asanas, there is so much, much more to yoga than that one ‘limb’; and also that I can choose to live a spiritual life without having to devote myself to a belief system with a god (having been brought up hardcore born-again Christian, this is a topic I’ve struggled with most of my life, especially when I was in Alcoholics Anonymous, but that’s a whole other post!). Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way was such a brilliant read, drawing incredibly insightful parallels between ancient Ayuverdic wisdom and modern neuroscience. I wasn’t keen on the hard sell of Transcendental Meditation (you can only embark upon it if you pay the organisation, which seems a bit suss to me…) but I was otherwise fascinated to find a perfectly accurate description of my own type of depression (Airy), from root causes to symptoms and including detailed information about several potential treatments besides TM. I am only a few chapters into my current read, Yoga and Depression, but already I love it, because it is giving me real hope that there are ways other than medication for me to manage my symptoms and limit their recurrence – and perhaps even eliminate them altogether.
I wholeheartedly recommend all of the above. Happy reading!
This post is also part of the A-Z Challenge: B is for…Books