5 Books That Will Help You Get Serious About Self-Care In 2016



Self-care and goal planning have become pretty trendy lately. Before the blogs, the motivational Instagram accounts, or the boom in life coaches, these books helped me to to take care of me. My theme for 2016 is consistency, and of course that includes being consistent with a self care plan. Every plan starts with research, and these five books are classics in regards to self care for black women:


Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to Inner and Outer Beauty by Mikki Taylor

I bought this beautifully photographed coffee table book when I was 21 after seeing ads for it in Essence. It was my first book about self care and one of the first books I know of that covered self care from a black woman's perspective. Mikki Taylor, a former beauty editor at Essence, starts the book with her story about her journey into a self care centered life, and her story sounded much like mine and many other women I know. She was stressed and caught in a web of unhealthy habits when she finally realized that self care starts with knowing yourself enough to know what you really want in life and using that knowledge to create a life in which self care becomes an everyday, continual ritual. The book frames makeup, hair care, fitness, good nutrition, and even getting a great set of self portraits as tools that help a woman express and honor her true self.


Sanctuary: Creating a Blessed Place to Live and Love by Pamela J. Bailey

This book would make a great housewarming gift in a gift basket with some tea and maybe an aromatherapy set. Until I read this book, I never thought about the intersection between self care, the way a person decorates his or her home, and how both of these things tie into worship. I'm glad I'm finding this book now since I've just moved into a new apartment and I've been thinking about how to turn it into a space that is reflective of my personality and the life I want to live. Bailey includes worksheets to help readers create a plan to transform their homes into a personal sanctuary and prayers that are themed around the idea of home, creating a home, and being a good steward of a home.


Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman's Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal

This book changed my life. I've recommended this book to everyone I know. It's been pinned, Instagramed, posted on Facebook, and Tweeted on every profile I have online. I bought this book on a whim as a fresh-out-of-college teacher who was starting to have second thoughts about teaching as a career. Gandy's story of redemption and renewal gained through her dedication to living according to her "pampering principles" motivated me to get my first Master's degree in journalism and pursue a serious writing career. Get this book if you are at a crossroads in your life.


Seven Soulful Secrets for Finding Your Purpose and Minding Your Mission by Stephanie Stokes Oliver

This one has been on my To-Read list for years. Stephanie Stokes Oliver is an alum of the Essence editorial team as well as a founding editor of both Heart & Soul and NiaOnline, so she used her years of interviewing experience to weave together the experiences and wisdom of women from a wide range of professional backgrounds to create a book that promises to be the ultimate guidebook to living a vibrant, purposeful life. It reminds me of Sacred Pampering Principles, so I'll post separately about the similarities and differences in the two books. Seems like a great book for a reading challenge too.


Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller and  Dr. Michael B. Frisch

This is another one that's on my To-Read list. If you have yet to create a life list, this is a great book to jump start you since it's basically a workbook that includes worksheets to help you create your list in steps combined with research about goals, success, and motivation.

What are some of your favorite books about self-care and/or goal planning? Have you started planning for 2016? Let me know in the comments!