Cover Story: Self Help Yo’self
Yoga! Meditation! Lotus flower clip art! Everything about this cover screams: LOOK AT MY CHILL. And while de-stressing is the point of this book, it offers so many more ideas than yoga – 49 more, to be exact. The book itself is slightly larger, almost like a workbook, and that paired with the title treatment pretty much guarantees that you won’t be reading this discretely in public. But hey, who cares! You’re stressed, I’m stressed, we’re all stressed. Let your stressed out freak flag fly.
More and more teens and young adults (and also adults of the Forever Young variety) are being diagnosed with anxiety orders. The fact is: we all need to relax. And while this book is not a substitute for doctors’ orders, Project You: More Than 50 Ways to Calm Down, De-Stress, and Feel Great does offer up some great ways for us to add a little zen to our every day lives. Andrus collaborated with Dr. Karen Bluth, who studies the role of mindfulness in the well-being of youth at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, so you know these ideas are legit! Each page offers up a new idea for how to manage or lower your stress levels with activities like meditation, breathing exercises, recipes and crafts.
Talky Talk: The ~Cool~ Teacher
Being the grown ass woman that I am, I’ve done or experienced many of the activities described in this book at one point in my life. Yoga, meditation, drinking tea, feng shui. Yet while many of the 50 ideas weren’t groundbreaking, they were written so informatively that I felt like I learned something new on every page. Suddenly, something as mundane as drinking herbal tea or organizing my closet seemed fun. I kept making a mental list of all the things in this book I’d like to try, even though I’d…already tried most of them. The text is broken up into small chunks and lists, making it easier to absorb all the info. The tone is friendly and fun without feeling like you’re being talked down to, like that cool middle school teacher who somehow convinced you that you wanted to read The Scarlet Letter. Which is especially appreciated when a book is explaining how to do things, like, write in a journal.
Arty Art: Zen Art Journal
Part sketchbook, part scrapbook, Project You‘s pages are a whimsical mix of cute watercolor girls, illustrations, doodles and non-cheesy photos. The fonts are a mix of clean and handwritten, and the colors are all soothing pastels. The result feels like one of those impressive art journals that your super cool artsy friend keeps (I, on the other hand, tried to bullet journal and failed after about three weeks).
Extra Credit: Babe on a Budget
Audrus goes the extra mile to include cheap or free ways to calm down. Many of the crafts can be done with things you have around the house, and the recipes are all mostly pantry staples. Nothing in the book costs more than a few bucks, and most of the ideas require nothing more than your smiling face.
Class Standing: Honor Roll
Book, you are totally the one that I will make eye contact with first when asked to pair up for an assignment, because I know you’ll make any project seem more fun. Then after we do our homework, you’ll drag me to yoga or clean out my closet or generally help me get my life together. We all need a friend like you, Book!
FTC Full Disclosure: I did not receive money or Girl Scout cookies of any kind (not even the gross cranberry ones) for writing this review. Project You: More Than 50 Ways to Calm Down, De-Stress, and Feel Great is available now.