Reading-a resolution worth making and keeping

In this post I’m listing some of the book lists I have found; these are all medical/health related books, at least in some way. If you read one and like it, send me a brief note about it and I’ll share with my other readers.

Every year I find more and more book lists; best books, most popular best selling, books recommended by a celebrity or other famous person, etc. I can’t possibly read them all, but some of them sound so interesting I wish I could.

In this post I’m listing some of the book from the lists; these are all medical/health related books, which I tend to interpret loosely.

If you read one and like it, send me a brief note about it and I’ll share with my other readers.

(These are affiliate links to sites where you can buy something, and send a commission to this blog, to pay expenses and to donate to health related causes throughout the world.)

Click on each title or picture to read an Amazon review .

Here is one book I read recently

The NOTE THROUGH the WIRE

In this true love story that defies all odds, Josefine Lobnik, a Yugoslav partisan heroine, and Bruce Murray, a New Zealand soldier, discover love in the midst of a brutal war.

In the heart of Nazi-occupied Europe, two people meet fleetingly in a chance encounter. One an underground resistance fighter, a bold young woman determined to vanquish the enemy occupiers; the other a prisoner of war, a man longing to escape the confines of the camp so he can battle again. A crumpled note passes between these two strangers, slipped through the wire of the compound, and sets them on a course that will change their lives forever.

Woven through their tales of great bravery, daring escapes, betrayal, torture, and retaliation is their remarkable love story that survived against all odds. This is an extraordinary account of two ordinary people who found love during the unimaginable hardships of Hitler’s barbaric regime as told by their son-in-law Doug Gold, who decided to tell their story from the moment he heard about their remarkable tale of bravery, resilience, and resistance.

Thise is a book I read last year. Although published in 2020, the author wrote it in 2019, not realizing how timely it would be.

The Orphan Collector

A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic 

In this well researched novel about the influenza pandemic of 100 years ago, Ms. Wiseman takes us into the heartbreak of the thousands of children orphaned by both the pandemic and the world war.

I started reading the book late in the year, by the time the COVID-19 cases and deaths were surging in number. I thought about all the people being left orphaned now, although they are not all children. Some are middle-aged adults losing their elderly parents, while others are older adults losing their young adult children.

(As of January 25, 2021, in the United States 25 million persons have been infected with COVID-19, and 420,000 have died.)

Whatever one’s age, losing loved ones to an out of control disease is heartbreaking. The Orphan Collector does not have a fairytale “happy ending”. But the main character Pia, a 12 year old immigrant girl in Philadelphia, learns an ending different than one hoped for can be satisfying in unexpected ways.

Best Books from Amazon

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World 

In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art 

Best Books from People Magazine

Hidden Valley Road

Inside the Mind of an American Family

Hamnet

Penny who blogs at grownchildren.net wrote this about Hamnet

  The author paints a detailed portrait of Shakespeare’s wife as an herbalist; …he grows and culls her herbs for various ailments and dispenses them as a pharmacist today would do.

But the story is about grief and how the Shakespeares, man and wife, separately worked their way through the immense loss of their son. The portrait of her grief–we don’t learn much about his–is thrilling in its sensitivity. You don’t have to be in the medical or health field to be fascinated by this book.

What Are You Going Through

Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir

New from Tyndale

The Anxiety Reset

A Life-Changing Approach to Overcoming Fear, Stress, Worry, Panic Attacks, OCD and More 

exploring the HEART of health in literature

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Dr. Aletha

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More recommendations from Smithsonian Magazine.com

The Ten Best Children’s Books of 2020

These top titles deliver history lessons, wordplay and a musical romp through the animal kingdom

The Ten Best Science Books of 2020

New titles explore the mysterious lives of eels, the science of fear and our connections to the stars

Most viewed post #4 -5 steps to manage stress and strain

Read the 4th most viewed post on my blog this year about managing stress #stressmanagement

In the 4th most viewed post  I offered  some personal reflections.

I developed the  post idea after reading a medical journal article about ways to help patients dealing with depression with or without medication. The article offered advice helpful to anyone dealing with a crisis, or even the ordinary stress of life.

When I wrote the post, I was  dealing with a personal health crisis, so I had the chance to take my own advice. (We physicians tend not to do so.) Now, the crisis is resolving, but I intend to continue to practice the 

 

5 steps to manage the stress and strain of life

 

As a college graduation gift, I gave a friend’s son a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble Bookseller. He earned a  mechanical engineering degree  and will work as a rocket structural engineer.

He sent me a nice handwritten thank you note (which few people do these days) and said he plans to use it to buy a book that other structural engineers recommend. The book is Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain. Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain- a book

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a formula for handling the stress and strain of life?

Many health issues would resolve or be easier to manage if life stressors would just go away.  Three fourths of the patients treated by primary care physicians have problems aggravated by  emotional, social, or behavioral issues.

Life’s  interruptions and disruptions won’t disappear, but you can make them less of a strain on your time, energy, and resources. There’s usually no quick fix but 5 steps can lessen their impact.

I’m learning the value of these steps now as I deal with the stress of a foot fracture that is not healing as expected. I’m now facing surgery to correct it, and a longer convalescence than I expected. For someone who is used to being active, this prolonged inactivity stresses me both physically and emotionally. These 5 steps were already a part of my life, but consciously choosing them now helps me cope with what would otherwise cause frustration and sadness.

5 steps to manage life’s stress and strain

1. Create and maintain a routine and schedule.

Having a plan for your time helps you feel more in control of your life.  Resist the tendency to become socially isolated or avoid activities you usually enjoy. 

a smartphone lying on a calendar page with a planner and cup of coffee
from Lightstock.com (affiliate) stock photo site

Times of crisis, loss, or illness may leave you feeling disconnected and adrift, but having a schedule provides structure and connection. When you are busy, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. 

2. Recognizing and reaching out to social supports

Your family and friends are your first line of  support during times of stress and duress. It’s nice if we don’t have to ask for their support, but their lives are busy too, so don’t be hesitant to ask for help if you need it. If they don’t call you, call them.

2 women talking over coffee with open bibles
Conversation over coffee can be therapeutic. graphic from the Lightstock collection( affiliate link)

Other sources for help include your healthcare professionals;  don’t be embarrassed to share that you need social and emotional support. Your doctor can help you identify and get connected with community resources.

Look for help from your or your spouse’s job, your religious community, organizations you belong to, your school, and online resources for support- educational sites, forums, support groups.  Although not as personal as face to face support, these are helpful  if  you are  geographically isolated or mobility is difficult.

3. Reframe by refocusing on the positive rather than the negative.

Recognizing and emphasizing the positive in life makes the problems less overwhelming and distressing. Look for something to be grateful for, or that brings a little joy into your day. It may be as simple as flowers blooming in your yard, your favorite tea and sweet,  a funny story in a magazine.  

balloons-get well IMG_2269.jpg
Balloons are nice, too.

Remembering and observing happy events, occasions, and celebrations can also be sources of renewed joy.

 

Norma, a woman facing terminal illness, reframed her crisis by finding joy in small things, like jigsaw puzzles, new foods, and a “good perm”. Read more about her at

Driving Miss Norma- a book reviewDriving Miss Norma - a book cover

4. Stay active mentally and physically

Physical activity doesn’t have to be a chore, boring, or expensive. Many things can be done at home or in your neighborhood-walking, bicycling, cardio, yoga. If exercise isn’t your thing, try dancing, gardening, swimming. 

If your  physical mobility is limited,  try something stimulating mentally-sewing, crafts, games, puzzles, writing, cooking are just a few possibilities.

checkerboard

5. Nurture your inner self

Sometimes we need to withdraw from outward activities and stimulation for times of quiet rest and reflection.woman with hands bowed in prayer

You may  find help from mindfulness, meditation, prayer, devotional reading, music, journaling,  or a combination of these approaches.

Breathing exercises can lessen anxiousness and tension.

Free Loose Leaf Tea Filter and Free Shipping with any Mighty Leaf Wellness purchase. (affiliate link)

woman standing with arms lifted to the sky

In this post, a retired nurse blogger uses gardening for both exercise and mindfulness.

The Zen of Gardening 

“But what I like most about gardening is how I can get lost in the moment of whatever I’m doing; whether it’s planting, weeding or pruning. It truly is a togetherness of body and mind.”

 

 

 

 

Tyndale House Publishers offers spiritual and devotional books.

Try their free Reader Rewards Club  at this link. Come Read with me-Tyndale Rewards.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliate disclosure; some of the  photos in this post are from Lightstock, a source for photos, videos, and graphics. With a free account, you can get a weekly free photo.

Learn more at this link. 

cheesy-free faith-focused stock photos
Please visit Lightstock.com for quality photos, graphics, and videos (an affiliate link)

 

RoboForm Password Manager. (this is an affiliate link) 

You’re likely reading this post on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, so you visit sites that require a password. How do you remember them all? You don’t have to if you use RoboForm Password Manager.

a sketch of various electronic devices
RoboForm Everywhere to manage your passwords

My husband introduced me to RoboForm years ago and I am glad he did. I have used it continually to remember my passwords so I don’t have to. It syncs to both my computer and my phone so my passwords are always available. It will even generate passwords for me.

Go to this link to try RoboForm Free; if you like it you can upgrade to RoboForm Everywhere version with all the features I mentioned above. With Roboform, you will have one less thing to feel stressed about.

 

 

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follow Watercress Words as we explore the HEART of HEALTH.  

Thank you. Dr. Aletha