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5 lifechanging books to read right now

So the COVID crisis drags on. You’ve completed Netflix. You know the words to every Disney movie. You’re now playing video games you don’t even like and your poor dog is a shadow of themselves from all the walking. Looking for something to read out in the garden in the sunshine? Read on for five books that helped me in some way and I hope will help you too.

1. Loving what Is. Byron Katie.

In this masterpiece, you’re guided through a process that the author calls “Inquiry”. Four questions that you ask of yourself about any situation that help you think differently about it. These questions help you see things in a new way and, if you’re truly honest with your answers, can help you to solve some of those “Why do I do that? Why do I react that way?” type questions. As well as details of the process Katie walks through a number of interviews showing the process. I got this on audiobook and found it a touch easier than reading the interviews. Either way, well worth a read.

2. The 5 Love Languages. Gary Chapman.

All this intensive time together can be stressful on your relationship. It can highlight those little ways that you’re not communicating properly. This book is best used alongside the online survey that helps you discover what your love languages are. No, you’re not going to have to start communicating in Wookie to feel loved what this means is the way in which you and your partner communicate love. Some people communicate affection with words, others with touch or being helpful. If you and your partner have different love languages you may both actually feel unsatisfied despite showing love for each other.

Understanding that your partner receives love by touch more than by word may mean that you make the effort to hold hands occasionally to show your affection. It’s a bit of a relationship game-changer to just know how your partner communicates and receives love – I mean now you understand why they get so upset when you don’t help with the housework right?

3. The Power of When. Michael Breus.

Are you a night owl or a morning lark? Most productive late into the night and horrid in the morning or vice versa? This book takes that concept a little bit further and divides people into four main categories based on what time you are at your best. It’s a great concept but can be a little challenging to apply in real life. What is very helpful though is the concept of looking at the best time to do things like Cold Call at work, have an important discussion with your partner or even take a nap. Knowledge is power I believe so knowledge of yourself is only going to make you more enabled and empowered.

4. Level up your Life. Steve Kamb.

As a video game fan, this book really hit home. In most games, you progress through a story and your character levels up when you achieve a certain amount of experience. This book is about taking that concept and applying it in real life. This is the perfect book for any video game geek looking to improve their lives. The concepts are fun but also practical, with exercises and advice on how to get things moving (maybe after we’re all allowed to leave the house). There is a lot of list-making and planning though involved in this so if you’re more a fly by the seat of your pants type person then this might not be for you. If however, you’re looking to use ‘lockdown limbo’ to plan out how to level up your life when you’re set free again then this is a great read.

5. How to do just about anything. Courtney Rosen

So this book isn’t necessarily one that you sit down and read but one I think every household should have. Ok yes, you can now Google and YouTube everything you can think of but heaven forbid the internet isn’t working then a book might still come in handy. This book has saved my skin many times and literally has everything from how to prepare for a job interview to how to unblock a sink. I occasionally have a laugh and try to think of something ridiculous to see if it’s included and more often than not it’s there! I may not own a cat but I now know how to wash one!

Leo Whyte
Dr Leo Whyte grew up in the North East of Scotland in the 80's and 90's. During his young life, he was a victim of sexual, physical and mental abuse on several occasions. After diagnosis with CPTSD in 2017, he decided to use his past traumas to fuel his hunger for self-improvement and adopted the life goal of leaving the world a better place than when he entered it. As well as being a scientist Leo is an accredited Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist as well as an experienced senior manager.

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