Seven books to help overhaul your life in times of stress

During the new COVID-19 wave, many aspects of our health get thrown off-axis. We’ve compiled some comforting and educational reads to help guide you through times of stress, confusion and loneliness.

Updated - May 13, 2021 10:07 am IST

Published - May 10, 2021 03:58 pm IST

The open old book lying on the wooden table among vintage envelopes, vase with daisies and a cup with a hot drink. Rustic still life.

The open old book lying on the wooden table among vintage envelopes, vase with daisies and a cup with a hot drink. Rustic still life.

The Diabetic Cook Book

By Michael Swamy, Bloomsbury

Chef Michael Swamy introduces readers to familiar dishes such as lentils and khichdi that can be altered for those with diabetes, by using easily available super foods and super ingredients. He says he wrote the book because many people think that eating a balanced and healthy diet, and taking steps to control the disease means depriving themselves of tasty food.

He offers 70 carefully curated recipes of soups, salads, starters, breads, beverages and desserts that help to lower blood sugar levels or keep them at an even keel. He also shares with readers how to increase protein intake with fewer meats on the plate and rejoice in a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

How to do the Work: Recognize your Patterns. Heal from your Past + Create your Self

By Dr Nicole LePera, Hachette India

Clinical psychologist Nicole LePera writes about harnessing the power of self-healing to produce lasting changes in the body and describes her book as a celebration of empowerment. Combining the philosophies behind mental, physical and spiritual health, she promotes holistic psychology for positive results.

She believes the adverse experiences we face in childhood never leave us and if we do not address the trauma, it turns into a self-sabotaging behaviour. This could mean leading cynical, unhappy, unwell and unfulfilled lives. LePera writes she felt frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy and embarked on the journey of exploring ailments and their healing modalities, drawing from scientific research and her own clinical experience. She says only when we are able to pull back, it auto-triggers the creation of a vibrant, authentic and joyful life.


By Rachna Chhachhi, Harper Collins Publishers India

Nutritional therapist Rachna Chhachhi offers a four-step plan to age proof the mind and the body. The author shows us how to add life to our years and overhaul our lifestyle. Modern medicine has increased longevity but healthy life expectancy has become our greatest challenge, she says.

The author believes nutrition, sleep, exercise and stress management help to build on the mind-body balance and connection. She advises an unhurried pace and the need to focus on the tiny changes to transform our quality of life. Eliminate what harms you and imbibe what heals you and consciously nurture this healing lifestyle to strengthen the immune system, writes Chhachhi, who has been through health complications and speaks from her experience.

Happy Moments

By Meik Wiking, Penguin Random House

The book reminds us that life is made of wonderful moments waiting to be acknowledged. Meik Wiking who founded the world’s first Happiness Research Institute in 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark, tells us how to create and recreate happy moments forever. To go about it he says we should look at our experiences and turn them into something extraordinary with simple inputs.

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From eating dinner at the table (rather than in front of the TV) to exploring a new part of the neighbourhood, life’s daily experiences need not be bombastic. But an effort should be made to boost the number of such simple experiences and treasure them as happy memorable ones. That is the essence of good living.

The Gut: Story of our Incredible Second Brain

By Payal Kothari, Rupa Publications

The author tells us how to listen to our gut instinct. Host to 100 trillion good and bad bacteria living in synergy with each other to help fight against pathogens, diseases and germ attacks, a healthy gut accelerates weight loss, builds immunity and cognitive fitness and protects our mental well-being. But our modern lifestyles and eating patterns, make the gut vulnerable to infections.

Payal Kothari, one of the few certified Indian coaches from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York, has put together this easy guide that helps readers understand their gut and its bio-individual needs. She writes every problem from acidity, obesity to brain fog can be healed not just by managing the symptoms but by treating it from the root cause. For that we need to understand the relationship between the gut and the rest of the body.

The Art or Resilience: 40 Stories to Uplift the Mind and Transform the Heart

By Gaurang Das, Penguin Random House

Happiness is subjective and a state of the mind. It depends on what you think about yourself, says the author. There are some who may lose sleep over what others think of them while others couldn’t care less. In this age of social media, the filtered image we present of ourselves to the world and our excitement at the likes and comments, cannot match up to true and long lasting happiness, says the author. Unless we take an inner journey to explore our inner self, we will never be able to discover our real selves.

It is important to go beyond expectations, disapproval, and self-deception to bring ourselves closer to truth. Honest relationships and lasting happiness eerge only when we encounter our true selves and not live in a make-believe world. In this first volume of Yoga stories, Gauranga Das writes much more to help people transform their hearts, improve their attitudes, establish sustainable communities and drive a positive change in society.

COVID and post-COVID Recovery: Doctor Vee's 6-Point Plan

By Dr.Vishakha Shivdasani, Digital release by Harper Collins Publishers India (download on Kindle, Google Play and

Functional medicine specialist and nutritionist Vishakha Shivdasani offers help to rebuild your health and immunity after COVID. In the nutrition-based health guide, she says the best results can be obtained if modern medicine is intelligently combined with lifestyle changes.

“You have more power within yourself than you think,” she writes and advocates the known regimes of healthy food, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, a positive mind, and a daily dose of laughter as part of one’s daily routine to deal with ‘long COVID’.

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