There are many benefits to reading that other activities just don't have and intellectual wellness is considered important to over all well-being. Reading ease stress levels, boosts your memory, boosts vocabulary, improve and helps you to learn about the world, feel more connected and encourages goal setting. Books make great gifts. Here are a few we think you will enjoy.
Kids will love this book filled with adventure - bursting with cool facts about amazing animals with tons of visuals (500 photos) to inspire curiosity and learning while having fun. The book also features weird but true facts, new ways to explore outside, fun games, jokes and activities. Plus, the net proceeds supports vital conservation and education programs. This is a fascinating book for kids that is very budget friendly for adults and is stocking-stuffer-sized! $14.99 in paperback.
This is a fabulous resource and go-to-guide that covers practical tips, checklists and sample itineraries for the adult children of elderly parents who want to travel together. Valerie Grubb and her mother have traveled 300,000 miles together for the last 20 years. Grubb includes anecdotes and relatable stories about traveling with a aging parent. Samantha Brown says about the book "....a delightful guide fill of important information for those that to enjoy the companionship of our best travel partners - our parents." $16.95 in paperback.
Blue Mind's subtitle tell it all "The Surprising Science that Shows How Being In, On or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do." On top of being critical to our very existence, most of us know instinctively that water makes us feel better. I love how Wallace's research and writing shows how just being near water can calm the mind better than medication as well as amplify creativity and reinforce our connection to the planet and to each other. Wallace is a PhD research associate at the California Academy of Science and takes science (such as MRIs EEGs and other analytical tools) to place a spotlight on water. Whether it's relaxing in your pool, drinking a glass, looking at a painting or staring at a fishbowl - water is magical. $17.95 in paperback and also comes in a hardcover edition as well.
Focusing on simplicity, positivity and a judgement-free attitude, this is a good resource for anyone who has a Wall Street personality and wants to shift into a healthier, happier and more peaceful lifestyle. The author, Puneet Nanda, was a work warrior, earning him the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Beset by 18 hour days and poor lifestyle habits took a toll on his body, mind and soul until he discovered yoga. He lost 40 pounds and the author invites everyone to discover the benefits of yoga and living a more balanced life. $14.99 in paperback.
Invited to review a book called, Survive & Thrive: My Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, I picked up the slim, pocket-size book on a Sunday morning as a fresh pot of coffee was brewing. Four pages into it, I emailed the author, Lynda McGuirk, to schedule an interview and finished the book in an hour. Her desire to help others navigate their TBI journey is inspirational.
I learned that life can be good, even with a TBI. My injury changed my life and cost me much. Yet I enjoy life now more than ever! - Lynda McGuirk, Author, Survive & Thrive
Why did you write the book? Who's the intended audience?
I wrote my book to provide a positive voice for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors and their caretakers from a fellow TBI survivor. It is the book that I wanted, but did not exist. I found plenty of books by TBI survivors that describe the problems. I do not deny the problems, but wanted a positive voice. Survival is a good thing!
You mentioned in your book that a healthy lifestyle speeded up your recovery. In what ways?
I’m no doctor, but know that the brain is a muscle. Exercise increases blood flow to our muscles, including the brain. My brain had a fresh lesion. I am sure that increased circulation via exercise helped my body respond to the wound. Health & fitness is an excellent resource to give the body, especially as it heals from a near-fatal wound.
The other muscles in my body were atrophied from being in the coma for several weeks. It takes more than a few physical therapy sessions a week to build those muscles back up. I needed all the strength I could get to rebuild my life over the several years it takes to recover from a TBI. Exercise built up my strength.
What things, people, places etc have you had to discard in order to make room for a new life?
As far as friends and family, there was a huge cost. Many people are afraid of the idea of a brain injury. On top of that, I developed post-traumatic epilepsy. My epileptologist calls epilepsy “the last taboo.” He’s right. That really freaks people out. Many people in my life just disappeared. In addition to the people who dropped out of my life on their own. I had to let go of many. This was for all kinds of reasons. Some people would get upset with me if I insisted on sharing the challenges that I faced. Anyone who could not even listen to what I faced was not someone I needed in my life.
Then there were the people who took advantage of my vulnerability. They come off as friends, but are really just people who want someone to latch on to. Once I realized how much of a liability those people were, I let them go, too.
What is the No 1 piece of advice you would give to a person who's friend or family member suffered a brain injury?
Listen to them. That is how you will find out what they need and how you can help. You’ll find out that our needs and concerns are actually quite simple. Our basic needs are threatened by this invisible injury. Listening to a friend or loved one with a brain injury will help you understand what they face, what they need and how you can help in very simple ways. They will be incredibly grateful and it will make things easier for everyone.
What do you attribute your resilience to?
First and foremost, that I have always lived a healthy lifestyle. Like I said, I believe that health and fitness benefits every aspect of life. It gives us strength to face all kinds of challenges. My resilience is proof of that.
Fortunately, I was raised by an athlete. My father was a professional ice-skater in the 50’s & 60’s. Not only was I brought up to exercise & eat right, I heard about life in WWII England, where he grew up. I could not ask for a better example of strength and resilience than my Dad. He died in 1988, but is always with me.
Tell us about your advocacy
Step One of my advocacy was to write and publish my book. It is self-published because of my sense of urgency to provide a positive voice for TBI survivors from a TBI survivor. That could not wait for a publisher to give me a deal and eventually publish it, which could have taken a year, at least.
Step Two was to get coverage for my book. You can build a palace, but if no one knows it’s there, it will be empty. I am happy with the coverage the book has gotten and am ready for Step Three.
Step Three is to speak at local events, on cruise ships or anywhere else there is an audience that wants enlightenment on this fast-growing segment of our population: TBI Survivors. That is the best way for me to spread the word about our very simple needs, eliminate fear and offer encouragement.
Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
I envision myself as an owner-operator of a retreat for TBI survivors and their families in Belize.
Suggested Resources from Lynda McGuirk
Where can others find resources for traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
The first place to start is your medical and rehabilitation communities. They are a treasure trove of resources.
But there’s more to life than the critical needs the medical and rehabilitation communities address. The Brain Injury Association of America is an amazing resource for survivors, their family and caretakers. Their website has links to support groups, regional offices, events and more. That includes in-depth advocacy resources. I urge family and friends of TBI survivors to take advantage of their website and show it to the TBI survivor in their life. It’s an incredible resource: http://www.biama.org/