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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Note to Self by Rebekah Ballagh

If you have never delved into the self-help genre, this is the perfect place to start! Note to Self expertly blends helpful tips with cute illustrations to help you navigate everyday emotions.

This year, many of us have struggled to manage anxiety, stress and worry. Thankfully, author Rebekah Ballagh is both a trained counsellor and a very talented illustrator. The result is an irresistible personal development book.

Note to Self is divided into chapters on feeling, grounding, breathing, thinking and affirming. These chapters reflect Rebekah's journey through five key elements; identifying emotions, grounding (centring yourself), calming breath, managing thoughts and using affirmations. Together, these elements create a personal toolbox of bite-sized tips, quick fixes and emotional insights.

“It’s easy to lean in to emotions like happiness, excitement, joy and love… but what about the trickier emotions? It’s much harder to accept feelings of stress, worry, sadness, guilt and anxiety because they are so uncomfortable,” writes Rebekah.

However, all emotions are valid and a normal part of life, each with their own messages. For example, if you are feeling stressed, it’s time to slow down and take care of yourself. Meanwhile, anxiety is your body’s way of trying to alert you to something that your brain perceives as a threat.

Anxiety, says Rebekah, is like a smoke detector. It will sound the alarm to protect you from danger, however, sometimes it goes off when you have burnt the toast!

Rebekah’s diverse and inclusive illustrations add a special element, with inspiring full colour design throughout. She will show you how to press pause and manage a panic attack. Plus, useful exercises to control your breathing including, square, rescue, balloon and nostril breathing. I especially liked the section that explored unhelpful thinking styles and how to challenge them.

Note to Self is as enjoyable and engaging to read as it is informative. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to better understand their emotions.

Follow Rebekah Ballagh on Instagram @journey_to_wellness_

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Allen & Unwin, RRP $24.99


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