5 Books That Changed My Perspectives In a Pandemic

I guess like alot of people, I had a little more time to pick up a book last year (and maybe click on Audible for a few too since I'm not a fast reader;-) There were a few books that helped me with my perspectives within the pandemic. And others that shaped my perspectives of myself during it.


All of it, I count as growth.


So for your own considerations, I offer what I read, and what you might get out of it too.


 

1. "Man's Search For Meaning"

by Viktor E. Frankl

By the end of March 2020, I felt quarantine had already lasted for eternity (oh if we only knew). And I recalled this book, that I was introduced to when I was in graduate school for counseling.


Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist and survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942-45, where he lost his wife, parents and brother. Clearly, our quarantine does not compare to the suffering he endured. But his experience and writings led to a therapeutic approach based on the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning.


"What remains is the last of human freedoms, the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." ~ VF


So I read the book again, with a new appreciation. And a current application. To choose my attitude within my quarantine, my isolation, my frustration and impatience. I found new meaning in them all. Opportunities for stillness, reflection, rest, simplicity, work, and more reading.


2. "Together. The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World"

by Vivek Murthy, MD

SOMETIMES LONELY?!?! WTH?!

I've been alone in my house for 2 months by now! The timing of this book was by some Divine Universal Order. Seriously, think about it.


Dr. Murthy had an idea, researched, wrote, and released this book one month before the world went into isolation. If we ever were blind to our core need of genuine connection, there was no way to avoid it now.


Loneliness is an epidemic, but we can use that symptom in ourselves as the indicator light of needing a fill-up of true connection. A new insight for me was the different levels of connection that we need and can develop: intimate (close, personal), social, and community. We need all three.


And being alone (in a pandemic) did not have to mean I remained lonely.

Life lesson learned. Hashtag Better Together!

3. "Permission to Feel"

by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

All of my clients (and friends) are probably tired of hearing about the RULER method, but when you find something so simple and empowering, don't you just want to share it with EH.VER.Y.ONE?


Brackett and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence are teaching this method in schools across the country. And I'm sure this is a skill that will produce life-long benefits.


The Cliffnotes: Just like we have an IQ, we also have an EQ (Emotion Quotient) that also affects our behaviors, decisions, and perspectives. And we can learn to harness that in order to not be ruled by our emotions. (see what I did there?)


RULER for your emotions: Recognize. Understand. Label. Express. Regulate.

If you can get this down, and teach it to your kids, you raise your emotional intelligence, and overall emotional wellness. No joke. Google the details. Get the book.




4. "How To Be An Antiracist"

by Ibram Kendi