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A few years ago I found myself experiencing the symptoms of adrenal stress…feeling exhausted during the day and tired-but-wired at night, unable to consume any caffeine at all without palpitations, catching every little cold that went around. I went to see my doctor, and after doing the requisite bloodwork and not finding anything that stood out, we determined that what I needed more than anything was more rest. Rest, not exactly sleep…meaning, I had to re-train myself to wind down at the end of the day, get to bed at a decent time, and make sure that I was getting my exercise in during the day so I wouldn’t be getting my heart pumping at night and getting a second wind of energy just before sleep. The hardest part for me, and I am embarrassed to admit this, was learning to turn off my iPad at night.
I am a book lover but in the years preceding this adrenal fatigue I realized I had been reading a lot of heavy, serious stuff. Wonderful novels, reference books, parenting books (SO many parenting books), memoirs…and I suddenly had the urge to just lighten up. I like to read before bed and now that I was abstaining from the iPad in the evenings I remembered how great it feels to hold an actual physical book! I thought back to the books I had read and loved that lightened my mental load rather than added to it, and decided that is how I was going to heal.
I am a big fan of the magical realism genre. I believe “Like Water For Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel was the first book of this type that I had read back in college, and I was hooked. I think quite often we burden ourselves with the to-do lists of everyday living, and I find that these kinds of books are the key to borrowing a bit of magic in order to dig in to that part of our subconscious that allows us to imagine, to have fun, to relax, and to remember our own magic.
I do believe that reading the types of books that allow us to get lost in their stories is one path to learning to relax and release stress and tension. Below is a list of some of my favorite magical realism books.

**Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
**Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
**Blackbird House, by Alice Hoffman
**Chocolat, by Joanne Harris
**The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
**Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen
**Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen
**The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen
**The Wishing Thread, by Lisa Van Allen
**The Night Garden, by Lisa Van Allen

Please let me know if you have read or enjoyed any of these! Also, I would love to know what kind of reading or genre you prefer when you need to wind down. Do you prefer e-books or physical books?

Since we are coming up on November and December which are often very busy months with the various holidays and celebrations, I would like to send someone a copy of Sarah Addison Allen’s book, Lost Lake. This is such a lovely story (not holiday-related) and would be a great way to reward yourself with a bit of self-care and relaxation during this busy time. To enter, please leave a comment answering either of the questions I asked above (what kind of books do you prefer when you need to relax? Do you prefer e-books or physical books?) between today (10/22) and 9 PM EST on Friday 10/24. All names who comment will be entered into a drawing to win the book, and the winner will be announced on Saturday 10/25. :)

63 thoughts on “Sometimes you need to borrow a bit of magic…

  1. mary therese

    The best way to read is to physically hold a book, feel its weight and turn (and turn back) the pages.

  2. Carrie Hura

    Now, more than ever, I need to hear these words on not overdoing it! How hard as a new mom!
    I have a Kindle and enjoy the resources it offers, but there is nothing like holding a book!

  3. Paula

    I’ve never read an ebook! oops did I say that??? taking charge of my life in this moment… makes me want to go on a magical tour of a magical realism genre… taking me back to my childhood and having more fun in my life!

  4. Miriam Carl

    I prefer physical books, and I am so glad to have discovered this genre! I was actually looking for Lost Lake when I went to Barnes & Nobles last week, but they didn’t have it.

    Good luck, everyone!

  5. Amanda

    I love the feel of an actual book in my hand! I don’t enough lately unfortunately, due to the busy-ness of life. When I do I turn to a good novel.

  6. Tona Winne

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great web site.

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    233620 107048Intriguing internet site, i read it but i nonetheless have some questions. shoot me an e-mail and we will speak far more becasue i could have an intriguing notion for you. 803982


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