Self-care | University of Oxford
Oxford sky at dusk, UK.
Oxford sky at dusk, UK.
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Self-care

The following resources may be helpful when thinking about any challenges that you may be facing and what you can do to address these.

The resources listed within this section are not intended to be used as a reading list and are by no means definitive. Some resources may be more helpful than others as different resources suit different individuals. The University is not responsible for the content displayed on external links. 

Stress management and relaxation

For further information, see the section on anxiety and panic attacks in mental health section. 

Useful links 

Useful reading

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
Martha Davis  et. al.: New Harbinger Publications (2008) 
Effective stress management and relaxation techniques and exercises.  There is a chapter on ‘worry control’ and another on coping with anger-provoking situations. 

Relax and Unwind: A New Positive Approach 
Jenni Adams: David & Charles PLC (1992)
Adopts a positive attitude and aims to provide imaginative solutions to the common problems arising from today’s lifestyles. 

The Daily Relaxer 
Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning: New Harbinger Publications (1997)
How to locate stress in bodies and offers forty-five easy-to-master techniques designed to alleviate stress and prevent daily worries from growing into major sources of anxiety and pain.

Getting a good night's sleep

Useful links

Useful reading

Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
Colin Espie: Robinson (2006)
A book based on CBT that provides information and exercises to help you reclaim your sleep.

Further links and reading

The Sleep Solution: Improve Your Sleep, Health and Quality of Life - From Tonight 
Nigel Ball and Nick Hough: Vermilion (1999)
Information about normal sleep rhythms, what can disturb them, and how adjustments to your lifestyle can bring improvements in the quality of sleep and health. It provides guidelines for monitoring and improving your sleep patterns, a symptoms guide and information about drugs and sleeping aids.

Peaceful Sleep: A Practical Guide to Stress-Free Days and Tranquil Nights 
Jan Sadler: Gateway (1999)
The ‘Peaceful Sleep’ bedtime routine. This well-proven method combines self-help techniques to use during the day with a unique relaxation and imaginative visualisation procedure at night.

Mindfulness and meditation

Useful links

Mindfulness for Beginners 2-CD Set
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Introduction to Mindfulness, a pleasure to listen to.

Further links, apps and reading

Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world 
Danny Penman and Mark Williams: Platkus (2011) 
Structured introduction to Mindfulness in the form of an 8 week course, and includes guided meditations on the CD. Most of these are well under 10 minutes, making this a practical choice for those who may feel they don’t have time to do more. 

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Platkus Books (2004)
Simple path for cultivating mindfulness in our lives, and awakening us to the unique beauty and possibilities of each present moment. Explains what ‘mindfulness’ is; how to achieve mindfulness using meditation techniques; how mindful meditation can enhance every aspect of your life. 

The Happiness Trap
Russ Harris: Robinson (2008)
Happiness is highly overrated and stressful to achieve. The book highlights our need to be authentic whatever the experience and be able to cope with it rather than try and attain eternal happiness. This book encourages the reader to make room for other feelings and experiences that make life meaningful, rich and painful from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focus. Often a number 1 bestseller on Amazon. 

Full Catastrophe Living: How to Cope with Stress, Pain and Illness Using Mindfulness Meditation 
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Platkus Publications (2001)
This book is primarily intended for those facing chronic or terminal illness or emotional pain.