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on 29 April 2012
Well worth buying because there are some ideas in this book that will stay with me from now on.
Extreme self care may sound like common sense, but everyone and everything else in life seems to take over.

Many ideas struck a chord with me (and a few did not)
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If you are ready to lighten up and enjoy life, this is the book for you!

Did you know that you don't have to suffer daily just because the economy is bad, your promotion prospects are bleak, and the television keeps reporting exceptionally discouraging news? Cheryl Richardson has the right view . . . that life can be a pleasure and from that pleasure you can bring much happiness to others.

She realizes that you probably have lots of bad habits that make you miserable and suggests one change a month that cumulatively build to create the kind of enjoyable life that may exceed your wildest hopes. The changes are couched in gentle, friendly terms and illustrated with breath-taking photos.

Ms. Richardson describes how hiring a personal coach changed her life and taught her the lessons in this book. If you just follow this advice, it's like saving hundreds of dollars to get valuable secrets.

In the first month, you identify where you are deprived (such as in sleep, emotional support, personal time, energy, companionship, peacefulness, hope, and physical closeness) and start eliminating those deprivations that are most important to you.

In the second month, you begin to approve of yourself more through a series of mirror exercises where you tell yourself, "I love you."

In month three, you learn how to say "no" and do it nicely.

In month four, you re-schedule your life to feel more comfortable and do important activities that make you feel great at the optimal times.

In month five, you offload a lot of what keeps you overly busy, annoyed, and stressed by "letting go."

In month six, you decide what you will never do again . . . all of those things that make life a drudge and an annoyance. You then work on remembering to stop doing those things.

In month seven, you change where you live and work to nurture rather than annoy you.

In the eighth month, you learn to insulate yourself from things that stress you out and serve no purpose (such as watching the latest violence on the television news).

In the ninth month, you begin to pay more attention to your health and body.

In the tenth month, you work on letting anger go.

In the eleventh month, you identify and begin to spend time on something that you are passionate about.

During the last month, you develop a plan for dealing with unexpected problems and emotional blows.

Each chapter is filled with lists of books and other resources you can use to flesh out the simple concepts that the book presents.

I read this book while on a long plane flight and found myself enjoying the trip simply due to taking Ms. Richardson's approach to how I thought about and treated the experience. Instead of being a bore, I had fun!
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on 26 July 2014
As a coach and ex-carer to a Mother with Dementia, I found this excellent for carers and ex-carers. And as an ex-carer I found this essential for getting back into the habit of caring for one's self. It is amazing how self-neglect can go on for years - even long after the person one has been caring for has gone into a home or passed away. It is also essential for those who have devoted their lives to campaigning because unless one is working directly for a campaign organisation, it can be a very solitary battle and I believe this book provides a source of valuable energy for this essential work.
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on 18 January 2009
This book describes, with honesty, many of Cheryl Richardson's personal experiences from which she offers detailed advice to a special interest group. (That would be fine except that there is nothing in the marketing material to indicate the special interest reader.)

The group comprises women aged approx.25-45, able-bodied, heterosexual with a husband/partner and children at home; well educated women with professional (traditional) work and with access to the Internet; women who accept gendered concepts of facials/fashion/pampering.

For this group, the "insiders", the book will resonate strongly and be applicable to their lives.

For the many women outside of that group, for most men and for most minorities the book will not resonate. They would frequently need to modify advice to make it relevant to their own lives. This group of "outsiders" will often have the feeling that they are reading about a private club to which they do not belong.

There is no doubting CR's complete sincerity or the excellence of some of the advice but it is a great pity that she does not write for the general public and does not take into account the diversity and inequalities in society.

Footnote: Approach the resource lists with caution. Some of the books and websites are decidedly eccentric and consequently unhelpful. None of the books listed in the first edition has a publisher, publication date or an ISBN number given. This can make locating a book difficult, especially for overseas readers.
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on 20 April 2011
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the pressures of life or suffering with depression. It has been a great help to me.
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on 21 May 2013
If you do any of theses things...
put everyone else before yourself;
spend endless amounts of time chasing up everyone else's' problems only to find you haven't completed even the most basic tasks for yourself;
feel guilty when you can't help;
believe others know you better than you do;
never give yourself break;
struggle with assertiveness;
put up with things that you really don't like;
feel overwhelmed in chaotic situations;
find it hard to defend yourself;
feel snowed under by the many roles in your life...
(well, the list is endless to be honest!!...)

Then, this book is recommended - why not give it a go? It is highly likely that you will get something of benefit from following this course. Each month, it focuses on a separate issue, giving you a month to fully explore and work through it and I feel that anyone will get something here that will help themselves like themselves better and, in addition, make a few seriously practical changes that could make their life easier and better.

It does translate fine for non-US cultures, I believe.
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on 19 January 2013
For me this book lacks original insights . If you are new to Louise Hay it would be helpful , otherwise it is disappointing.
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on 18 July 2013
I cant make up my mind about this one - some of it i LOVED, other parts i was a less enthused by - however, worth a read
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on 7 March 2011
I have to agree with the previous review. Not only does Cheryl Richardson write for middle-class, middle-aged, well-off professional women, which is a small and specific special-interest group, but she writes for AMERICAN readers to the exclusion of all others.

I like CR a lot and have enjoyed her previous books. I agree with the previous review that she is obviously genuine and writes about a lifestyle she knows very well. My quibble is that she has nothing to say to those of us who do not shop in malls, drive kids to soccer, or have a hubby in tow who uncomplainingly furnishes the means to live care-free in a spacious suburban mansion somewhere in the land of the free.

I know that many American writers seem to be oblivious or dismissive of non-American readers, so CR is not to be singled out for blame. However, CR takes her exclusive orientation one step further. She has nothing to say to those Americans who are not well-off, middle-class or in the market for 'pampering' or overpriced motivational seminars. How do you practice self-care when you lose your job, your house, your marriage, your friends? CR has nothing to say to those of her compatriots who are undergoing those heart-breaking challenges now.

Nor does she have much to say to us in the UK. How many British women would be seen dead mouthing 'I love you' to their reflections in the bathroom mirror? How many would consider ditching a depressed aunt or a distressed and needy friend because they are difficult and draining? Our culture is more subtle and traditional than that of suburban America but Cheryl is as blissfully unaware of it as she is unaware of the cultures of inner-city and rural America. A curse of a sheltered life, I suppose.

Overall, I would suggest that in order to enjoy the best of CR the reader sticks to her two previous books, 'Take Time for Your Life' and 'Life Makeovers'. This book is derivative of the previous two and can be safely skipped - unless of course you the reader is planning an extreme life makeover that will transform you into a harrassed soccer mom, complete with mall shopping, motivational seminars, quality time and a pampering parlor! You have been warned!
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on 22 September 2014
It can be useful by taking on board aspects of it, however the life of the writer is far fetched from my reality, a person who clearly has always had financial comfort, a loving husband and a beautiful home, is hardly able to relate to the lives of people who are living alone, without a significant loved one, or a loving family and friends network, as well as very little money.

To be honest if some of us had all of that, we too could perhaps write such books!
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