★★★★☆ Book Review: Calm – A Journal For Myself by PK Poniah
Keep calm and carry on.
With how awful 2020 has turned out to be, it’s more important than ever to embrace the idea of mindfulness, and learn how to take care of our mental health so we don’t fizzle out all of a sudden with no warning. And according to PK Poniah, who has a masters in guidance and counselling, one way of doing that is to step away from the internet, and do some therapeutic journalling offline.
And that’s precisely what he’s done with the release of Calm: A Journal For Myself, a brand new self-help book guiding you towards actually helping yourself. Simultaneously a guidebook and a journal, Calm introduces to teens concepts of good mental health and learning to increase one’s awareness of his or her own state of being. With easy enough steps applicable to daily life, from managing anger to feelings of sadness to self-esteem, it’s easy to gain a sense of achievement when following through with these instructions, promoting introspection and a positive attitude.
Beyond simply being aware of one’s own mind, Poniah also suggests steps such as practical goal setting, and health tips like sleeping right, always with a forgiving, understanding tone that won’t let you be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake; after all, it’s all one big learning process towards living your best life.
In terms of the actual journalling, Ponniah suggests daily journalling to reflect on the problems one is surrounded by, with sample entries showing readers it’s ok to be going through some difficult thoughts and situations in life, using the act of writing (and even doodling) as a means of uncorking the stress and working one’s ways through some truly difficult emotions.
While certainly, it’s not a one-stop solution (and Ponniah of course recommends seeking professional help if things get out of hand), Calm is a useful little tome for anyone who might be having difficulty adjusting to secondary school life, going through a stressful period, or simply needs some guidance to adjusting their mind, keeping a record, and tracking their progress – the first step in a long (but hopefully effective) journey of change and self-improvement.
Recommended for: Teens (or even adults) going through a tough time in life, and want to be reminded of small, simple steps they can take towards better mindfulness.
Calm: A Journal For Myself is published by Epigram and available here