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New York : Berkley Books, 2009.
xvii, 253 p. ; 21 cm.
Sociologist and self-care expert B J Gallagher shows you fifty-two ways to put yourself first on your priority list.
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158.1 Gallagher
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Author Notes
BJ Gallagher is an inspirational author and speaker. Visit her website at
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As Gallagher (Everything I Need To Know I Learned from Other Women) points out here, there is no simple answer to the titular question, although most people have asked it. The crux of the problem: People tend to allow short-term concerns (e.g., hunger) to outweigh long-term self-interests (e.g., exercising). Gallagher elaborates on why and then provides 52 ways to override human tendencies, including going on a media fast. Her clear, practical treatment of a common but rarely tackled problem elevates this book above the usual self-help dreck. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Women know what they should be doing, but still often don't do it. Gallagher explores the reasons why, and helps women to help themselves. <br> <br> Women know what they ought to do-eat right, exercise more, get plenty of rest, save money, and make smart decisions in their own best interest. But instead, it seems that women often take care of everyone else, yet neglect themselves. It's time they realize they're not hopeless or helpless. Here, sociologist and self-care expert BJ Gallagher shares fifty-two ways they can put themselves first on their priority list-rather than last.<br> <br> The book begins by exploring the most common reasons women don't take good care of themselves, and how those barriers can be overcome once they are recognized. Readers will discover step by step how small changes can have a big impact; how to replace poor habits with good ones; and finally, how to avoid the "quick fix" traps. BJ Gallagher's tips, tools, and suggestions will guide every woman to a life she deserves-taking better care of themselves and their loved ones.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Gap between What I know and What I dop. xv
Section IWhy?: Why Don't I do what I know is Good for Me?p. 1
1Immediate relief from stress or pain is often more compelling than our rational self-interest.p. 5
2Childhood conditioning keeps us trapped; low or erratic self-esteem plagues us..p. 10
3Good self-care is not fun, interesting, engaging, or tasty. It's boring and bland-who wants that?p. 15
4Advertising, marketing, and the media undermine our self-esteem and self-confidence.p. 18
5The historical/cultural role of women in the world gives us second-class status, making it difficult to feel good about ourselves.p. 25
6Addictions (overeating, shopping, alcohol, pills, men, work, etc.) keep us stuck-unable to do what's good for us.p. 33
7Some of us suffer from depression. It's hard to take good care of yourself when you feel like sh&star;t.p. 40
Section IIHow?: How can we change our habits of Self-Care?p. 45
1First, just notice what you do and what you don't do. Don't try to change anything-just notice.p. 51
2Pay attention to the words you use-in self-talk and in conversations with others.p. 54
3Give up the struggle. Make peace with who you are today.p. 57
4Don't let what you can't do stop you from what you can do.p. 60
5Catch yourself doing something right (or approximately right). Then pat yourself on the back for it.p. 62
6Self-care doesn't mean selfish.p. 65
7Help is not a four-letter word. Get support from others. No one can do it for you, but you can't do it alone.p. 68
8Let go of perfectionism-it's both a cause and a result of low self-esteem.p. 72
9Fake it 'til you make it. Act as if you value yourself, even when you don't feel like it.p. 75
10What would radical self-care look like for you right now?p. 78
11Make a gratitude list and build from there. What you focus on is what you'll get more of.p. 81
12Clear away negative emotions: worry, fear, anxiety, regret, pessimism.p. 85
13Don't "should" on yourself. Drop the words "should" and "ought" from your vocabulary.p. 88
14Go to bed half an hour earlier. Self-care begins with the basics.p. 91
15Look for women who have what you want and learn from them.p. 94
16Practice esteem-able acts.p. 97
17Lighten up and laugh ... a lotp.p. 99
18Go on a media fast. Be very careful what you put in your head.p. 101
19Stop playing the comparison game.p. 105
20Draw on spiritual resources to assist you.p. 108
21Adopt a flexible notion of self-care; allow it to change over time.p. 110
22Ask your friends what they love about you.p. 112
23Practice using affirmations to retrain your thinking and your attitude.p. 115
24Make self-care into a game. Make it fun, engaging, interesting.p. 119
25Do something physical today. Anything. Get your body moving.p. 122
26Resting is not "doing nothing."p. 125
27Forgive people who have hurt you. Forgiving them frees you.p. 127
28Balance your checkbook.p. 130
29It's not what you're eating-it's what's eating you.p. 133
30Give up the need to be liked by everyone.p. 137
31Never pass up an opportunity to pee.p. 141
32Ask yourself, "What's the best use of my time right now?".p. 143
33Clean out one drawer or one closet.p. 146
34Make appointments with yourself.p. 149
35Honor your feelings, but don't be a slave to them.p. 152
36Don't go to a dry well for water. Seek out the right people to support you in caring for yourself.p. 155
37Put your credit cards in a jar of water and freeze them.p. 158
38Wash a window or two in your home or apartment.p. 161
39Write down everything you spend this week. Yes, every single penny.p. 164
40Meditate for at least five minutes each day.p. 167
41Buy yourself some fresh-cut flowers.p. 171
42Seek forgiveness from people you've hurt or harmed. Make amends.p. 173
43Take care of your car.p. 176
44Buy or make a first aid kit.p. 179
45Tell yourself the truth about the men in your life.p. 183
46Acknowledge all the different ways you avoid doing the things you know are good for you.p. 187
47If you, or someone you love, is struggling with an addiction, find a local support group.p. 190
48Make a God box.p. 194
49Do what you love.p. 198
50Enroll in a personal development class.p. 200
51Use the phrase "Up until now . . ." to create openings for change.p. 203
52Own your accomplishments. Enjoy the "new you" you're becoming.p. 206
Section IIIWhat?: What Brings About Successful, Long-Term, Personal Change?p. 209
1Learn how your mind works, then put it to work for your highest and best good.p. 213
2Study how people bring about positive changes in their lives.p. 221
3Coax yourself through the "I don't wanna" feelings.p. 229
4Pay attention to the power of your words.p. 234
5Stick with the winners. Surround yourself with the right people.p. 240
6Teach others how to do the things they know are good for them.p. 244
Conclusion: Closing the Gapp. 249
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