A book review by Heather Liveston.

I’m not a big reader of “self-help” books but there was something about this book that caught my eye – Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s “Feel Better in 5”. By 5, he means 5 minutes…….a day……….that appealed as it’s so hard to make time for anything other than work and home life. I am sure many of you feel the same.

Dr Chatterjee is a GP who does lifestyle prescribing – so when a patient comes to see him with a health problem he will spend time with them looking at what lifestyle changes they could make rather than immediately prescribing medication. His philosophy centres around the premise that small changes can make a difference, and even have a ripple effect on other areas of your life.

In the book, he focuses on three areas – heart, brain and body, and he gives lots of ideas of 5 minute activities you can do to boost your health in these areas. He suggests doing 5 minutes on each one daily – 15 minutes a day on self-care in 5- minute slots, for 5 days a week. That sounds achievable to me – and his thinking is that by regularly doing the same three activities they will become habit.

So, an example for “heart” is that you find 5 minutes each day where you connect with someone over a cup of tea, and concentrate on each other, no phones allowed! For “body”, 5 minutes of dancing to your favourite music and for “mind”, going outdoors for 5 minutes. If you have grass and you can go barefoot, then that’s even better, as it is thought to be grounding.

If you are an adoptive parent, you are in the process of adopting, or you work in this area, it is vital to take care of yourself and this guide offers a way of doing so when time is in short supply.