The New Self-Care Book We Love

Loved by the likes of Kate Moss and Melissa Hemsley, wellness gurus Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips led the way for 2018's self-care trend with their first bestselling book. Now, they're back with a follow-up, Rituals for Every Day, released today – just in time for National Self-Care Week – showcasing why simple, daily rituals are the key to fitting in more moments of pause in the hectic pace of modern life...

You've likely spotted the sisters' hit debut on bookshop shelves, social media and in the headlines – published last December, Self-Care for the Real World drew on the duo's wealth of wellness experience (Nadia is one of the UK’s top yoga teachers, whilst Katia has worked in wellness, food and massage for more than 20 years and runs London veggie hotspot Nectar Café) to bring readers a refreshing new take on the art of self-care.

Covering everything from positive body image and relationships to the negative impacts of social media on our mental health, the pair's philosophy is that self-care is not a choice but a vital practice to be incorporated in every aspect of our modern lives, helping us to be more switched on, present and engaged. Ms Moss – who credits Nadia for helping her embrace a healthier lifestyle – reportedly bought 22 copies to give to friends last Christmas.


Rituals is a natural progression. Hailed by the Sunday Times as the equivalent of "Marie Kondo for the mind" and "the Hemsleys for the soul", it's as practical, non-patronising and authentic as their first release, but with an unusual new take on how to practice self-care, inspired by feedback from their clients.

"One message that we hear time and time again when running our self-care workshops is that people recognise the need to slow down and create more space in their lives, but they're just not sure how to do it," Nadia and Katia explain. Their solution? A series of simple rituals that can be easily slotted in to your day.

As they explain in the new tome, rituals aren’t all “witchy pagan séances”, but a way of “making ordinary things special, and special things extra special”, allowing us to move through busy times in a way that feels graceful and deliberate, instead of rushed and routine.

The 21 rituals in the book are designed to be practised daily, or when needed, and span everything from inviting love and financial abundance to new homes, new babies and bereavement. For the more new wave readers, there are also sections on moon rituals, crystals and manifesting – but, like the rest of their writing, it's as no-nonsense as ever, and may even convert some sceptics.

And speaking of scepticism, if you're not convinced yet, Nadia and Katia have a few words to share: "If the idea of a ritual seems intimidating or off-putting to you, think of the joyous rituals that all cultures share around the ideas or birth, marriage or festivals. At their best, these rituals give us a framework within which we can explore ideas of change and growth; we pause to note the passing of time, and how to celebrate it."

As the duo point out, most of us already take part in rituals without realising we're doing so. "Even the most passionate atheists will have been to birthday parties and New Year's Eve celebrations without necessarily recognising either as a ritual," they say, adding that rituals not only help us emphasise the good times, but can support us during difficult moments, too.

Rituals are a way of making ordinary things special, and special things extra special.
Nadia Narain & Katia Narain Phillips

"If you have ever attended the funeral of a loved one, you will know that the ancient rituals around death can be a source of deep comfort when the idea of making decisions feels overwhelming," says Nadia.

Of all the guides in Rituals, we found the 'Your Morning' section most inspiring – ideal if, like us, you struggle to feel energised and awake on dark winter mornings. Our favourites included 'Candlelit Morning' (rather than waking up and switching on your light straight away, you spend the first 20 minutes of your day in the warm glow of candlelight, either sitting quietly, sipping a cup of tea or just pottering around the house), 'Get Creative' (picking up a notebook and pen, instead of your smartphone, first thing; writing down your dreams, if you can recall them, along with your plans and hopes for the day ahead) and 'Coffeepot Meditation' (meditating while waiting for your coffee to brew, or kettle to boil).

We weren't convinced at first – and did feel slightly silly walking to the kitchen to put the kettle on, Diptyque in hand – but were pleasantly surprised by the difference the rituals made. Not only did they seamlessly fit into our morning routine, not requiring us to set an alarm any earlier, the act of bringing our awareness to how we felt before facing the world outside made us much calmer, and seemed to make our entire day run smoother. Nadia and Katia are right when they say, while most of us pay attention to how we look before leaving the house, we often don't spend time considering what's on the inside – and it really does count.

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