Journalist Rachel Kelly, formerly of The Times (UK), has made significant strides to overcome her debilitating depression that was chronicled in her first book “Black Rainbows.” Through her journey to recovery, she found that small steps for coping with life work best—and achieve the longest lasting changes going forward.
Kelly’s newest book “Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness” is a delightful collection of weekly ideas which are lightened by the illustrations of cartoonist Jonathan Pugh. Many of her suggestions take just a moment to think about and only require a shift in a personal habit or perspective. Knowing how the seasons of the year seem to intensify or change a person’s perspective or coping with depression, Kelly has divided the book into four sections to reflect the four seasons.
One particular “small step” that personifies Kelly’s outlook is #4: “Mindful Moments.” A person can select their own minor activity to help relieve tension in a daily task or situation to gain a moment of quiet peace. Her ideas include something simple, such as washing your hands or taking time to clean your glasses. After concentrating on the task at hand and noticing the details, your mind is reset to a quieter pace.
It Is important to note that regardless of your state of mind (happy/worried/sad) this small volume gives the reader a new path to finding a happy moment or outcome.
In the author’s words : “I hope one or two of my steps may help you slow down and open doors to a place of greater happiness—and that you too may sometimes have that lovely feeling of walking on sunshine.”[xiii]