Real Self-Care by Pooja Lakshmin
  • Title: Real Self-Care
  • Subtitle: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness
  • Author(s): Pooja Lakshmin
  • Publisher: Penguin Life
  • Year: 2023-03-14
  • ISBN-10: 0593489721
  • ISBN-13: 9780593489727


Real Self-Care” by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin is a transformative guide that redefines and empowers the concept of self-care. Dr. Lakshmin, a renowned psychiatrist and advocate for mental health, takes readers on a journey to discover the profound impact of genuine self-care on our mental and emotional well-being. Unlike the commercialized and superficial notions of self-care often portrayed in the media, this book delves deep into the authentic practices that nurture our inner selves.

Dr. Lakshmin begins by addressing the myth that self-care is synonymous with self-indulgence or luxury. Instead, she advocates for a holistic approach that encompasses both physical and mental well-being. She emphasizes that true self-care involves recognizing our emotional needs, setting boundaries, and seeking professional help when necessary. Throughout the book, Dr. Lakshmin shares personal anecdotes from her own struggles with mental health, creating a relatable and compassionate atmosphere. She provides actionable advice on how to cultivate self-compassion, mindfulness, and resilience. “Real Self-Care” ultimately encourages readers to prioritize their mental health as an integral part of self-care, promoting a profound sense of well-being and authenticity.


Book Review

Redefining Self-Care: A Deep Dive into "Real Self-Care" by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

In a world where the term “self-care” has become synonymous with bubble baths and scented candles, Dr. Pooja Lakshmin’s book, “Real Self-Care,” offers a refreshing and much-needed perspective on what it truly means to care for oneself. Dr. Lakshmin, a psychiatrist and advocate for mental health, guides readers through a transformative journey towards understanding and practicing genuine self-care that goes far beyond the surface. With her blend of professional expertise and personal insights, she dismantles the myths surrounding self-care and presents a holistic approach to nurturing one’s mental and emotional well-being.

A Deeper Look at Self-Care: One of the standout qualities of “Real Self-Care” is its ability to break down the misconceptions surrounding self-care. Dr. Lakshmin immediately addresses the prevalent myth that self-care is synonymous with indulgence. Instead, she challenges readers to view self-care as a multifaceted practice that encompasses not only physical pampering but also emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. This redefinition sets the tone for the entire book and invites readers to explore self-care from a much richer perspective.

The book is structured around various aspects of self-care, each explored in depth. Dr. Lakshmin emphasizes that real self-care starts with recognizing our emotional needs and acknowledging our vulnerabilities. She shares her personal experiences, struggles, and triumphs, making her relatable and fostering a sense of connection with her readers. Her openness is a testament to her commitment to destigmatizing mental health issues and encouraging a culture of vulnerability and self-compassion.

Actionable Insights: “Real Self-Care” is not just a theoretical exploration of self-care but a practical guide filled with actionable insights. Dr. Lakshmin provides exercises and prompts throughout the book to help readers apply the concepts to their own lives. For instance, she offers guidance on identifying and setting boundaries, a crucial aspect of self-care often overlooked in the mainstream self-help industry. By encouraging readers to recognize and assert their limits, she empowers them to create healthier relationships and protect their emotional well-being.

The book also delves into the importance of seeking professional help when needed. Dr. Lakshmin dismantles the stigma surrounding therapy and medication, advocating for mental health care as a legitimate and necessary form of self-care. Her insights on this topic are particularly valuable in a society where many still view seeking help for mental health issues as a sign of weakness.

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion: Dr. Lakshmin places a strong emphasis on mindfulness and self-compassion as fundamental components of self-care. She guides readers through practices that promote self-awareness and self-acceptance. Her approach is rooted in science and psychology, making it accessible to individuals of all backgrounds. By integrating these practices into their daily lives, readers can develop a deeper understanding of their emotions and learn to navigate them with greater ease.

Authenticity and Resilience: Throughout the book, Dr. Lakshmin underscores the importance of authenticity and resilience in self-care. She encourages readers to embrace their imperfections and cultivate self-compassion. By doing so, individuals can build the emotional resilience needed to face life’s challenges with grace and strength.

Target Audience: “Real Self-Care” is a book that speaks to a broad audience. It is for those who have grown weary of the superficial and commercialized portrayal of self-care and are seeking a more meaningful and sustainable approach. It’s for individuals struggling with mental health issues who may feel isolated or stigmatized, offering them a lifeline of understanding and guidance. It’s for therapists and healthcare professionals who want to deepen their understanding of how to support their clients in their self-care journeys.

In conclusion, “Real Self-Care” by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin is a transformative and timely book that challenges prevailing misconceptions about self-care. Dr. Lakshmin’s combination of professional expertise, personal anecdotes, and practical exercises provides readers with a holistic approach to nurturing their mental and emotional well-being. Her advocacy for authenticity, resilience, and self-compassion creates a powerful narrative that empowers readers to redefine and embrace real self-care. In a world where genuine self-care is often overlooked or misunderstood, this book serves as a beacon of insight and guidance, encouraging readers to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery and well-being.


Self-care isn't bubble baths and face masks, it's a revolution from within! This book empowers you to listen to your soul's whispers, nourishing yourself with practices that bring joy and light to your unique needs.

Key Ideas

Real Self-Care” by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin is a comprehensive guide to redefining and practicing self-care in a way that prioritizes mental and emotional well-being. The book challenges conventional notions of self-care and presents a deeper, more holistic perspective on taking care of oneself. Here are the key ideas from the book:

  1. Redefining Self-Care Dr. Lakshmin emphasizes that self-care is not just about indulging in occasional treats or pampering; it’s a daily practice that encompasses caring for your mental, emotional, and physical health. She encourages readers to move away from superficial self-care practices and adopt a more profound and sustainable approach.

  2. Emotional Awareness The book highlights the importance of emotional awareness. Dr. Lakshmin guides readers in recognizing, acknowledging, and understanding their emotions. By fostering a deeper connection with their feelings, individuals can better address their emotional needs.

  3. Vulnerability and Authenticity Dr. Lakshmin shares her own experiences of vulnerability and authenticity. She stresses the significance of embracing one’s imperfections and acknowledging that everyone has struggles. By being authentic, individuals can build more meaningful connections with themselves and others.

  4. Setting Boundaries The book explores the concept of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in personal and professional relationships. Dr. Lakshmin provides practical advice on how to identify and assert boundaries to protect emotional well-being.

  5. The Importance of Seeking Help Dr. Lakshmin destigmatizes seeking professional help for mental health issues. She encourages readers to consider therapy and medication as valid forms of self-care. By seeking help when needed, individuals can better manage their mental health and well-being.

  6. Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Mindfulness and self-compassion are central themes in the book. Dr. Lakshmin introduces mindfulness practices to help readers become more self-aware and attuned to their emotions. Self-compassion is presented as a crucial component of self-care, allowing individuals to treat themselves with kindness and understanding.

  7. Resilience in Self-Care The book underscores the importance of resilience in self-care. Dr. Lakshmin provides insights into how resilience can be developed through self-awareness, self-compassion, and authenticity. Resilience equips individuals to navigate life’s challenges and setbacks with greater strength and adaptability.

In summary, “Real Self-Care” by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin offers a transformative perspective on self-care. It encourages readers to go beyond surface-level practices and prioritize their mental and emotional well-being. By fostering emotional awareness, embracing authenticity, setting boundaries, and practicing mindfulness and self-compassion, individuals can embark on a journey of genuine self-care that leads to a more fulfilling and resilient life.


Target Audience

The target audience for “Real Self-Care” by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin is quite broad and includes:

  • Individuals Seeking Deeper Self-Care This book is recommended for individuals who are looking to redefine and deepen their self-care practices. If you’ve ever felt that traditional self-care advice falls short or feels superficial, this book provides a refreshing perspective that prioritizes mental and emotional well-being.

  • Those Struggling with Mental Health “Real Self-Care” is particularly valuable for individuals dealing with mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, or stress. Dr. Lakshmin’s insights into emotional awareness, mindfulness, and self-compassion can be immensely helpful in managing and improving mental health.

  • Therapists and Mental Health Professionals Mental health professionals, including therapists and counselors, can benefit from reading this book. It offers valuable insights into how to guide clients in developing more meaningful and sustainable self-care practices. It also helps professionals foster a deeper understanding of their clients’ needs.

  • Anyone Interested in Authentic Living If you’re interested in living more authentically and embracing vulnerability, “Real Self-Care” is recommended reading. Dr. Lakshmin shares her own experiences of vulnerability and authenticity, encouraging readers to do the same.

  • People Looking to Establish Boundaries The book provides practical advice on setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in various aspects of life, making it an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve their interpersonal relationships and emotional well-being.

  • Those Interested in Resilience Building “Real Self-Care” explores the concept of resilience and how it can be developed through self-awareness and self-compassion. If you want to build greater resilience in the face of life’s challenges, this book offers valuable guidance.

  • Individuals Interested in Mindfulness Mindfulness practices are a central theme in the book. Whether you’re a beginner or have experience with mindfulness, this book provides accessible exercises and insights to help you cultivate greater self-awareness and presence.

  • People Seeking to Destigmatize Mental Health Dr. Lakshmin does an excellent job of destigmatizing mental health issues and advocating for seeking professional help when needed. If you’re passionate about breaking down mental health stigma, this book aligns with that mission.

Real Self-Care” is recommended reading because it challenges the conventional and often superficial notions of self-care that prevail in modern culture. Dr. Pooja Lakshmin offers a compassionate, holistic, and evidence-based approach to self-care that prioritizes mental and emotional well-being. Her personal anecdotes, professional expertise, and practical exercises make this book accessible and actionable for a wide range of readers. It encourages a shift from self-care as a luxury to self-care as a necessity for leading a fulfilling and resilient life. Ultimately, this book provides valuable tools and insights to help individuals navigate the complexities of modern life while nurturing their mental and emotional health.

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