Review | Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

The world is messing with our minds. What if there was something we could do about it?

Looking at sleep, news, social media, addiction, work and play, Matt Haig invites us to feel calmer, happier and to question the habits of the digital age. This book might even change the way you spend your precious time on earth.

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a thoughtful examination of the excesses of life, how our increasingly connected society can contribute to anxiety, and how to retain your humanity when technology seems overwhelming. I spent the last few days reading it on my subway ride to work, and I think it’s quite appropriate that this dedicated reading time replaced my usual morning tradition of mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or Instagram until arriving at my stop.

This book is written with the age of social media in mind – it’s comprised of short, easily digestible chapters and lists which were exceptional at keeping my attention. Matt’s voice is very much like an old friend: comforting, honest, and entertaining. While a lot of his advice seems to be intuitive, the way that it was interwoven with his own experiences it feels like I was hearing these suggestions for the first time.

As someone who spends arguably too much time online and has experienced at least some level of stress as a result, this book was definitely something I needed to read. Notes on a Nervous Planet has inspired me to be more mindful and intentional about my social media use, and I look forward to following its very sound advice of spending more time outdoors, going to bed early, and being easier on myself.

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