A simple but radical guidebook for anyone learning to care for themselves and others, with vibrant color illustrations.

Healing is not just for people who have their s&*t together. Healing is, most important, for people who are falling apart. How to Take Care will help you learn to trust your instincts, listen to your body, and practice small, easy steps to soothe anxiety, burnout, and symptoms of PTSD.

From A (adaptogenic herbs, ancestral healing) to Z (zoetic), How to Take Care is for anyone striving to live slowly, with self-compassion, one moment at a time. Learn tangible steps to dispel shame, tell the truth, and loosen the grip on whatever is holding you back. Sample guided meditations, cook nurturing recipes, and follow handy how-tos. Practice the grounding of a clean sink when you’d rather burn the house down, or connect with nature by growing flowers from seed. Keep this guide on your nightstand or in your backpack for easy-reference tools, techniques, and strategies to calm your nervous system and come back to your body. It is a gift for yourself or anyone else who is going through a big, messy, or trying season of life.

Erin & Kate, NYC, 2002

“We came to each other as friends many decades ago now. We’ve loved each other through substance abuse and recovery, three weddings, one divorce, countless jobs and careers, the birth of two children, and the birth of new versions of ourselves. In many ways, we’ve mothered each other, when no one else could or would.”

Our goal was to create a beautiful object you can hold in your hands, offer a gift to others in pain or despair, and to use throughout your life to remember what brings you comfort & joy. It is small and light enough to carry with you, even when everything is falling apart. These are words we come back to, and whisper into the ears of our most rock-bottomed younger selves.


“A healing book for the world weary and traumatized, the over-burdened & under-mothered. This elegantly illustrated and inspired collaboration has a cure on every page. Hilarious and brave, tender and wise. Buy this book for yourself, and anybody else who needs a dang break.”—Mary KarrNew York Times bestselling author of The Liars’ ClubCherryLit, and Art of Memoir

“Entering the world of this book—and it truly feels like a world, lushly illustrated, radiating tenderness and honesty—feels like sitting by a window and talking with a bighearted friend who also happens to be funny as f-ck, and eating hot fudge sundaes while a rainstorm rages outside. The sky is dark, and the flood might be coming, but the air is bristling with candor and compassion, just like these pages, which are full of hard-won insights attuned to the body, alive to the soul, and always aware of their entwinement. Something in this book will crack open a window in your life, I promise you—to let in the smell of the rain, the cold moonlight, the snow under streetlamps, the dawn.”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

“With warmth and compassion, Williams and Novotny have created a reassuring, loving, and essential guide to taking care. If, like me, you are sure you were absent the day they handed out the life manuals, it’s here now. You will love this book, but even better, this book will love you back.”—Elizabeth Crane, author of This Story Will Change

How To Take Care is a book for anyone who is attempting to or is already on the path of giving back to themselves. This briliant spiral of words gives the reader permission to trust what they know and what they do not know with gentle guidance and big fat ‘fuck its’. A slow bubbling prayer of reconnection and calibration lives within these pages.”—Davinah Simmons, MS, Full Spectrum Doula, Childbirth + Lactation Educator, Rooted Birth Doula Services

How to Take Care has the feeling of cracking open a wise auntie’s grimoire in that it is both referential and ancestral—a collection of hard-earned knowings, lovingly compiled. My heart beams thinking of this timeless book being passed down from hand to hand, kitchen to kitchen, generation to generation.”—Brittany Carmona-Holt, birthworker, educator, and author of Tarot for Pregnancy: A Companion for Radical Magical Birthing Folks

How to Take Care feels like a comfortable cup of tea with your wise but hilarious friends. These warm, bite-size offerings of healing make doable that ever illusive idea of self-care. They deftly weave personal experience, clinical expertise, and curiosity, providing us with hopeful resources to honor the past and move confidently into our futures.”—Rebecca Feldman, midwife, psychiatric nurse practitioner and psychotherapist