Anxiety sucks. But remember, it’s just an emotion, like any other, and will always pass. There are many great support networks out there, many of which you can find from the links below. The most important thing I’ve learned is to be open and transparent about what you’re going through. This doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone your life story, but acknowledging when you have anxiety is the first step to dealing with the emotion. We’re all in this together.
Some Helpful Links for Anxiety, PTSD and Depression
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America – PTSD
- Anxiety Disorders of Canada
- Anxiety BC – PTSD
- Depression Hurts
- Mood Disorders Society of Canada
- Louise Hay – Healing from Trauma, PTSD and Mindbody Anxiety
**if you are feeling suicidal please call your local national suicide prevention crisis centre. They exist in almost every country. USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Canada – Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, UK – NHS List here, International Hotline list here.**
Some Books That Helped Me
PTSD and Anxiety
Adrenal Fatigue: Cure it Naturally – A Fresh Approach to Reset Your Metabolism, Regain Energy & Balance Hormones through Diet, Lifestyle & Nutrition – I liked this book because it was easy to read, easy to implement, and taught me some new things about burnout, running on adrenaline, and high performance anxiety. And it’s free to read with Kindle Unlimited!
The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution – this book was recommended to me by my counselor. You can read some of the chapters for free online. I like it because it gives a good overview of CBT, and acts as a workbook to help you identify your worries/irrational thoughts and make practical steps to address them.
Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think – this is another CBT book which comes highly rated on amazon. It’s more dense than the workbook above, but has a lot of great information and case studies as well.
Divorce and Relationships
Uncoupling: How to survive and thrive after breakup and divorce – this book helped me a lot with how to deal with the grief and sadness of ending my marriage. I had such a range of emotions, and wasn’t sure how to deal with them. Sara’s book went through the various stages, but with very practical tips on how to cope. I learned how to engage with my ex in a productive and healthy way, and despite how challenging it was, it worked.
The No Contact Rule – this is an interesting one. It was written to accompany the wildly popular blog by Natalie Lue. When I first read it, I thought “this needn’t apply to me, it’s about dating and how to maneuver the dating rules of the game. I hate games”. Actually, it came in really hand with remembering how to engage with my ex, but also how to prepare myself emotionally to start dating again – how to move on. And it was quite funny, easy to read, and practical.
Finding Yourself & Inspiration
O’s Little Guide to Starting Over – I love Oprah, but wasn’t sure how helpful this book would be when I got it. But actually, it was exactly the kind of emotional support I needed. Filled with quotes and stories, I took passages and notes from the book and used them to fill my personal journal. Whenever I felt sad, I’d go back and read them out loud to myself. I found it like an emotional blanket and a cup of tea.
If you don’t know Brené Brown, you should. She’s famous for her Ted Talks – one on vulnerability and the other on shame. While her books are surely amazing, she has a one-of-a-kind ability to deliver as a speaker – so I would suggest getting her audio books! This one is full of ideas for living a wholehearted life and dealing with shame. It’s perfect for those struggling with the idea of perfectionism, living with anxiety and coping with change.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. This book relates to Brené’s Ted Talk on vulnerability, where she “draws upon extensive research and personal experience to explore the paradoxes of courage: we become strong by embracing vulnerability, we dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear.”- Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.
Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution – as noted above, I highly recommend this book on audio. It was incredibly inspiring, funny, and taught me a lot about myself. I found myself deeply connected with Brené‘s stories, allowing my to absorb myself into the audio book. I’m sure the written one is good too, as is the youtube video.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun – this was a fun read. A story. We all like stories. It is witty, inspirational and helps distract from all the self-healing one needs to do when going through trauma, change and recovery.
Matthieu Ricard has written a variety of interesting books, from happiness, to meditation, to Tibetan monks (of which he is now one). Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill is a good one. It helps us to understand the importance of life, to analyze our lives from this lens, to see if we really surround ourselves with meaning – from work, to family, to friends, to passions. It’s easy to read and leads to deep self-reflection, if you let it and open your heart and mind to Matthieu’s words.