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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~George R.R. Martin
Reading is essential to sharpening the mind and broadening perspectives. For me, reading also provides an escape from my anxiety and depression. If I’m feeling too anxious or depressed, I grab a book and instantly dive into another world.
The summer season is the perfect time to venture off and crack open a few good reads. With the end of summer quickly approaching, I thought I’d share my summer 2017 reading list.
SUMMER 2017 READING LIST
The following list includes highly recommended books I’ve read or want to read this summer.
~ This book came out about five years ago and was converted into a movie last year starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. It’s a historical fiction book about a married couple torn between a major moral decision and then later dealing with the consequences of their decision. If you enjoy WWI era stories then give this book a chance. Also, definitely read this one before you go and see the movie.
~ By the best-selling author of Big Little Lies (now a HBO miniseries starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon) and the Husband’s Secret, Truly Madly Guilty is the latest novel by Liane Moriarty. It describes the story of a normal married couple who get invited to a party by an old friend, the scandalous events that take place during it, and the after effects. Take this book to the beach and indulge in the exposure of guilt while soaking up some sun!
~ This Sci-Fi novel came out in 2011, and the movie adaption (directed by Steven Spielberg) is set to come out next year in 2018. The story’s about a dystopian future where a young man tries to unlock the key to a fortune in a virtual reality game. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to try something different and branch out from romance or drama this summer. It might even open a new interest to books in the Sci-Fi genre.
~ This book is hot off the presses! Released a little over a month ago by the famed author of the Outlander series, this fiction compilation comprises of seven short stories in the Outlander universe. If you’ve read all of the other Outlander books, you need to add this one to your collection. If you haven’t read any of the Outlander books, then I suggest you start now because there’s only one month left this summer to read all eight books!
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
~ A fellow blogger and entrepreneur, Mark Manson uses his own experiences to show how struggling gives life more significance in this atypical self-help book. If you’re looking for a non-traditional self-help guide, this is the right book for you. Or if you’re just looking for some laughs mixed in with a dose of reality, this is the right book for you. Either way you’ll get a kick out of it, but read with caution if you’re not a fan of profanity or bluntness.
**If you have any other recommendations, leave a comment below!**
Hope you enjoyed this list and Happy Summer Reading!
- Three Healthy Ways to Find YOUR Happiness
- Struggling with Anxiety and Depression: My Story
- Seven Tips on Managing Anxiety While in a Relationship
I personally suffer from Anxiety and Depression, so this topic hits home for me. Managing anxiety is a struggle I deal with every single day. Throw a relationship into the mix, and sometimes life gets pretty complicated. I feel it’s imperative to constantly find ways to deal with it, so here are the tips and tricks I’ve learned for managing anxiety while in a relationship.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY WHILE IN A RELATIONSHIP:
- Lean on your significant other for support
- Make sure your partner listens
- Enjoy new hobbies together
- Share cleaning responsibilities
- Motivate each other
- Learn to compromise
- Be with someone who helps calm your anxiety
LEAN ON YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER FOR SUPPORT
This may seem like an easy task, but in my experience it can be far from it. It’s hard to lean on my current boyfriend, Slade, for support sometimes. I haven’t had many supportive relationships in the past, but that’s no excuse. One crucial aspect of a successful relationship is supporting each other, especially through both good and bad times. Whether you’re having an anxiety attack or just need a push to accomplish every day activities, realize your significant other is always there to support you.
MAKE SURE YOUR PARTNER LISTENS
Communicate to your partner when you need them to listen to you. Slade has ADHD, so listening to me is difficult on a daily basis for him. Even so, he turns off all distractions and focuses his attention on me when I’m in desperate need for him to listen. He doesn’t talk until I’m through speaking and tries not to interrupt me. This is what an effective listener does. When you have anxiety, your mind constantly drums up more things to panic about, so make sure your partner knows when to sit down and listen.
ENJOY NEW HOBBIES TOGETHER
Hobbies are great anxiety relievers. They temporarily get your mind off of your worries and often force you to relax (depending on the hobby). Since I’ve been on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, Slade and I have been trying new healthy hobbies to enjoy together such as working out and cooking healthier food. Another great hobby to do with your significant other is reading. Curl up in bed next to each other at the end of the night before bed and either read your own books or read a book together. Be open to trying new hobbies with your significant other because it can sooth your anxious mind and create more intimacy in your relationship.
SHARE CLEANING RESPONSIBILITIES
If you live with your significant other, this can be a wonderful solution for several different problems. Putting unnecessary amounts of work on yourself leads to more anxiety. Take it from me. Often times, I find myself overwhelmed when it comes to cleaning. I take over cleaning duties so Slade doesn’t have to worry about it when he comes home from a long day at work. It’s so silly because I’m the one with anxiety yet I’m adding more unnecessary stress to myself. Slade hates it when I do this and reassures me he will always help me clean. If you’re doing all of the cleaning at your place, try to share cleaning responsibilities. If you don’t live with your significant other, then see if he or she will help you clean up your place a little bit here and there. You’ll be amazed at how much stress and anxiety it takes off.
MOTIVATE EACH OTHER
Motivate each other through simple and complex issues or tasks. That sounds pretty easy, but it’s also easy to lose motivation when certain problems become further complicated. Some days I refuse to go work out because I want to be lazy, but Slade motivates me to go anyway. This winds up making me feel better and eases some of my stress. Motivation shows signs of care and commitment for one another in the relationship.
LEARN TO COMPROMISE
Learning to compromise is one of the biggest issues in most relationships. One or both partners can be very stubborn and think the other one should give in to them. They don’t stop fighting until eventually one of them does and the one who gave in is left feeling rejected and upset. Occasionally, my anxiety will get the better of me, and I’ll throw tantrums until I get what I want. Recently, I’ve come to accept the art of compromising with Slade because it results in no fighting, both of us getting what we want, and less anxiety. Compromise with your partner and you’ll see better communication, a decrease in fighting, and greater overall happiness with each other.
BE WITH SOMEONE WHO HELPS CALM YOUR ANXIETY
*This is the most important tip.* Don’t waste your time trying to suppress your anxiety because your partner can’t handle it. That will end badly for both of you. You need to be with someone who calms your anxiety, not causes it. Examples include making you laugh when he or she knows you’re feeling uneasy or scared; keeping you focused on breathing during an attack; or even just accepting it. Slade knew about my anxiety and depression from the very beginning. He loves me for me despite these struggles and keeps me calm when I’m anxious. Be with someone who helps, accepts, and loves you for you.
- Let me know what you thought about these tips and whether or not you found them effective by leaving a comment below.
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES:
- Struggling with Anxiety and Depression: My Story
- Dealing with a Loved One Who Has ADHD
- Three Healthy Ways to Find YOUR Happiness
THE MEANING OF HAPPINESS
Happiness refers to either a state of being or an experience and means something different to everyone.
It doesn’t arrive in a magical bottle and takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to find. People often find it in unexpected ways, but it doesn’t seem to last for long.
I believe it can last. You just need to search the right places.
FINDING YOUR HAPPINESS
So how do you find it? I believe there are several key components.
Approach the concept with a positive, healthy mindset.
This requires a certain level of self awareness, which sounds harder than it is. First, open your eyes to see your problems and what’s making you unhappy. Then, figure out how to positively resolve these issues (one at a time) with your happiness in mind. Only your happiness matters right now.
I know I’m making this sound a lot easier than it actually is. This takes time and patience to master, and you might need help along the way.
Once you begin to open your mind up to happy solutions, you’ll feel the peace within.
Explore healthier eating habits.
Unhealthy eating habits eventually lead to unhappiness, even if it makes you feel happy momentarily. For example, binge eating a bag of Doritos tastes delicious at first, but later on you experience a stomachache. This is neither healthy nor happy for your body.
Give your body the nutrients it craves, and it will reward you. You’ll find your energy levels increasing as well as other improved changes you didn’t realize you were missing.
Eating healthier also provides a confidence boost. The healthier you eat, the better your body looks and feels. This also takes time and patience, but the end result is completely worth it. You’ll see your self image improve vastly. Most importantly, you will not want to binge eat bags of Doritos anymore. You will eat what makes you happy permanently.
Surround yourself with healthy relationships.
To me, this sounds easier said than done. Sometimes people turn out to be different than initially expected. They end up leaving you, and you’re left either feeling happy they’re gone or miserable for losing them.
The ones who love, understand, and communicate with you are the ones who will always stay. Love isn’t enough to keep a relationship going by itself. Lack of understanding and communication can lead to unhappiness within the relationship and eventually break it.
Also, do not enter relationships where you become overly dependent on the other person (or people). Co-dependent relationships are unhealthy and often result in emotional and financial abuse leaving one or both sides brokenhearted and alone in the end.
You need people who will be by your side and support you through both good and bad times. It doesn’t matter if it’s your family, friends, or significant other. Work on building loving, lasting relationships because they will play a significant role in your continued happiness.
*My intention with this post is to tell my very personal story about struggling with anxiety and depression. After, I will provide a few resources to check out about these conditions.*
Like I mentioned in my About page, I have Anxiety Induced Depression.
I’m not sure when it started because I think I’ve had it all of my life. I wasn’t cognizant of it until four years ago though.
As a normal college student, I walked into my 11 am class and sat down in my usual seat. I got there about ten minutes early, but the classroom was already filling up.
I started to feel anxiousness as I looked around at everyone. The air started to thicken, and I could feel my breath shortening. Then fear and panic creeped it’s way into my body. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I stood up out of my seat, grabbed my backpack, and rushed out of the classroom.
I immediately ran for the bathroom on the bottom floor. Luckily no one was in there because class had already begun. I went into one of the stalls because I felt nauseated, but nothing happened.
That’s when the tears came. My chest hurt so badly because I couldn’t breath and then sobs ensued. My first instinct was to call my mom.
I explained what was occurring inside of me. She told me I was having a panic attack and to leave campus right away. I hung up the phone and calmed myself down enough to leave the bathroom. I headed straight for the transit buses and went home.
My mom called me again to check in and assured me I needed to go see a doctor. She revealed she also had the same problems with anxiety. I think I always knew that too, but again I wasn’t really aware of it until that moment.
So I drove myself to the doctor’s office. I won’t go into detail about my visit, but it was a terrible experience. The doctor basically said it was a temporary condition and gave me a few pills to last a week.
I left the doctor’s office, came home, and went to sleep emotionally exhausted. As a result of that visit, I never went back to that doctor again.
After I finished those pills, I was not on medication anymore. I finished the semester and continued on with my life.
Then, I was in my last year of college. I had a few minor panic attacks that year, but nothing major until my final semester.
I was required to intern during my final semester of college, and everything was wonderful in the beginning.
As the semester progressed, I felt a sadness deep within me. I dreaded the thought of leaving my bed every morning; didn’t want to face my future anymore; and felt completely lost and hopeless.
I became self aware and knew it was depression.
After this realization, I forced myself to go to another doctor who was much more professional. She informed me I have anxiety induced depression and prescribed medication for me to take indefinitely.
I also sought counseling. Luckily the university provided free counseling to students. The only catch was I was about to graduate and only able to attend three sessions.
So now fast forward to today, I’m not on any medications and no longer in therapy.
I’m currently looking for natural ways of keeping my anxiety and depression at bay.
This website is all about anxiety. It goes over the different types of anxiety, symptoms, and any other relevant information on anxiety.
This website is all about anxiety and depression together. It even discusses other disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar Disorder, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There’s also an option to find a therapist or counselor in your area.
This blog has a related post on anxiety called Living with Anxiety: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means. It’s a really detailed post, and I found it very helpful.
This website/blog talks specifically coping with anxiety and panic (if you couldn’t tell by the name). It goes more into depth about actual panic/anxiety attacks as well as separation anxiety.