Historically, pandemics have forced people to survive and adapt to new changes. The year 2020 is no different because the coronavirus has turned the whole world into a giant prison. We are either stuck at home with our families or self-quarantined. The existing scenario demands adaptation to new changes and the authorities are constantly forming and reforming new rules to help us navigate through these crucial times. Amidst all the chaos, we all are trying to live our lives, whether working from home or simply helping the kids with online classes. Everything around us has slowly changed and the confines of our houses can cause the best of us to feel anxiety and stress. So, to help you deal with quarantine anxiety here are five reads that will calm your mind.
The Highly Sensitive Person
Elaine Aron features a unique personality trait that affects one out of five people in her national bestseller book called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’. Dr, Aron in her book discusses this personality trait and describes it as a sensitive nervous system condition. She goes on to say that people with a highly sensitive nervous system can easily get affected by stimulating situations. They are easily overwhelmed but aware of the subtleties around them.
In fact, in the book, she portrays the positive sides of a highly sensitive person. She explains that HSP is often pictured as timid, introverted, and shy. However, the nature of the condition is completely different. This is to say that 30 percent of HSP are extroverts. They appear hesitant and unconfident because they are good at perceiving the outcome of the situations. In fact, she disregards all the stereotypes used for sensitive people and advises people to see them in a new light.
The book has personally helped me recognize my strength and it can do the same for you if you make it your quarantine bed-time read. So, go brew some coffee and calm your mind reading a book that will help you realize that sensitivity is not a flaw.
First, We Make The Beast Beautiful
Sarah Wilson weaves her experience with anxiety into beautiful words in her book First, We Make The Beast Beautiful. It is a perfect read for people who are suffering from anxiety during the pandemic or already have pangs of anxiety troubling their minds. This book will definitely help you fight your anxiety as you witness Wilson’s pain from your naked eyes. And see her taming her anxiety as she faces obstacles in her life.
She derails from the narrative of keeping a positive attitude and openly talks about embracing anxiety. In fact, all the chapters in the book contain the adversaries of Wilson’s life. But at the end of the book, she explicitly manages to show how you can find your way with anxiety.
Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind
In her book Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind, Jennifer Shannon, a psychotherapist shows how to curb anxiety with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy. In fact, if you are suffering from anxiety you must be familiar with this mental health treatment plan. Through her comparison, the author tries to establish similarities between the activities of an unsettled mind to that of a monkey. She uses words like hopping from one branch to another, chattering, etc. She says that you can’t stop the mind from thinking, but you can stop feeding the mind with negative thoughts and fear.
By suggesting therapies, mind exercises, and a few illustrations in her book, she helps the anxiety stricken patient identify the triggers that lead to anxiety. This way she encourages the reader to stop feeding the monkey mind and confront the things that make them anxious. Similarly, by reading this book you can recognize the thoughts that make you anxious during quarantine and help reduce them to a minimum.
If you are not a reading person, then look for other ways to keep your mind occupied. For instance, you can cook, go for a walk keeping social distancing rules in mind, or even play a video game. If you are new to the gaming world, features like valorant boosting can help you climb the competitive ladder.
I came across an article in the New York Times that talked about people turning to read Mrs. Dalloway during these crucial times. As I read the article, it instantly reminded me of the days when I used to read Virginia Woolf back in the University. Through Clarissa Dalloway, the main protagonist of the story, the author portrays a clear picture of her one day life. The life is set five years after the influenza pandemic affected the world. Perhaps the reason why most people are turning to read a book that was set in 1923.
The opening of the novel represents the life of Mrs. Dalloway, her daily routine, shopping, and how she runs errands. Given the situation we are currently facing, I am sure most of us crave a life that Mrs. Dalloway lives in the book. Although the story unfolds various character traits of the main protagonist, yet, it also brings forth a story that intrigues the interest of the reader. So, whenever you feel your thoughts are drifting away grab this book and enjoy a good classical read.