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Living During an Age of Anxiety: A Reading List

Emily Perper | Longreads | September 21, 2014 | words

Here are four authors who have written about their experiences with anxiety, its roots and its bedfellows.

Posted inNonfiction, Reading List

Living During an Age of Anxiety: A Reading List

When I am wracked with anxiety, I make a list of everything that is stressing me. These lists have included “transportation plans for this weekend,” “living at home,” “Sandy [my dog] dying,” “getting props for the play” and “editing articles for The Annual.” I don’t write solutions. Sometimes, there are no solutions, or the solutions are not immediate, which makes me worry even more. Just writing down what weighs on my mind helps.

The act of writing moves these things out of my head, where they take up space in my subconscious, and makes them tangible and coherent. These lists are a part of my self-care routine—a routine I adopted when I suffered from a particularly nasty bout of depression in college. I use this ritual today, and I do other things too: I eat three meals every day; I get enough sleep at night; I read to relax; I take my medications; I clean my room; I listen to music or to podcasts; I call my friends; I sleep some more.

Here’s another list: four authors who write about their experiences with anxiety, its roots and its bedfellows.

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