Books to Beat the Winter Blues (+ a giveaway)
It’s the edge of winter here in the pacific northwest, and in Portland that means wet, gray days that are chilly but not frigid, damp but not stormy. On these many gray days, I know how easily sadness can sneak up and creep in, so we’re giving away books, of course!
This time of year makes me think a lot about Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the careful line a person suffering from mental illness often has to tread to stay above it. SAD can mean a lot of different things to different people, but so often this time of year makes people feel extra blue, extra down, extra shitty; with depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and sadness all more likely to pile up on your shoulders like a miserable coat of fuck-it-alls. This is a line I often have to gently tread and have grown quite familiar with.
Wherever you are, we want to help you get through that shit. One way is with our March mental health books:
This is Your Brain on Anxiety shows you exactly what’s going on in your head when anxiety comes barrelling through, with down-to-earth breakdowns of the science behind it and practical tips to getting through it. Written in her signature style of swears, wit, and pop culture references, Dr. Faith gives you the tools to deal with, and perhaps even get over, your anxiety on your own terms.
How Not To Kill Yourself wants to keep you away from the spiraling hole of suicidal thoughts and get you back into the world, with tips, tricks, and pep talks to remind you that it’s worth it to keep getting up in the morning. With an introduction by Dr Faith, this survival guide is for anyone dealing with intense depression or suicidal ideation.
If you haven’t heard about these yet, here’s a few clips:
“The interesting thing here about anxiety as a stress response? The good thing? Anxiety means the body is still fighting back. This is fundamentally different from depression, which is essentially a wired response of learned helplessness.
Anxiety symptoms are active coping skills in the face of threat. The problem is only when the brain has decided that most everything is a threat.”
“Name That Bastard. Give your anxiety an actual persona to inhabit. Name it after a heinous ex, a shitty grade school teacher, or Kim Jong-un. Create a whole character for your anxiety. Anxiety feels so nebulous that giving yourself someone to battle really helps. Then you can have convos with Donald Trump’s Epic Hair Swirl (or whomever, but personally I think all panic attacks should be named after that hair) whenever it comes calling. You can focus on that entity the way you would an actual person that was threatening you in a real-world situation. You can negotiate, you can yell back, you can lock it in a box. Whatever works.”
–This Is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps, by Dr. Faith G. Harper, PhD…
“Depression is a swamp because it subtly evolves, it changes. It’s a delicately balanced ecosystem, where every little thing affects something else. Crowding trees and vines and darkness obscure what else might be out there. It seems endless, but it’s not. It seems abjectly awful, but it isn’t. There’s life in a swamp. There’s hope. It’s small and it’s wild, and it’s as apt to run away from you as it is to approach you, but it’s there. It’s real.”
“Don’t let the world win.
Don’t let it keep robbing great people and dumping them in the bin of history.
We can put a stop to it. We can be the first to say NO!—or better yet, FUCK OFF!
Stand tall, stand straight, and tell the world where to go. This is one soul it’s not going to crush. You are stronger than that. You can FIGHT BACK.”
–How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists, by Set Sytes & Dr. Faith Harper
To celebrate these rad books being officially released next month, I’m giving away 10 packs of How Now To Kill Yourself and This is Your Brain on Anxiety: two books that take common problems and gives you as much advice as possible to kick that shit to the curb!
AND (because it’s our fricking 22nd birthday, y’all!) I’ll be adding one random Microcosm backlist title on health, wellness, DIY or taking care of yourself to each bundle (possibilities listed below). I’m calling these Anti-SAD Packs, because we hope they help get you through the heavy winter season. Enter below, or check out the books webpages by clicking any images in this post.