THE BEST BOOKS TO PICK UP RIGHT NOW
When you read the news, it might seem like none of the problems plaguing our country and our world have any resolution in sight. That’s why there’s no better time to pick up an exciting novel. Though the characters in any story worth reading face hardship and conflict, we can find solace knowing that by the time you get to the last page, they’ll be resolved. So, if you want to disappear into a world inhabited by relatable characters and exciting conflicts, here are a few top- selling novel recommendations. When You Need Something Other Than Netflix and the News
DEAL WITH YOUR
Coping Strategies vs. Coping Mechanisms EMOTIONS IN A HEALTHIER WAY
‘Where the Crawdad Sings’ — Delia Owens
This book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly 100 weeks, so you know it has to be good. It’s a story about the “Marsh Girl” who dwells near the fictional town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. While contemplating leaving her hermit lifestyle, she is suspected of murdering a local townsman. Much like the marshes of North Carolina, this mystery will swallow you up.
‘Little Fires Everywhere’ — Celeste Ng
What do you do when you feel anxious, sad, or stressed? Do you reach for your phone to scroll through Instagram? Do you turn to a Snickers bar for comfort? Maybe an episode of “Parks and Recreation” is your go-to form of relief. If you use any of these methods, you’re not alone. When humans face difficult situations, they often turn to coping mechanisms to numb emotions and help themselves feel better in the moment. Emotional development expert Alyssa Blask Campbell identifies many common coping mechanisms, including engaging in screen time, making to-do lists, seeking information, indulging in alcohol or cigarettes, and asserting control where possible. Coping mechanisms make you feel better in the moment, but they don’t always help process and deal with emotions in the long run.
What happens when you’re so sure of your plans, only to have them completely disrupted by something you never saw coming? That’s the crux of ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ a story about two mothers — one an ardent rule follower and the other a disruptor of the status quo — who find themselves on opposite sides of a custody battle for a Chinese-American baby. While the book will no doubt keep you glued to your seat, you can also catch the show of the same name streaming on Hulu!
‘The Guardians’ — John Grisham
If you love courtroom dramas on the screen or on the page, then you’ve probably read at least one of John Grisham’s books. This is one of his most recent, which follows Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal minister who fights to exonerate a man wrongly imprisoned for murder for two decades, but not without ruffling the feathers of some very powerful people who would like for Post’s client to stay in prison. When you’re looking for something less real than the news but also less mind numbing than Netflix, a good book might hit the sweet spot. Why not try one of these?
Coping Strategies vs. Mechanisms
Turning to coping mechanisms is a habit you may have learned as a kid. It’s understandable, and it’s okay. But instead, you want to focus on coping strategies that help you work through challenging emotions and find calm again. Coping strategies are things like breathing exercises, talk therapy, journaling, reading, and physical movement like dancing. While these may take more time to yield results than a TV program or candy bar, tapping into these strategies helps you feel better and process what you’re going through, which allows you to release whatever is causing you strife. Because the way you react when your emotions overwhelm you has an impact on the way you feel during and after that experience, it’s all the more important to understand the different coping tools at your disposal. As you learn to incorporate coping strategies into your life and call on them when you’re dealing with hard emotions, give yourself grace. You can still turn to healthy coping mechanisms when you need them. The key is to also incorporate some of these strategies to help you better process whatever comes your way.
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