I don’t know about y’all, but I have zero chill left right now and I would really like some of it back. So I researched how to de-stress and put together many possibilities for seeking out lost chill and returning myself to a state of . . . well, something like inner peace.
The How of Happiness identifies what happiness is and what happiness is not and gives us strategies for improving the happiness in our lives.
(Full disclosure, Sarah Knight also has written for Book Riot but did not in any way ask me to include her book on this list. She also has a relevant list of irreverent self-help books that you might want to slide on over and check out here.)
As a long-time member of The Church of Not Giving A Single Fuck, I can tell you that it does wonders for your outlook when you cut the unnecessary bullshit out of your life.
Let’s make 2017 bullshit free wait, that’s not possible, um, let’s make 2017 have as little personal bullshit as possible. The courage to change the bullshit that we can change, etc.
I’m not Buddhist (or religious at all, for that matter), but I’ve personally found the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh practical and helpful in my own life. Meditation is recommended by medical professionals as a way to relieve stress and regain that precious chill.
4. Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith
5. 642 Things To Write About from The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto
6. Drawing Is Magic: Discovering Yourself in a Sketchbook by John Hendrix
Also recommended to bust stress? Journaling. These books will help you get started. (Journaling can totally be like 90% sketching, btw, if you want it to be.)
Shit To Help You Relax:
7. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a Literary Twist by Tim Federle
I mean. It wouldn’t hurt to have liquor around just in case all this other stuff doesn’t work. Or even if it does work; tequila is yummy.
8. Cats: A Portrait In Pictures and Words by Charlotte Fraser
What’s more relaxing than looking at cats? Basically nothing.
9. Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigan
Per the review at Jezebel: “never daunting, and filled with near-pornographic images of hearty, meaty, cheesy food that would make Gwyneth Paltrow explode.” I’ll wait while you buy this.
10. The Tea Book: All Things Tea by Nick Kilby and Louise Cheadle
Tea supposedly has compounds in it that help you relax. Even if not, the ritual of tea-making and the having of a hot beverage is super soothing. I declare 2017 the Year of Tea.
11. Pure Soapmaking: How to Create Nourishing, Natural Skin Care Soaps by Anne-Marie Faiola
First: soap-making is actually not hard and it’s fun. Second: kill two birds with one stone by making yourself some bath goodies and then kick everyone out of the bathroom and have a spa day.
12. Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop by Nick Offerman
You know and love him as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, but Nick Offerman is also a wood-building badass in his own right. This book has both humor and actual helpful woodworking tips.
13. Pen To Thread: 750+ Hand-Drawn Embroidery Designs to Inspire Your Stitches! by Sarah Watson
Embroidery is super fun and inexpensive to start. Decorate everything you own and then some with so many embroidery designs that you could do two a day for the whole year.
14. Illustration School: Let’s Draw Happy People by Sachiko Umoto
16. Feminist Activity Book by Gemma Correll
I think 15 and 16 are both self-explanatory. And awesome.
If you’re not well on your way to getting your chill back after this list, then I don’t know if it’s ever coming back. …No wait, please don’t cry, I didn’t mean it–*sweats profusely* maybe you guys have some alternatives you’d like to list in the comments in case these don’t work?