Chronic anxiety isn’t something to conquer or overcome. Like hair that inevitably turns frizzy when it’s rainy or the feeling you get when your alarm clock goes off and you have to drag yourself out of bed, it’s something you have to make the best of while living through it.
Cartoonist Maureen “Marzi” Wilson understands that. In her new book, Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life With Anxiety, the artist behind the popular Instagram account Introvert Doodles shares her own experiences.
Though Wilson has dealt with serious anxiety since her teen years, it’s only recently that she’s learned to differentiate the condition from her introverted ways.
“As I began to learn about introversion, I realized that it was important for me to determine which of my behaviors and traits were symptoms of anxiety and which were due to introversion,” she told HuffPost. “My goal is to embrace my introversion while working to better manage my anxiety.”
In the book, Wilson relays some of the anxiety-busting hacks she’s learned through the years:
And gives some pointers on reaching out to a friend who may be dealing with anxiety:
Mostly, Wilson reminds readers that while there are no quick fixes or cure-alls for anxiety, there are many smart ways to manage it. In her own life, she heads to weekly therapy, takes medication and practices self-care habits. While they all help to some degree, she still has anxiety.
“The best we can do is ‘kind of cope,’” she said. “That isn’t a sign of weakness; managing a chronic mental illness takes a great deal of courage. If you’re coming face-to-face with fear every day and you still keep going, give yourself credit for how hard you’re trying.”
Scroll down for more comics from the book, which you can purchase here.