The New York Times

Help Desk

DEALING WITH ANXIETY, MENTAL ILLNESS AND GRIEF.

How did I know my anxiety had gotten the better of me? When I found myself taking meticulous notes on a forthcoming book by Erica Feldmann called HAUSMAGICK: Transform Your Home With Witchcraft (HarperOne, $25.99, available in March). The year 2018 hadn’t been so great, what with the death of a husband and, possibly, a republic. Maybe 2019 would be better if I bought certain purifying elements for my home. The right crystals, sage sticks and — salt? Apparently, you can sprinkle salt around the house after a person with “toxic energy” visits. Attention future dates: If you see me reaching for the shaker as you’re leaving, you know things haven’t gone well.

If my nerves are frayed, I take cold comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Whether it’s our political situation, the jangling distractions of everyday life or argued that anxiety stemmed from the “dizziness of freedom,” the paralysis that comes from infinite choice and possibility. That was in 1844. Imagine what he would have thought about today.

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min readPsychology
Your Past is Not Your Future: Overcoming Time Management Regret
Time management regret is a jail cell with an open door. Your positive actions are what may grant you an opportunity to walk free.
The New York Times6 min read
By the Book: Ruth Reichl
The food writer and author, most recently, of the memoir “Save Me the Plums” was 10 when she read Henry Miller. “If it’s over her head, she simply won’t understand it,” her mother said.
The New York Times5 min read
5 People Who Can Help You Love Your Body
Learning to love your body — whatever shape or size you may be — is easier said than done, but these people are out to teach all of us that there’s no time like the present to fall in love with who you see in the mirror.