Tips On Avoiding Stress -And BPL Books Available to Help


Jo Bridges, a VISTA volunteer at Central Library, shares information on how to reduce stress.  

By Jo Bridges|VISTA Volunteer in Central Library Arts, Literature & Sports Department 

 Hey y’all! My name is Jo Bridges, and I’m an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with Central BPL for a few months while awaiting admission for grad school.

It feels surreal to be back in my hometown and down the hill from my alma mater, Ramsay High School. It overall is an honor to return and learn more about the streets I once used to roam after leaving Auburn University with my B.A. degree in Communication.

Sure enough while I was away, I had to learn – and experiment – more about who I am and what I want to make the most out of life all without the constant and ever-knowing parental watch I’m sure we all experienced as minors. Being out there in “the real world” (meaning outside your physical, emotional, parental watch, etc. bubble or comfort zone) as an adult was challenging, exciting, and sometimes stressful.

Even though I’m home, stress still overcomes me from time to time. I often feel like I’m in a stuck and sometimes digging myself deeper with panic attacks. Why am I feeling this way?

I’ve gone through this plenty of times before. Am I on the right track? Why do I feel out of place? 

The main things that have helped me so far are:

1) Acknowledging that I’m not feeling like my normal self

2) Recognizing that there is nothing wrong with finding a counselor to receive additional help if necessary. 

3) Before seeking suitable help from a counselor, reading some helpful stress-reducing books that have enabled me to start feeling better about myself as I take this journey to get back on track. 

If you have ever felt or experienced any anxiety (or displacement), the Birmingham Public Library has a variety of books to help anyone with self-motivation, stress reduction, and self-help. 

Here is a short list of stress reduction library books presently located throughout the with BPL system and Jefferson County Library Cooperative"

2. Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees 

3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris 

4. You Can Do It! by L. C. Grandcolas (link to, not on JCLC)

5. The Art of Being Free by James Poulos

 7. Awkward by K. Saint (could find no links to the book)

 10. Be Your Own Therapist by Thayer Whit