Even since I can remember I’ve been a bookworm. I’ve always been the one in our family with my nose in a book. However for some years I kind of lost my reading mojo in favour of hours of mindless scrolling and binge TV watching.
Last year I started to make a real effort to read more, which started well but did slow towards the end of the year. This year, again, I’m trying to continue my reading efforts, and broaden my horizons. With one very important reason behind my decision.
I realised towards the end of the year that reading was part of my own self-care regime, and a really big part of it. I think it really hit me when an old man on my bus stopped to talk to me on his way off the bus to say “you’re never alone with a book”. And he was right. That’s why I find books so important for my personal mental health and wellbeing.
I love nothing more than curling up with a blanket, a giant cup of tea and a good book.
I’m personally a big fan fantasy type novels such as Harry Potter (duh!), and His Dark Materials, but also crime fiction. Both of which are filled with interesting characters, usually completely different from my own life.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, or stressed, or anxious, for me, nothing beats delving into a completely different world, and living vicariously through fictional characters. When I do resurface I always feel more relaxed and have a better, fresher perspective on whatever was bothering me before.
Of course, this isn’t for everyone. But for me, it’s been a coping method for a really long time. I read a LOT of books as a teen at the peak of being bullied in school. And slowly as my personal life, my book reading slowed.
Not to say my life is now as hard as my teen years, but the sense of escapism is really welcomed when I’ve had a tough parenting day or a stressful day at work.
So I’m making an effort to read more. To care of myself more.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hum-drum of daily life, and the stresses of little things, but taking that little bit of time to myself really helps me to be a better mother and wife, and well person in general!
What’s your favourite self-care therapy?