Why reading is my favourite self-care therapy

January 28, 2018

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?

6 responses to “Why reading is my favourite self-care therapy”

  1. Danielle Eskdale says:

    All of this is a yes from me!! ha The first two paragraphs 100% describe me. As does the reading a lot during bulling etc, I think books were one of the only things that kept me from going over the edge. In 2016 I only read 4 books after having lost my mojo for a couple years, but in 2017 I read 43 and it is such an escape, mood improver (dunno if that is even a word haha), the perfect self care.Here's to many pages of happiness in 2018!Danielle xowww.underlandtowonderland.com

    • Rachel Bradford says:

      I was exactly the same. I barely read a thing in 2016, maybe a few pregnancy books but that's it, but 2017 I read about 24. I'm definitely making more effort this year to put it higher on my agenda!Thank you for commenting! x

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve really lost my reading mojo sonce I’ve been at uni but I’m trying to get back into it and I’ve been listening to audiobooks while working on pieces of art recently which is ao much more full filling than tv! Do you have any book recommendations? Harry Potter is my life and His Dark Materials are epic (Northern Lights is my current audiobook) but I’m not sure what to move onto next! Also have you read The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman yet, I’m half way through and loving it!!

    • Rachel Bradford says:

      My husband loves audiobooks! It's the only reason he knows how different HP is in the books and movies!! I want to try the Divergent series this year as it's a similiar style as HP and his Dark Materials, as well as City of Bones. I haven't yet got to The Book of Dust but it is DEFINITELY on my reading list for this year – once I've finished the original three that is!! Thank you for commenting xx

  3. Mel Burt says:

    I used to read every day as a kid and had so many books I could've built a pretty decent fort out of them but that all changed when I went to high school. Having to dissect every single bit of text or book I read made me lose my love of reading. It was no longer about reading for fun, it was now solely for academic purposes and it really ruined my enjoyment of my once favourite hobby. Like you, I tried to get back into reading last year and I really excelled at the beginning of the year and slowed down dramatically towards the end. I'm determined to pick up the pace but it's now February and I still haven't finished a book. I'm reading 2 books at the moment so I'm hoping they'll inspire me to make a dent in my "to be read" pile. Raise The Waves

  4. Charlotte Hobbs says:

    How sweet is that old man and such a good quote too. I agree, I always try to carry a book in my bag in case I get some spare time, especially in an era where we are all glued to our phones. It is like stepping in to another world and I think it's sad when children don't really read much anymore because that was my entire childhood. Another self care therapy for me is journalling every night before bed, even if all I say is how I feel or something that made me smile, just helps me reflect! This was such a lovely post to read xxmy20staughtme.wordpress.com

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