From a young age, reading has been something that has really helped me with my mental health. Not only is reading a relaxing activity, but to me, it’s so much more than that. When I was really struggling with my mental health and I really just couldn’t deal, reading was my escape.
I would get lost in novels and immerse myself in the stories to escape my own reality. It was easier to put myself in someone else’s shoes in a fictional world than it was to deal with my own issues. Even if I was reading stories that were filled with drama, twists, and turns, it was still better than dealing with those things in my own life.
I did a lot of reading when I was younger. I had a kindle fire tablet that I used to read. It was great because I could just download books for free without having to find space to store them all. I would carry it around with me and do my chores while reading my book. It was also great being able to read in the dark in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep.
Aside from reading being an escape, it was also a way for me to see that I wasn’t alone in a lot of the things I was feeling. A lot of books I read were written from the first-person point of view (the person is telling their own story from their perspective) so you really get an insight into their thoughts and feelings as well as things they’re struggling with. It was nice to be able to connect and relate with the characters in my books, even if they weren’t real.
I’ve been having a really hard time mentally lately, just generally having a pretty rough go. I’ve started to read again and it has been the escape that I so desperately needed. Sitting down in a cozy spot with a good book is just such a nice mental reset for me. I love getting lost in my books and forgetting what’s been bothering me, even if it’s only temporary. I also just love having reading to look forward to.
It wasn’t easy for me to get started reading again. I kept making all of these excuses saying I can’t read, I need to do this or I need to do that. The thing is, I was really ignoring my needs and I was not practicing any kind of self-care. In fact, I haven’t really been doing anything for myself lately and it’s part of the reason why my mental health has crumbled. That’s why I made the time to read because I desperately needed it and I deserve to do things I enjoy that aren’t related to work or caring for others.