In this challenging time, it can feel like you’re trapped—not just by stay-at-home orders, but by the relentless pace of the news, uncertainty about the future, or anxiety about health, finances, and loved ones. Now more than ever, you need to take self-care very seriously and give your mind, body, and spirit the space they require to breathe, relax, expand, and heal.
There’s an amazing tool for giving yourself exactly the break you need. It’s been around since ancient times and its power to whisk you into a different headspace—without leaving your living room—is unmatched. I am, of course, talking about the humble book. Approach your reading session as a healing ritual and you’ll be able to reap even more benefits from your favorite book, whether it’s a romantic escape, a heart-pounding thriller, a dive into self-help, or whatever else tickles your fancy.
A lot of people are feeling too scattered to focus on anything longer than 280 characters, but finding a way to let yourself sink into a great read might be just the transformation your brain needs. Here are some tips for settling in for an amazing, restorative self-care reading journey!
1. Pick a book by listening to your intuition
You probably have a stash of books that you never got around to reading. Line them up, stand in front of them, empty your mind, and see which one is calling out to you to pick up. Books have energy and they have wisdom so allow them to connect with you in that way.
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If you’ve already worked through your TBR pile, or you’re just craving something new, look for signs. I always tell people to look for signs. This happens by staying open to them. It might be as simple as a book that you keep hearing about, a quote that resonates with you, or a classic author who is referenced in a show you’re watching, and then in an article, and then in a conversation…
So when an author or book keeps nudging into your consciousness, go online and take a look at the cover. Give it some of your attention and then you can even ask the book, are you the right next read for me? You can go further than that and ask, are you asking me to read you sometime in the future or am I meant to share you with someone in my life who needs your words?
I also love asking my community for recommendations. If you get the same recommendation a few times, then it’s probably speaking to you!
2. Clear your mental space before reading
I recommend making a to-do list so you can clear your head of any “to-do’s.” Trust yourself to handle your list after your much-deserved break, and know you are safe to really rest for a while and get absorbed in the read.
This break is a gift to yourself, so give yourself over to the replenishing energy. If you’re worried or have other things on your plate for the day, you can also set an alarm so you can fully dive into the book knowing that in an hour (or however long) you’ll be back up and more rejuvenated than before. Even if you end up taking a short nap—which is very normal because you are finally relaxing—you’ll get back to your day when the alarm goes off.
3. Clear your physical space before reading
Clearing your physical space and clean up a little bit so that your mind doesn’t get distracted with what else you need to do or clean. I love the idea of preparing a little cup of tea and a snack beforehand. This is your reset time—treat yourself to something soothing and yummy.
Set up your reading space so that you can settle in for the long haul. Make sure you prop yourself up with pillows if you’re in bed. Maybe open the windows to get some air. You can do a home detox ritual which includes burning sage or lighting a candle to clear the home’s energy. Whatever and however you decide to cozy up with your book, let it restore and replenish you in all the best ways!
Featured image: @JulieK via Twenty20