Reading can be an excellent (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life, which significantly improves your mental health. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from many daily stressors. Reading is capable of relaxing your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. Reading works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee. Reading takes your mind into a literary world free from the stressors that plague your daily life. Get started by setting aside 30 minutes to read every day in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
Last year, I achieved my reading goals by reading 50 non-fictional novels. The focus this year is different and I’m excited about it. Here are some ways that helped me achieved my reading goals last year:
SCHEDULE READING TIME
I had to make the time by scheduling it, which is enormous. Reading early in the morning is usually ideal for me because I typically wake up before everyone in my house and can read uninterrupted before the day gets hectic. I also like to read throughout the day and the week to dive deep into my books. Mondays are jam-packed with other commitments from family and admin work, so I will likely only have an hour after my morning run to read in the morning. Also, evenings before bedtime is another good time for me to catch up on reading. Other days like Tuesday and Sundays are a bit more flexible to get some readings during my coffee/lunch breaks.
LESS SCREEN TIME TO READ MORE
I love going to the gym at night, and that’s typically when I catch up on Netflix and streaming shows as I exercise and binge-watch. My plan for the year is to schedule my activities more. I’ve scheduled TV nights and reading nights. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are TV nights, while Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend are for reading. I’m keeping a book on my nightstand to read when I get in bed, which should help me fall asleep more soundly than when I’m on my phone.
READ MORE THAN ONE BOOK AT A TIME
I did this last year, and I read 50 books in 2022, which I plan to do again this year. I can usually read four books and listen to an audiobook without getting disoriented. Reading more than one book at once allows you to take a break from whatever title is slowing you down and instead find something that is easier and more enjoyable.
FIND COMFORT IN OLD FAVOURITE
With fewer outings and more stay home time during the Covid-19 lockdown, you might find yourself doing some old favourites like rewatching your old movies or shows. For me, reading became that old favourite. To help cultivate reading as a favourite hobby, start by skipping out on late-night scroll through social media feed and go old school way of reading a bedtime story to lull yourself to sleep. If you repeat this frequently enough, it can become a part of your nighttime routine, which you will look forward to doing.