We’ve all read at least one story that pulls us in from the first page. As we read, we picture ourselves moving alongside the characters or watching them from afar. And as we enjoy the novel, time seems to fly by because we’re having fun. Likewise, getting lost in a story helps you relax since reading is a form of self-care. Learn about self-care, the benefits of reading, and how to lose yourself in an incredible book.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is taking care of yourself; it’s making time for yourself to practice mindfulness. Additionally, self-care is about prioritizing your physical health by keeping hydrated, sleeping enough, and nourishing your body. This type of care also benefits your mental health since our physical and mental well-being relate to one another. Taking care of yourself is vital because it keeps your body flourishing, reduces stress, and energizes you.
Reading Is Self-Care
Enjoying a book is a wonderful form of self-care that doubles as a mindfulness activity. Reading allows us to escape a fast-paced life and instead imagine we’re in another land. Additionally, reading encourages us to focus on something aside from our thoughts, especially as we get wrapped up in the plot.
Benefits of Losing Yourself When Reading
Taking care of yourself and prioritizing mental health is crucial to making each day great. Some benefits of losing yourself in a good book include:
- Helps you decompress
- Improves sleep
- Fuels your imagination
- Encourages empathy
Each benefit targets slightly different areas of our psyche but also ties back to self-care.
It Helps You Decompress
We’ve all hit moments where our stress peaks. During these moments, it feels like our minds are firing off thoughts non-stop. In response to all the stress, our heart rates may increase, and our muscles may tense up, leaving us even more uncomfortable.
Setting aside time to read helps decrease your stress because it redirects your thoughts. You can’t focus on your worries, nor do you want to, since that would mean missing out on the story! The more engrossed you become, the more your mind and body will decompress.
It Improves Sleep
Reading is also a natural sleep aid for most of us because it forces our minds to work. You make your mind focus on an activity when you get all cozy in bed and end your night reading. Doing this rather than watching TV or scrolling on your phone helps tire your brain, thus encouraging rest. Additionally, by making reading a part of your bedtime routine, you’ll naturally get tired after doing it a few times because your brain relates the activity to sleep.
Set an alarm when you read before bed based on how long you want to read if you get so wrapped up in the plot that you lose track of time. Once your timer goes off, set your book down so you go to sleep at a reasonable time.
It Fuels our Imagination
Imagination is a gift that all of us can harness. Reading helps awaken our imaginative side and makes us more open-minded individuals. In turn, this increase in imagination benefits self-care because we have new ways of looking at situations. Instead of focusing on a stressor, we can use our creative minds to view the stress in new ways or think of solutions.
Igniting our imaginations can also spark the urge to get creative. For example, we may read a story and be inspired to draw a scene or write a song. Getting physically creative—writing, drawing, painting, dancing—is a wonderful coping mechanism for stress.
It Encourages Empathy
Stories teach us about the world around us and provide new outlooks on life. As we read, we learn ways to empathize with others and ourselves. As we invest in the story, the characters come to life, and we relate to them and maybe even the plot. We see ourselves in their challenges and want to see the characters thrive on their journey—it’s almost as if they’re a friend.
We can also apply this empathizing skill to our real lives. Imagine what you’d want to see your favorite character do to feel better when you feel stressed or upset.
How To Get Into a Book
It’s easy for some of us to lose track of time and spend hours reading. However, if you’re not an avid reader, getting lost in a story may be challenging, even though reading is a form of self-care. Stick to genres you prefer and set the tone in your home to get more into reading.
Read Your Preferred Genre
Choose from countless genres; each with a plethora of incredible stories for you to enjoy. However, as you begin getting into reading, stick with one or two genres you love so you can turn your occasional hobby into a habit. Some of the most popular genres include:
Many genres also have sub-genres that add to the plot. For instance, while there are standard fantasy novels where mysticism is the focus, there are also romantic fantasy books that have magic and a love story. Not sure what genre you’d enjoy most? Think about the types of movies and television shows you prefer, as these are visual forms of storytelling.
Once you’ve selected a genre, search for popular books within that group, then choose the one that seems most appealing based on the summary.
Set the Tone
Having a reading environment makes it easier to get cozy anytime we sit down to read. Consider sitting by a window or curling on the couch with a soft blanket. Some people even have a room in their home that they turn into their literary oasis.
Lighting the perfect candle also helps set the mood, and you can select scents according to the story. Smells such as leather and antique wood are wonderful for historical fiction, while outdoorsy aromas of pine and lavender can take you to a mystical landscape.
Buy Amazing Candles
Frostbeard handmakes and sells soy wax candles for book lovers. We’ll send you a unique, book-themed candle each month as a part of your monthly candle subscription. Make your home the perfect environment so you can get lost in every story you read!