For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed reading. As a kid and teen, you’d almost always find me with a book nearby. At some point in my adult years, though, I stopped reading for pleasure.
I think it started when I was going to college, and I was up to my eyeballs in studying and homework.
Then, once I was working in my former career as a court reporter, proofreading was part of my job, so the last thing I wanted to do was to keep reading when I was off the clock.
After my kids were born, I’d read to them all the time. I remember there were months when I’d read the Harry Potter series out loud to my kids every day – some days for 4 hours at a time. I loved those books, which helped me continue to read to the kids even when my vocal cords were toast.
As my career as a yoga teacher took off, all of my extra time and energy went into growing my various associated businesses. From anatomy to yoga philosophy, business to social media strategies, my reading was more utilitarian than a means of escape.
But when the pandemic first hit, and we were all in that initial stage of lockdown limbo, I began to read for pleasure once again. And now I frequently have two books going at the same time (one I read in the morning, which is usually self-help or business, and the other is more fluffy, lighter reading before bed). Last year alone I read 14 books, which might honestly be a lifetime record for me! I’m hooked.
There are so many benefits to reading. It improves your vocabulary and strengthens your writing abilities. It reduces stress and helps you relax (unless it’s a scary story, in which case keep that to the mornings!), enhances your knowledge base, and increases your imagination and creativity.
Reading improves your memory, concentration, and brain connectivity, lowers your BP, and helps you settle in before bed (again, unless it’s a scary book and then yipes!). It also helps fight depression, prevents cognitive decline as you get older, and is motivational.
With all of these benefits – and with the ability to order any book on the planet via the internet – what’s stopping you from grabbing a good book today? As part of your self-care practice, let reading be higher up on your to-do list. Settle in with a cup of tea, snuggle under a comfy blanket, and enjoy faraway lands and new faces on each page.