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Lucy Turns Pages: Is reading really effective at improving your mental health?

Is reading really effective at improving your mental health?

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Hi everyone! So I wanted to do a quick post on reading as a strategy to deal with anxiety and low mood. I like to talk about mental health on my blog and Twitter and I'd be really interested to hear your own experience with reading and anything you find particularly helpful for your mental health.

Reading was  something I struggled with. I remember when I was a child, I was reading a fantasy book and my teacher told me it wasn't appropriate and an adult picked out a classic for me to read instead. I absolutely hated it and this put me off reading for a very long time. I didn't start to get back into reading until I was a teenager and all of my friends were reading but I still found it extremely difficult to concentrate on a book and didn't read much. For years I felt like I was behind on all of these books and I'd missed out on a lot of good books that everyone else had experienced at the right age. Side note but this is why I am a huge advocate for letting children read what they want to and for helping children to read freely.

It took me time to be able to focus on a book and really enjoy reading many pages in one go. I kept trying and eventually got to the point where I could do so. I still have problems picking up a book because of my mental health. It is much easier to stay in your thoughts and scroll than to make yourself focus on something that consumes your mind. BUT I know from experience that once I start reading it, I feel really really good. It distracts my mind and makes me feel more content and even afterwards I keep thinking about the book. So I try to get myself to read, even though it feels very difficult.

I recently noticed that when I sat down (after a lot of procrastination) and just kept reading, even with breaks and having a goal of how many pages I wanted to read: when I hit that goal and I'd read quite a bit for the day, I felt in such a good mood! My anxiety and lack of motivation had calmed, I kept thinking about the story and I felt really positive. I cannot exaggerate enough how good this made me feel. So, I'm going to keep getting myself to read, even though I really don't feel like it beforehand or I'm tired or don't feel too well. I am going to remind myself of how good I felt. I might set goals too and keep trying to read a lot each day if possible and see how my mood and mental health are. 

Do you feel like this before and after reading? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you to my Ko-Fi members!~

Josh de Lioncourt- check out his fantasy books!
Charles Edward Williams- check out his Roman fiction book
D. M. Wright- check out his horror comedy books
Kenneth Lumpkin- check out his poetry books
Cherron Riser- check out her romance and paranormal romance books
Kimberly Greer- check out her romance book
Jill Horton- check out her children's book
Quinn de Barra- check out their supernatural horror book and follow them on Twitter
Dorian J. Sinnott- check out his horror books and short story and poetry collections
R. G. Roberts- check out her sci-fi books and fantasy Kindle Vella
Rachael DK- check out her memoir and poetry book
MJ Hutto- check out her fantasy books
Tim Ruel- check out his sci-fi book and author website
Erik S. Meyers- check out his historical fiction book and author website
Melissa Stone- check out her YA urban fantasy series and adult fantasy series
Jon Herrera- check out his middlegrade fantasy series
Thomas Hansen- check out his YA sci-fi novel
Emma Jordan- check out her vampire rom-com book
Adam Gaffen- check out his author website and latest sci-fi book
Kasia Metkowski- check out her blog and serialised story
Mark Piggott- check out his fantasy book and author website
Arbor Winter Barrow- check out their YA sci-fi books and poetry book
IJC Writing- check out their blog and fantasy book
Izzy Matias- check out her YA contemporary book and one of her blog posts
Adam Peter Johnson- check out his sci-fi dystopian book
Phannie- check out her blog and follow her on Twitter
O. J. BarrĂ©- check out her fantasy books- The Awen Trilogy and The Druids of Marduk
Barry Ryerson- check out his middlegrade fantasy book
Rebecca Rose- check out her family saga book 1 and book 2
Mellie Miller- paranormal romance writer, check out her author page and website
Maria Blackrane- follow her on Twitter for updates on her upcoming dark adult fantasy
Sara R. Cleveland- check out her fantasy romance books
Steven Neil- check out his historical fiction book
Casey Bell- check out his books: A Family of Strangers and 4Score
Alan K. Dell- check out his sci-fi books: From the Grave of the Gods and The Re-Emergence
Kyt Wright- check out his author page and website
Denise O. Eaton- check out her fantasy books website and book 1 in her fantasy series
Tea Spangsberg- check out their fantasy book and author website
Harrison Murphy- check out his thriller book and follow him on Twitter 
Ellie Yarde- check out her romance book and book blog
Candice Zee- check out her YA fantasy book and website
Richard Holeman- check out his horror book and website
Pumpernickel House Publishing- check out their website and journal issue 1
Katherine Macdonald- check out her Hades and Persephone retelling and author website

1 comment:

  1. Reading is a big part of self-care for my mental health. It's one of the few activities that allows me to 'shut my mind off' for a moment and let go of what's going on in life. Instead, I'm just present in that moment, enjoying the story that's being told.