Self care is something that I am struggling a lot with recently. It just seems that every little thing is getting to me and rather than taking some time out to relax and forget about it I am letting it stew away and I know that for my sanity I cannot continue this way.
I wrote a post aaaaggggges ago about my top tips for self care where I mentioned that I was going to start reading a book for 1 hour each day.
I am ashamed to admit that I have failed at this task … mainly due to moving house and recent health issues and yet again not making enough time for myself!
However as this is National Self Care Week 2017 I have started looking again at ways to implement some self care in my life and this has brought me back to the benefits of reading.
I came across this brilliant article on The Amazing Benefits of Reading and freelance writer Jane Sandwood has very kindly written this feature for Sparkles at Midnight on reading for relaxation and self care.
♥ Is Reading the Best Way to Relax?
In this chaotic world, it can be challenging to find time to deeply relax. Even though it may be tempting to continue on at the rapid speed of life, the body desperately needs moments to unwind. Taking time to heal and restore the body is sometimes the best course of action when it comes to overall health and wellness. However, if you find it challenging to unwind, it is important to develop effective ways for you to take meaningful time for yourself.
Research has found that one of the most beneficial and stress-relieving activities that you can participate in is reading. Not only is reading an enjoyable hobby, but it also carries some major wellness benefits. If you are looking for the best way to relax, explore three of the most significant benefits of regular reading.
♥ Proven to decrease stress and improve sleep
Among the most impressive benefits of reading is its scientifically-backed ability to reduce stress levels. One study at the University of Sussex discovered that “[research] subjects only needed to read for six minutes to slow down their heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.” What is so significant about this discovery is that it showed that reading helps people relax quicker than any other studied activity. Regular stress management has been shown to promote overall health and well-being. Additionally, reading before bedtime has also been shown to improve the quality of an individual’s sleep.
♥ Boosts confidence and self-esteem
In addition to its direct impact on relaxation, reading carries other benefits that can promote long-term relaxation. Regular, enjoyable reading has been shown to boost confidence and self-esteem. These results are achieved in just 30 minutes of reading per week. In general, those who are confident and who possess high self-esteem are naturally more relaxed in their everyday lives. They are not plagued with constant worry about their appearance or performance. Therefore, reading regularly can indirectly help an individual become more relaxed.
♥ Improves cognitive abilities
Finally, research has shown that reading has immense benefits for the brain. Not only does reading activate your brain, but it also has the power to improve your memory, concentration, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. A properly functioning brain has the best chance of being able to cope with the chaos and uncertainties of life, and to maintain a sense of calm and relaxation in stressful moments.
♥ Using reading as a natural way to relax
With every new study that is released, reading is constantly shown to be one of the best natural ways to relax. It is able to reduce physical stress symptoms, improve your sleep quality, boost self-esteem, and improve overall cognitive abilities. Take advantage of these benefits every day by making time to curl up and read one of your favourite books.
I would like to say a big thank you again to Jane for putting this article together for me. I know that it has made me think a little bit more getting started on that pile of books I have on my book self that I keep picking up from charity shops!
Do you make enough time for self care in your life?
I hope that this post has inspired you to take some time out for yourself each week and maybe curl up with a good book … or two!