Mental health is just as important as physical health, though it is more common to find people exercising their bodies instead of their minds. Keeping up with your mentality can make so much of a difference in your outlook on life. No matter how you prefer to take care of yourself, it is a good habit to get into. Some people prefer heading to the spa, while others enjoy taking walks to practice self-care. A simple and overall beneficial method of taking care of yourself is getting lost in a good book. Reading fiction in particular acts as a spectacular form of self-care for so many people because of how intriguing it can be.
You can learn so much from a good book while also taking time for yourself to unwind and read something you love. Find yourself a work of fiction that you love to experience the following benefits that contribute to your self-care.
You Can “Travel” Somewhere New
Especially in difficult times when you may be unable to leave home, we tend to feel more inclined to travel. If physical travel is not possible, you can read a work of fiction that takes you somewhere exciting. If you are stuck in your home, you can feel like you are in a totally different world through a book that inspires your creative side. Think of a series like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. You can travel to the fantastical world of Narnia that you will never have the chance to experience in the physical world. Being able to explore somewhere unique offers a brief escape from the real world, which might be a little challenging at times. Even a horror work of fiction like The Shining by Stephen King can transplant you into a more realistic setting that you might never see. A snowed-in hotel in Colorado with haunted characters lurking the halls might be so much more interesting than the four walls of your own home!
Taking the time to read fiction can take your mind off of what might be happening in your life. You can learn so much about real places or explore imaginary territory to escape your own stressful reality in a work of fiction that interests you.
Reading Helps You Learn
Books have always been around as a resource for learning new material. Even works of fiction contain grains of truth that readers can learn from to help their minds grow. Oftentimes, authors are inspired by what they know and have experienced in their own lives. That leaves room for truthful information about different cultures or lifestyles. In fiction, you can be fully immersed in an environment that is totally unlike your own to expand your knowledge and keep your mind engaged. Learning about other cultures is a great way to take care of yourself since you can only benefit from gaining new insights.
Reading is also the perfect way to expand your vocabulary. Since the mind needs to keep learning, you will feel smarter and have a better mental state. There are so many genres of fiction to learn about, too. You can try something new, like a graphic novel, to explore new styles you might love.
Neil Gaiman’s works, like Violent Cases, can spark interest in graphic novels as well as help you explore his intriguing narratives through his unique words. CoolThingsChicago has a useful guide to his work for those looking to enjoy his writing.
If you want to engage your mind and learn all you can about the world, reading fiction is a great way to do that.
You Can Take Time for Yourself
For many people, reading means quiet time. Even in a house full of family and noise, you can take the time to drift into your book in peace and quiet. For the most suitable environment, you can read with the whole family for some time without too much noise from anyone. Everyone can find a book they love to enjoy some time to themselves.
You can even hide out in your favorite quiet place to catch up on the book you are reading without any distractions. Taking time for yourself is important for mental health and self-care, and reading fiction is a great excuse to take a break.
Get Away from the Screens
You might say that books are the original iPads. They used to be a source of entertainment and information before wireless connectivity was even a thought. You can now use books to take a break from the screens that we spend so much of our days in front of. Without a doubt, your eyes need a break from the backlights on the devices you love.
Getting away from the screen will keep you from reading too much negative information on social media and other news sources that could bring you down. Taking a break from the screen is a great practice for maintaining self-care.
There are, however, some electronic devices that can provide you with the texts you love in their digital libraries. With these, no matter where you are, you can get any book that sparks your interest.
Getting away from social media and the news during challenging times is great for self-care. Force yourself to log off with a fiction text that makes you never want to stop reading.
It Helps You Relax
If you are stressed, worried, or feeling anything negative, it can be very difficult to relax without some help.
Books are a great tool to inspire relaxation. When you read, you will likely sit in a place that makes you feel comfortable, which promotes relaxation.
Snuggle up on the couch, lay in the hammock, or lounge in your favorite window seat to unwind and get lost in a great work of fiction.
The book itself will distract you from the negative thoughts while the physical comfort will relax your entire body.
Taking care of yourself, especially in times of difficulty or trauma, is of utmost importance. You can manage your mental health by getting lost in the perfect work of fiction that will relax you and teach you something new with every page.