As you may have seen from recent posts of mine, things have been a bit weird for me. I’ve been going through some things and I know I’ll be through them soon enough. And fortunately, some of these issues have already started to resolve themselves and things are feeling a bit more normal again. It’s still not totally normal, but it’s so much better than it was just a week ago.
Whenever things are weird for me, I do try to find the moments of normal where I can. I’ve learned in therapy regarding my panic attacks that you focus on what is in front of you and real and hold on to that to get over the panic. And when things are weird, I find the normal things and hold on to those. This time of weirdness seemed like it was endless and I couldn’t find much to hold on to, but I was able to connect more than ever with reading and used that to work through things.
I’ve always been a big reader and I am always reading something. For longer than I would like to admit, I bought a ton of books. Even when I got my first e-reader I bought a lot of e-books since they were pretty inexpensive and way too easy to purchase. When I got my Kindle, I was in the same bad habit with buying books since it’s so simple. But when I got more serious about my financial situation, I realized book spending was the one I needed to cut back on and that’s when I got a new library card so I could take advantage of the library again.
I rarely go to the library near me to get physical books because I do love to read on my Kindle. I still love reading physical books, but my Kindle is really convenient and easy. And I don’t feel like it’s looking at a computer screen since it is a reading only Kindle and not the tablet type (like my iPad is). And the library e-book selection really is great and they have been good at getting the books I recommend. So even if the books I’m looking for are a part of their collection when I’m looking for it that moment, more often than not they will purchase it and then I can get the e-book.
I also love how it’s so easy to get a Kindle book from the library. If I’m in bed and finish a book I can just go to the library website to find a new book and have it sent to my Kindle instantaneously. We live in a world of instant gratification and this is one of the best examples of it. I have gotten close to the borrowing limits from the library, but I haven’t gone over just yet. I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before that happens though.
It’s not always easy for me to find new books to read, but I do look at Kindle recommendations (I just don’t purchase the books) and there are a few different websites that share when new books are released or can recommend books based on other books you’ve liked. Lately I’ve discovered a few new book series that have been fun to read and I’ve been flying through them.
While things have been weird, I have done a ton of reading. It wasn’t just that I was loving what I was reading (although that is a part of it) but it really was just helping me feel centered and away from any issues I had been dealing with. It was my life-preserver for that moment and I think that reading is a pretty healthy one to have compared to what other people might turn to in moments of weirdness. It also helps that right now is the slow time at my work so I have been able to spend a lot of time during my work hours reading as well.
There have only been a few brief times where I wasn’t as big of a reader as I am now. My entire childhood was surrounded by books. So many life moments are remembered by what books I was reading at that time. In college I still read, but it wasn’t something I did every day and I think that had to do with how much reading I had to do in college. But in my last semester of college my class load was pretty much only 1 day a week so I had lots of free time and got back into reading. And since then my love of reading has only gotten stronger and stronger.
But now, I feel like my reading obsession is the strongest it’s ever been. I’ve found a new love for reading beyond just the act of reading. It helped me feel sane when I know that things could have been worse for me. It is my greatest act of self-care and I don’t know if I really considered reading self-care the way I do now. I’ve always considered it a habit that makes me happy and have it on my happiness checklist, but that feels like something different to me. I’ve never considered how good for my mental health reading could be and I’m so glad that I had it to turn to when I was struggling recently.