We are constantly instilling the importance of reading to the youth of today and yet every decade fewer and fewer adults are reading for pleasure. Given that regular reading can boost mental stimulation, reduce stress, improve memory, focus and writing skills it feels like a habit we could all benefit from.
However nowadays reading a book seems to come hand in hand with lying on a beach during a once-a-year sun soaked getaway or as you’re submerged in a rare and indulgent bubble bath, so how did our love of literature become ‘a treat’ and how can we change that?
Make the most of your commute
If you commute by train or bus it can be tempting to use that time to get a head start on work emails or take a nap. For one week try putting away your phone, computer or sleep inducing music and pick up a good book instead. You may find you don’t want to go back to your old ways.
Read something you enjoy
Reading to learn is commendable but you shouldn’t just read to educate yourself especially if a little bit of rom com makes you relax and smile. Perhaps sci-fi is your cup of tea or murder mysteries float your boat. Whatever it is don’t be embarrassed to read something that makes you happy and frees your mind from the daily grind too.
Pick Up a Book at Bedtime
Even if you don’t have a TV in the bedroom most of us are guilty of indulging in screen time before bed but this isn’t good for getting a good night’s sleep. Instead of binging on box sets grab a book and make even 10-minutes count before you shut your eyes. Not only will it help you to relax – as long as you don’t read a horror story – it can really help if you struggle to drift off.
Schedule in reading
When you make a schedule for your day reading probably doesn’t factor in and if you have a very busy routine you might even scoff at the thought of taking me-time to read a bit of Jackie Collins. But if you don’t make time, it often doesn’t happen. Just as you schedule your exercise, schedule a little reading too. There are always 10-minutes in the day even if it’s at bedtime.
Use Your Lunch Break
Just as you can use your commute, you can use your lunch break too. This doesn’t just go for office workers either. It doesn’t matter if you’re retired, a stay-at-home mum or you work from home, the chances are you take a break for lunch. Instead of wolfing down your sandwich stood up on the phone or sat at your desk on the computer, take a seat, open a book and escape for a few minutes.
Join a Reading Challenge
Book clubs are making a comeback and with it are reading challenges. If you can’t get away for a social occasion to discuss some reading material over a glass of wine then you can still find a reading challenge to get stuck into. There are so many different challenges you’re bound to find one to suit you and a little competition – even if it’s just with yourself – is great for infusing a bit of oomph.