Reading As Self-Care
With love still in the air, it is the perfect time to show love toward ourselves through self-care. Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness. I'll admit I've viewed it as a convenient justification to make a questionable purchase, but I'm realizing that it is more than that. This blog post will highlight reading books as a form of self-care.
Self-Care: The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.
I would like to note that I do not consider myself a reader. I struggle to find books that I am interested in reading and then I struggle to finish reading said books. However, I believe in the power of books to provide hope and inspiration. While reading, I feel like I can go out and conquer the world, typically just like the author has done. Specifically, during my 20’s, books have been able to communicate some life - changing concepts to me. I turn to books more and more as I realize that I have about 1% of the answers. Here are 3 books that have improved my well-being and happiness:
Radiant Health Magazine (Fun):
There is no pressure when it comes to magazines, they are purely fun! Last month, I picked up a magazine from the bookstore called, Radiant Health. Their mission is to inspire and equip the Black woman to live a heathy, happy and meaningful life. It’s the most beautiful and well-done magazine I’ve ever owned. Their 16th issue, titled “The Self-Care Issue,” was the inspiration for this post. I read a very thoughtful article about, "Home as Self-Care." Clarissa Bannor described how your home is a refuge, a place of restoration. It got me thinking about what habits I could cultivate that are practical and also just for me.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (Focus):
This book comes highly recommended and for good reason. It is a great book to read when designing what you want your life to look and feel like. One of my biggest takeaways from is that “The Way We See the Problem Is the Problem.” In the beginning of the book, the author tells a story about when his son was not doing well at baseball. He and his wife did all that they could to encourage the son in the sport and help, but nothing was working. Then they realized that they had the inherent belief that their son was behind and wanted him to be good at baseball so it would make them look good as parents. When they were able to appreciate their son for who he was and let him go at his own pace, the son flourished.
"We can’t solve our problems with the same mindset we used to create them." – Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein said, "We can’t solve our problems with the same mindset we used to create them." This story has helped me to see that just because I perceive something to be a problem, doesn’t make it a problem and when I face an issue, I may need to rethink all the circumstances around it to find the solution. For example, in my 20’s I’ve been frustrated that I don't think I'll be able to live comfortably near any major city. The combined financial strain and mental strain is not something that I'd be able to handle. I wrestled with many solutions to this before asking who said it was necessary for me to live near a city anyways? I just need a place in which there are people that I love and that love me.
The Bible (Faith):
Finally, The Bible has taught me about love and acceptance. This book of books documents God’s deep love and kindness towards us. It is a major boost to my well-being that the God of the universe is concerned for me and is with me through my highs and lows. In addition to being with me and providing rest, he shows me how to live a life worth living through the example of Jesus. A life that reflects love.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
Reading as self-care is a new idea for me and I am excited to increase this practice. I hope to share more lessons I learn as I read with the intention of increasing of my well-being and happiness. Would you practice reading as self-care? What books would you read?
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I hope that you have a week filled with faith, focus and fun!