A memory popped up on Facebook from five years ago:
Why do professionals discount reading as a way of relaxing and unwinding? Lately I’ve been asked a few times what I do to relax before bed. I tell them I read, and they told me to use apps for meditation!
This was a result of two professionals, one was a mental health professional, telling me that curling up with a book wasn’t a way to relax! They gave me a list of other things, including meditation apps. Meditation has never worked for me as a way of relaxing, or for anything else.
A few days ago, I saw a post on Instagram talking about how many relaxation strategies don’t work for people with ADHD, as their brains are wired differently. I commented that I’m often told that I’m doing relaxation ‘wrong’ as the strategies suggested simply make me feel more stressed as, try as I might, they simply don’t work for me!
Reading is one of the best ways I have to relax, although a lot depends on the book I’m reading. It has to be a book that I’m enjoying. If I’m pushing to get through the book (this could be for so many reasons), then it’s not relaxing.
I have also found that listening to an audiobook helps me relax on long drives.
For me, the key to relaxing with a book is the story, and this can vary depending on what else is happening in life. It can even be that one book will be relaxing on one day, but not the next! It’s weird, and this may explain why I often have more than one book on the go at any one time.
I have also found that different people enjoy different books to relax. A friend of mine reads horror stories to relax. That is my idea of hell as horror triggers nightmares in me, but that is what relaxes them! For me, it’s often women’s fiction or a cosy mystery, although this isn’t set in stone.
Reading for relaxation means different things for different people. For me, I like nothing better than curling up on the couch with my fluffy blanket, a mug of chai, and a good book!
Do you read for relaxation? What books help you relax?