Can reading ever be bad for you? Lockdown, books and mental health.

Here in England we are currently in the middle of lockdown number 2. This means more time inside the house as the days are getting colder and wetter (in true British style) This means the idea of exercising outside isn’t as appealing as it once was in the summer months.

This is the time when mental health is an especially important topic to discuss. 2020 has not been easy for most of us, for a lot of us it has been stressful, scary and tough. But we are getting through it, this won’t last forever.

I watched a film the other night called The Secret: Dare to Dream which made me think about a lot of things including my current mental health which I will admit hasn’t been particularly good recently.

I wanted to use this space to not only introduce new books and small businesses to other people but also to help others connect. I felt this was the perfect topic to be discussed right now.

Personally, I find reading can be a great way to improve mental health. But, is there such a thing as reading too much? You may say no Liz there isn’t but to me there is.

Escaping to a new world is great, I love to spend a few hours escaping this world to explore another but what happens when you are continually doing this? What happens when you can spend so much time in other worlds that you don’t face your own reality? You push it down and let it all mount up, which is never a good thing. Whether we want to admit it, there really is such a thing as too much reading if your mental health is being ignored.

I had a particularly bad bout of depression about 8 years ago and I ran away into books. I read constantly to escape reality and to avoid my problems. I will admit it is great as a short term relief but is not realistic or healthy for the long term.

Self care is a term used a lot these days and is so important. Whether it is having a hot bubbly bath with some candles or pampering yourself or simply just going for a walk, do what makes you feel better.

But most importantly speak to someone about how you are feeling; a friend, a family member or even a professional. It really does help to talk to someone and make someone aware of how you are feeling. Trust me there are so many people out there right now who can relate to how you feel, much more than you think.

But, if you do find yourself reading non stop to escape reality and you feel like you need them as a crutch whilst facing your own mental health then why not change up your reading habits and read something inspirational?

There are so many good books on mental health which really helped me through things in the past. Here are a few I personally recommend:

“Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.” – Matt Haig

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This is an amazing book about the writer’s own battle with depression and shows us that you can survive even in your darkest hour. A little bit of hope is all we need.

“Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. And because there is joy in embracing – rather than running from – the utter absurdity of life.”
― Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Let’s pretend this never happened/ Furiously happy by Jenny Lawson

Both of these books are personal memoirs of how the writer copes with mental illness, anxiety and depression. These books will have you laughing through the tears. The way she talks and can laugh about her life is both uplifting and heart warming.

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

This one isn’t a mental health book as such but if you are looking for a book to make you ponder and provide uplifting quotes this is perfect.

There are so many books out there to inspire and uplift you in your darkest hour along with my recommendations above. But if you feel like you are reading too much and not tackling your feelings then take a break. Have a bath, call a friend, scream, don’t bottle things up.

Are there any books out there which have helped you in your darkest hour that you would recommend to others? I would love to hear about them so drop them in the comments below.

Remember things will get better, life never stays the same.

As always,

Much love 💜

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: