Wednesday, January 31, 2018

why I'm making time to read in 2018.

Though I meticulously wrote down my goals for the year at the end of last month....I have only just begun to tackle my resolutions. I suppose this is only natural. The start of January is always bogged down with post-holiday sadness, undecorating, and a massive list of tasks that went ignored all December long. Now that February is just about here, I feel a renewed sense of optimism and focus. Which is why I have started to work through my list of New Years Resolutions.

There are many (some related to my career, others to fitness, and some to my blog and YouTube channel), but one of my personal goals has to do with reading. Specifically, to read more this year. This is something I have missed over the years, as my life has gotten fuller and my list of responsibilities longer. Sound familiar? Here are some of the reasons I plan to read more in 2018.

Reading is a Form of Self Care. Even if you didn't write READ MORE on your annual to do list, chances are, you have some sort of goal to improve your level of self care this year. Group reading into this category! That's right....self care is so much more than bubble baths and face masks. Anything that brings you joy and makes you feel like a better, more refreshed, focused human being can be dubbed self care. So, give yourself the gift of reading. Start with a chapter a day or even an article in a magazine every once and a while. It will make a difference.

It Can Stimulate Your Mind. To some, the idea of reading every single day is insane. To others, it sounds like a dream come true. Wherever you fall on the scale, consider the facts. Reading has been proven to stimulate your brain, which keeps it alert, active, and imaginative. It is also a great habit to start now, since studies have found that reading can slow down or prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older age. Get used to reading often for a lifetime of health and happiness.

Reading Gives You Knowledge. Though you might not be reading a non-fiction book or something with a ton of factual information, reading can still increase your knowledge in unexpected ways. Maybe a character describes a city you have never been to. Or eats foods you have never tried. Or perhaps they mention a news story that never caught your attention. Just as we learn from the people around us...we can learn from the people, places, and things in the books we read.

It Improves Your Ability to Focus. How many times a day do you check your email? Look at Facebook? Double tap photos on Instagram? These days, it has gotten harder and harder to focus on one task without taking social media breaks or constantly multi-tasking. This can cause us to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and downright exhausted. Reading is a great way to focus on one thing. Doing this for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time can reduce your stress levels and improve your ability to focus the rest of the day. Give it a try and see what happens!

My Recent Reads and Book Recommendations
  • "Talking as Fast as I Can" by Lauren Graham
  • "Christmas Caramel Murder" by Joanne Fluke
  • "Troublemaker" by Leah Remini
  • "Death by Eggnog" by Alex Erikson
  • "The Soul Searcher's Handbook" by Emma Mildon
  • "Success Affirmations" by Jack Canfield 
There are plenty of advantages to reading. Not only is it good for the brain, but it is good for the soul. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reading, reading, and reading some more. It has helped me balance my stress levels, improve my writing, and generally, be a happier person. Here is to a year full of literature!

Do you plan to read more this year?

xo Shannon