Five ways for busy parents to start reading in their busy schedules. Reading can be therapeutic, increase focus, and be a key to wellness.
I wasn’t an avid reader a couple of years ago, except for reading technical papers or engineering books! Although I don’t have regrets, I have a lesson from reading extensively now. And the experience, still understated, is as follows.
Reading can act as a form of meditation and, as a bonus, provides a profound byproduct of a new perspective on issues at hand.
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With a child, and especially lockdown due to COVID these days, one might feel that one is busy, but I have come to realize that instead of saying “I’m too busy to ____,” a better phrase is “I’m not prioritizing _____ still.”
Long story short, if you feel busy and drained out, you might want to prioritize wellness, and reading can be a significant part of our wellness journeys.
Below are five things that you may find helpful if you feel short of time to read.
1. Try Blinkist or a “Book-highlights app”
To select books better, the app Blinkist can be useful. It has “blinks” or “highlights” from many non-fiction books. I use the app to read the synopses on Blinkist, and if I like a book, I order it then. Also, during walks/chores, I sometimes listen to the blinks from my favorite books.
2. Choose a few best ones and be very selective
If you’ve limited time, invest time in choosing the ones which interest you the most – Blinkist, reading online reviews can help select better. It is better to spend time upfront with a busy routine selecting the books we would like to read and go back!
Here are a few of my recommendations for non-fiction, books for wellness if you are interested.
3. Start Slow
Read during a commute, if there is one these days during the pandemic. Or, read after lunch/before bed for just 10-15 minutes. Suppose you are reading after a gap of a few months or beginning to read, starting for a few minutes every day, and maintaining could be the key.
It can have a reflective effect and might instill discipline. I try reading as a discipline every night – it could be as low as a couple of pages.
4. Read during child’s nap times
If you have a child, you may use his nap times during weekends to read; that works best for me and might work for you. It doesn’t feel like “unwinding” initially, but in the long term, it might stump our “gadget unwinding!”
We are all there and certainly not suggesting abstaining gadgets altogether. However, I’d recommend considering a part of that time to reading for wellbeing.
5. Listening to Audiobooks
I tried Audiobooks, but for me, the paper has another feel altogether, mainly because I love to underline, make notes, go back to refer many times over.
However, when I started off reading as a discipline, Audiobooks did a good job of making me hooked to reading. You may want to give it a try.