Bookish,  mental health,  Writing

Reading & Mental Health

This post was meant to be my June wrap-up. I wrote it, edited it, deleted it and finally started over.

I love posting big stacks of books read just as much as the next bibliophile. But what happens when that stack represents far more than books completed?

When that stack represents a month marked by struggles?

You write about it.

May was mental health awareness month and I felt great. I even wrote about it to increase awareness. But then June happened and how disingenuous would it have been to pretend that I felt good and June was just another month?

I couldn’t do it.

I’m a slow burner. Things happen and I go into crisis mode. I hold it together and make sure everyone around me is taken care of first. The crisis is endured and once everyone else is back to “normal”, I implode – long after most think to ask how I’m doing. And that’s my fault, not their fault.

There are many studies out there on the benefits of reading and the correlation to mental health. I have found those studies to be true with one exception:

What do you do when you feel so bad that you can’t concentrate enough to read a few pages?

My answer is audiobooks. They engage a different part of the brain, are a great distraction, and dull the roar of anxiety in your mind. This has been my experience at least.

So here’s my honest wrap-up for June:

I struggled with depression and anxiety. I needed my medication adjusted. I saw my therapist more and I read when I could.

I listened to three audiobooks this month and they made a difference in my days – and sometimes even nights when I couldn’t sleep.

I still read four books this month. I finished The Recognitions at the very beginning of the month and the other three I finished towards the end.

I’m feeling a lot better now and all in all, I’d say June was a good reading month.

Here’s to July and a little extra vitamin D!

One Comment

  • Nina - lostinastack

    I loved that you switched to audio and that helped you! I just discovered audiobooks a few months ago, and it has helped me to enjoy books even more than I thought it would. I applaud you for sharing this, and in my opinion, you had a great reading month still.

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