I like to read when it rains. It’s my special time to relax with a book. My kids like to join me too. If raindrops start falling, we know it’s time snuggle up under a blanket and read. It’s how I like to spend time with my kids and get in a little reading for self-care.
I know you don’t need a lecture on the benefits of reading. I have never met a homeschool mom that doesn’t love to read. However, I’d love to share a few suggestions for getting the most out of your reading when you’re looking to do a little self-care.
Reading For Relaxation Is Different Than Reading For Information
My first rule for reading to unwind is, no non-fiction allowed. There might be a few exceptions to this rule, but not many. I know this guideline might be a little obvious, but I’ll explain why I feel it’s important to be clear on this.
Books are a great tool for teaching and learning. By nature, homeschool moms love to learn. We get out pencils and notebooks and highlighters and pore over books looking for the answer to our latest parenting problem or learning a new teaching method. We read, study, plan, implement and repeat. That’s the type of reading you typically do with a non-fiction book.
Put all the tools of analysis away; the pencils and highlighters and notebooks. For this journey, all you need is you and a book.Breanne
That is not the right kind of reading to do for self-care. That is not the kind of reading that will soothe the mind and renew the soul. Put all the tools of analysis away; the pencils and highlighters and notebooks. For this journey, all you need is you and a good work of fiction.
When you’re reading for self-care, you read books that will take you somewhere else. Your only purpose is to get lost in a place where your stresses are not allowed to follow you. Children’s books, for example, are a great place to go for this type of reading.
Getting The Self-Care Benefits Of Reading Only Takes A Short Amount Of Time
A professor at the University of Sussex found that reading helped study participants to relax by 68%. It was the best method to reduce stress among all those that they studied. It beat out methods like sipping tea, taking a walk or even listening to music. And, guess what?! They only had to read for 6 minutes to get the benefit. I’m sure we can all find 6 minutes in our day to take time to read.
Wondering where you can find even 6 minutes of time in your day?
Can you think of something else you do in short bursts of time that you can replace with a few extra minutes of reading?
Have you ever thought about how many books you could read if you chose to read instead of spending time with social media? Well, a man named Charles Chu did the math and the numbers are unbelievable. He says that, in theory, we could all read 200 books a year just by trading social media time for books!
Now, if I had to guess, I would say the amount of time homeschool moms spend on social media is probably below the national average. However, even after the adjustments, the principle is the same. You can definitely find some more time to spend reading purely for pleasure.
Reading Aloud Is Caring For You And Your Kids
I told you we’d talk about a few modifiers for you homeschool mommas. How often do you get to lock ourselves in our bedroom and quietly get to read for pleasure?
What do you do on those days when you feel like you’ve had enough but there’s nowhere to go to escape from your kids?
That’s easy. Read with them!
Here’s the other benefit. If you’re stressed out, then your child is probably struggling too. Reading together is self-care for both of you. You should get extra points for efficiency!
Here are some ground rules for reading aloud with your child for self-care:
- Fight the temptation to quiz about the literary elements of the story.
- Choose a book with no strings attached. This means it’s not a book that is tied to any subjects your child is learning.
- Apply the no non-fiction rule here, as well.
- Help your child choose books that you know you will both like.
- Bonus: Choose books that make you and your child laugh out loud.
When your life needs a boost, just pick up a book!
More on reading for self-care:
- Need some good book recommendations? Modern Mrs. Darcy always has great suggestions.
- GoodNet-7 Reasons Why Reading is the Best Self Care
You’ll Also Love:
- 3 Important Reasons To Read Children’s Books As An Adult
- Why We Don’t Do The Library Summer Reading Program (And What We Do Instead)
- 10 Days of Self-Care For Homeschooling Moms