Hello my bookish people!
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but sometimes it makes me anxious, so I had to learn how to cope with it. I became aware of suffering from anxiety four years ago, but unconsciously I have been dealing with it most of my life. At first, it used to ruin so many things for me and I would get so frustrated that I couldn’t live my life the way I wanted to, but with time I learned that it’s not an enemy I need to defeat but something I need to learn to live with. I see people on Twitter who can read for hours and can finish a book in one sitting, but that does not work with me.
I think my biggest problem is that I struggle on focusing on one thing for too long, so I need to set up a reading time schedule, with breaks. For example, let’s say I start reading at 3 pm. I usually read for 30 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes and then continue again for another half an hour, and so on. I need to give myself a mental schedule, so I can avoid feeling overwhelmed. It may seem weird or like too much effort for something that should be fun, but it’s been working for me so far!
Another thing that helps me focus and managing anxiety is listening to lo-fi music. I recently discovered this amazing artist called Pueblo Vista and they have a podcast with lo-fi music (no lyrics because that’s too distracting for me) and the episodes usually lasts around an hour, so it’s perfect for my reading schedule. You can find it here!
Thirdly, I mute notifications. This is so hard sometimes, because living in the digital age we want to stay connected 24/7, but it’s also important to take time for ourselves and just let go of pressures from the outside world.
Lastly, if all those above don’t work, I try not to force it too much. If I keep getting distracted, I just finish the chapter and do something else. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just leave it and come back to it once we feel more motivated.
Have you ever felt anxious while reading? What are your tips on staying focused on your book?
Thank you so much for reading!