Do you often find yourself plopping on the couch after the baby finally goes down for a nap and you tell yourself, “Just five minutes of Facebook” and then you’ll get up and do something productive. More often than not though, those five minutes turn into 45 minutes. And then you’re stuck thinking, “What can I get done in the next hour?” So you might decide to keep scrolling through Facebook or frantically do all the chores before the baby wakes up. Even after scrolling through social media, does it feel relaxing or refreshing? I know I feel the opposite. I catch myself playing the comparison game on my feed or I feel guilty for wasting my time on something so trivial. But after using that nap time to read a book, I feel rejuvenated. And I know reading can do the same for a lot of other busy moms. Here’s why you should choose reading over scrolling.
Reading is Self-Care
Think of some of the things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s books, maybe it’s alone time, maybe it’s both! Spending some time alone with a good book is a great way to take care of ourselves because reading is known to a number of aspects in our lives. Such as knowledge, language, relationships, empathy, and even health. Making self-care through reading a priority doesn’t just maintain our overall health, but the ripple effects of self-care touch the lives of those around us.
Reading is Rewarding
How many books do you want to read this year? Set a goal and reward yourself when you reach that goal. Another great way to reward yourself for finishing a book is to pick out a book with a movie adaptation. It’s much more fun to read the book and then watch the movie. You can even turn it into a date or a family night for everyone to watch the movie, too. To avoid social media and reach your goal more quickly, set time limits for social media apps on your phone, turn off notifications for the worst offenders, or delete the apps altogether. When the time limit is reached, you know it’s time to reach for a book instead of your phone. Then it becomes easier to choose reading over scrolling.
Reading is Refreshing
By reading a physical book or on an E-Reader that’s disconnected from the WiFi, you aren’t reminded every five minutes about the update on Facebook or the upcoming appointments on your calendar or the next item on your to-do list. Social media may feel like a disconnect from these reminders because you’re not in your calendar or email app. But those reminders are still there on your phone. They pop up on the screen often to distract you from what’s most important. Even exiting out of an app on your phone and seeing the Facebook app can lead to the temptation to open it and mindlessly scroll. But picking up a book and completely disconnecting from your phone is the best way to use reading as a refresher.
Reading as a Break Rather Than a Chore
Maybe reading feels more like a chore or something that needs to be done simply because others do it. Changing that mindset from looking at reading as a chore to reading as a break changes everything. Reading isn’t something you dread anymore, but it’s that relaxing moment in the middle or at the end of a chaotic day. Rather than feeling guilty for only reading five pages or only reading for 15 minutes, tell yourself you read today. You are one step (or five steps) closer to finishing that book and rewarding yourself with a movie or meeting your yearly goal. If you view reading as something fun and enjoyable rather than a chore, it becomes just that, fun.
So when the baby finally goes down for a nap or the kids are in bed for the night, rather than plopping on the couch and immediately picking up your phone, pick up a book instead. Not only is reading a form of self-care for many, but it can also be rewarding and refreshing. If you view reading as a chore, changing that mindset can do wonders. You get to read, rather than have to read. Look at it as more of a break, an opportunity to truly disconnect with social media and reconnect with yourself. Choose reading over scrolling.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it! You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. You might also like my article, 7 Tips to Get Back Into the Habit of Reading. It’s about how you can start reading again on a regular basis and meet your yearly reading goal easily.