Hi everyone, I hope you are all having an amazing day and staying safe. I am here with my second ever Let’s Talk Bookish meme post, I really enjoyed my last post but haven’t had time to dedicate to writing any more until now. This is a meme hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books and Dani at Literary Lion and each month they come up with a list of topics for us all to discuss and share our opinions on as well as spreading the love by reading each others posts.
This week’s prompt is “How reading affects mental health” (SUGGESTED BY KRISTIN @ LUKTEN AV TRYKKSVERTE)
Prompts: In what ways does reading affect your mental health? Does it affect your mental health positively or negatively at certain times, and why? How do you find a balance to keep up with reading while being mindful of your mental health? Do triggers, bookish controversies, and things like that affect your health a lot more than you let on?
I believe that reading can have both a really positive effect on your mental health but can also negatively effect us in various ways.
For me books have mostly had a really positive effect as they have always been my safe space and escape from the world as someone who has struggled with anxiety and low mood having a place away from all that to give myself time to just relax and take my mind off of all my worries has been so beneficial.
However I do feel that it can have negative impact on us for various reasons.
One is that reading can lead to burnout when we put too much pressure on ourselves to read more and more because that’s what we see other people in the community. It can lead us to feel like we are failing and it can be difficult sometimes to remind ourselves that this isn’t a race, that everyone has different things going on in their lives that can effect how much time they can dedicate to reading and that that it’s okay to not feel like reading at all.
Secondly is that individual books can have a negative effect on our mental health and this is why it is so important that books have trigger warnings. There are many themes and experiences/situations explored in books that that we aren’t always in a time in our lives where we are able to read that without it having a negative impact and I think everyone needs to be much more mindful of this.
A third thing that I believe has a big effect on people’s mental health isn’t even reading itself but a lot of the controversy in the community. I haven’t personally experienced this yet I have seen the effects that it can have and I think as a community we just need to be a lot kinder to each other.
Overall, there are definitely parts of reading and being a part of the bookish community that can have a negative impact on our mental health and we can’t completely control these, all we can do it try go be as kind and understanding of others as we can and also of ourselves. We can also put more in the effect as reviews to ensure that we discuss triggers warnings in books (this is something that I need to put more effort into myself).
However it can also have a really positive effect as it can give us a safe space away from what we are struggling with and it can introduce us to a whole community of people who love the same things we do and offer support in it’s own way.
What are the positive and negative effects that reading has had on your mental health?? If you are comfortable discussing.