As a lot of us are staying home at the moment and are distanced from our social lives, how we choose to spend our time has never been more important. With the threat of illness and isolation, not to mention the eerie silence of outdoors, it’s important to do things that promote our mental wellbeing.
Laughing and smiling at this uncertain time is very important. Smiling deepens our breath, having a knock on effect to the general feeling of wellness. Laughter also promotes a sense of positivity and happiness; maybe swap those dark crime thrillers for some stand up or an Adam Sandler movie or two?
I was shocked to read an advisory leaflet from the Pulmonary hypertension clinic suggesting spending less time reading 😱. Alongside this was also the advice to watch less of the news, which is understandable, as it is often written and presented in a way to capture interest which invariably leads to alarm and anxiety in many people.
However, reading less goes against my instinct of occupying myself; but thinking about it, I concede it makes sense. I could spend hours reading, which would result in hours of isolation where I don’t interact with anyone and remain lost in a fantasy world and not in the now. So not only is it isolating but it’s the opposite to being mindful.
The content of the books you’re reading may also have a detrimental effect on your mood, if the book is particularly disturbing or describes stressful situations. To say nothing of the fact that for hours I would not have moved much.
However, my counter to this is, isn’t watching TV as much just as harmful? Also reading is in my opinion preferable to sleeping. I wish when this advice was dispensed they had elaborated on why they felt reading less would benefit me.
Whatever you choose to do at this time in lockdown, I hope it elevates your mood rather than depresses it, after all what we all should be seeking lockdown or not is equanimity and happiness. Try something new, revive something old and most of all grab this opportunity with both hands to love, laugh and enjoy yourselves.