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8 Ways To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

8 Ways To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

In this day and age, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to filling our free time. We can ‘Netflix and chill’, cruise on our iPads or go hunting for Pikachu on Pokemon Go! But it seems increasingly rare that we’ll sit down to notch up some serious hours with a good book. Despite the digital distractions all around us, it is possible to break out of the slump and fall in love with books, all over again.

Read on for eight top tricks to help you rediscover the magic of reading.

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One Book at A Time

Biting off more books than you can chew is guaranteed to be a stumbling block. Some people read several books at a time to avoid getting ‘bored.’ No matter how tempting, don’t be a greedy reader. It’s intimidating and makes the whole process seem tough. Instead, try focusing on one story at a time, removing the option of switching to another book if you hit a rough patch. In saying that, if you genuinely don’t enjoy a book you’re reading, it’s okay to let it go (there’s no book police around). Simply find another book you’re interested in.

Log Off & Schedule Reading Time

If you’re going through a long-running reading slump, then chances are you’re spending a little too much time online. The internet, despite its amazing cat memes and funny videos, is the single biggest procrastinating tool in the world today. You can sit down for a quick Facebook session and suddenly five hours have passed. Set aside some internet free time and use those hours to reconnect with reading. Schedule it in your calendar so that you’re held accountable and more likely to go ahead with it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you find pleasure in the page when you step away from the screen.

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Revisit the Classics

Do you remember why you started reading in the first place? Maybe a particular author spoke to you in a way that no one else had. Or perhaps a certain story stuck with you long after the book was over? If you’ve found yourself in a reading rut, revisit an old favourite to rediscover the magic. Even if it’s a book from your childhood, it’s possible that by taking yourself back to that moment, you can find the spark that started it all.

Hang Out in a Bookstore

This may sound a little simple but sometimes proximity to your problems can prove the best remedy. Set aside an hour or so, head to your nearest bookstore, grab a coffee and just hang out. Wander around, spend time looking at the shelves, chat to the bookstore employees about what they’re reading. Before long you may find that being surrounded by books is the shortcut to busting out of your slump.

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Find a Friend

Reading is typically a pretty solo kind of activity, but sometimes a little company can be the cure you’re looking for. Team up with a friend and tackle a book together. Make a mini-book club, read a chapter a day and then meet up to discuss. Alternatively, find a fellow book lover who is also a good listener. Take it in turns to read to each other – a creative approach to beating the reading blues.

See It & Then Read It

As leading Australian bookseller Dymocks suggests in their blog post – there’s no better way to cure a reading slump than to watch a movie and then read the book to compare storylines and details. Luckily, 2016 is an exciting year for book lovers and movie buffs alike thanks to the myriad of book to movie adaptations coming out on the big screen. Think Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train and Dan Brown’s Inferno. If you’re extra committed, read the book BEFORE seeing the movie.

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Listen Up

If you’re really struggling to enjoy reading but are missing the world of books, then audio readers are a great alternative. These days most of your favourite authors will have recorded audio versions of their work. Download the file and let fiction filter into your brain via your ears! This can be the exact kind of halfway point to help you survive the slump.

Genre Hop

Getting stale is a common reason that many book lovers find themselves stuck in a reading slump. No matter how much you love Harry Potter, the Chamber of Secrets doesn’t seem so exciting the tenth time round. If it’s all feeling a little too familiar, why not try a new genre? A rom-com reader may suddenly be blown away by the world of sci-fi and vice versa! They say variety is the spice of life, so don’t be afraid to put that into practice! Ask for recommendations from friends and family, and prepare for an exciting experiment ahead.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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