How to get Back into Reading

How to get Back into Reading

    If I could go back and tell my high school self that I would stop reading for fun, she would be disappointed. While growing up, I would read all the time. I constantly had a book for fun. I had friends who were avid readers, it was so much fun. Then when undergrad came, I did not have the free time like I used to. It was not until recently that I would find the joy and time for reading. I feel reconnected to my younger self’s love of books.

Undergrad was busy, I won’t lie to myself. I will also admit I stretched myself thin for the first 2 years. I felt like I had to be involved with many clubs and in many classes. I was going for music therapy my first year. That involved taking 8+ classes each semester. They would make certain classes only 1 credit hour so one would not have to pay for going over. Also, ensembles were ‘free credits’. I could not continue on with that, but that is a post for another day. It was not until my junior year that I would drop many extra curriculars. But that is when I was placing my health at the forefront. So the time I spent in extra curriculars, I shifted to working out and taking time to self care. I did not add books into the equation. I was still balancing 6-7 classes until I graduated, so the workload was intense.

When the pandemic hit, I focused on surviving a pandemic and working non stop. I was also attending grad school in the middle of this. I made it through my first semester and had a month break. I decided to read a little about spiritual topics. I was intrigued with working on my spirituality, so I read on it. This was the first time in years that I would read for myself because I was interested in a topic. Then school started back up and the cycle went back to working and school. I did not make the time for reading. 

As my previous posts have brought up, I have worked on my health, skincare, self love, and spirituality. With things slowly opening back up and vaccination numbers increasing, I felt more calm than I had since 2019. It was during this time, an old friend from high school posted on her instagram about her bookstagram page. I decided to give it a follow and support her. This was a tipping off point for my reading journey. This was one of my avid reader friends, we would trade books back and forth and talk about series. It sparked my interest in starting to read again. 

After following her, I began scrolling and found on Pinterest books to read. I started saving them to a new board. After I saw a few books pop up, I decided to get them on the kindle app. I started 2 series at once, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas and “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair. These books pulled me into new worlds and brought me joy. From there I started reading comic series and continuing those book series. I felt the same joy that I used to back in high school.

So if you were a reader when you were younger, or you were never a reader but want to start, I have a few suggestions. I suggest following bookstagram pages, booktubers, or booktok. Some really good instagram suggestions are BookishLifeofSam_, Alexandra_Roselyn, and LadyofBookShire. For booktubers, I recommend Alexandra Roselyn and How to Train your Gavin. I do not have tiktok at the moment, so I don’t know booktokers. 

Also I suggest finding the genre you love. I was always a fan of fantasy, fey, and poems. That’s why I was sucked into those book series. Back in highschool I wanted to read the classics and I never got to read them all. So I went out to a local bookstore and picked up a few. If you were never really a reader before, go to a library and pick up different genres and see what pulls you in. 

I suggest making a space for reading. I have a couple of spots for myself. While I had not read in years, when I moved into my boyfriend’s house I struggled with making it feel like our home. I found comfort in making a reading corner. It had a comfy chair, blanket, and cozy lighting. I did not use it while we lived there but I do now. Along with that, I have a spot on my couch, with my weighted blanket, and I just curl up and feel at ease. The final spot I have is my bed. This keeps me from mindlessly scrolling all evening. It helps me relax after a long day and prepare for bed. You don’t need 3 spots like I do, I just don’t like having one spot. I like to change things up and keep it fun. Start with one spot, have the things that make it comfortable. I like curling up with a blanket. Maybe you like relaxing candles while you read. Maybe you like dim lighting or candle light. Maybe you like tea, hot chocolate, coffee or no drink while you read. Make it your own place.

Make time to read. This is an important suggestion, if you do not make the time for things you like you won’t do it. I found for myself that I like reading in the evenings before bed. I take care of cleaning and taking care of my plants in the evening before I read. After I’m done doing what I need to, I put on my PJ’s and curl up with my comfiest blanket. And I just read, some nights for 15 minutes and other nights for an hour. It just varies with what else I need to get done in the evening before work the next day. 

These are a few ways of how I got back into reading. It brings so much joy in my life to read again. To get lost in a world for some time before returning to the everyday hustle and bustle. I hope you find your spot and make the time to read. I hope you find the genre that speaks to you. I hope you find the self care aspect of reading.

My Experience with Moderna

My Experience with Moderna

I was in the first round of people who were vaccinated. I had my first dose back on December 24, 2020. I had my second dose on January 21, 2020. I received the Moderna and can only speak to my experience with it. Due to working in a residential facility, I have been working non stop since the pandemic started. I have been an essential worker since day one. So to hear the early news of the vaccine, it lifted a weight of stress off of my shoulders. My boyfriend has asthmas and my clients have been here for months on end. I had a lot of people at risk prior to me getting my vaccine. Mind you, I am still not going out and socializing. Also I wear a mask wherever I go. I do not know when I will feel comfortable with leaving the house without a mask.

I received my first vaccine on Christmas Eve. I waited in a short line that morning and went into work following the wait time. The nurses that were volunteering were very helpful. The administration of the vaccine had no hiccups and I waited the 15 minutes after with no issues. I went into work and ran a group with no issues. It was not until 5-6 hours when I felt my left arm was sore. By this point, I left work because of the holiday. I was off Christmas Day and worked the weekend after with no issues, other than a sore arm.

Towards the end of January was when I was due for my second dose. I originally was supposed to work on Thursday but the hours that were available, would require me to leave in the middle of the work day and return. I was not sure how long the lines would be since they started opening up to more people. With this in mind, I decided to take the day off. I am glad that I did, it wound up taking me a little over 2 hours to get through the line and do my waiting period. At this point, there was a higher priority for those who needed the first dose. There were more lines open for the first dose. At my location downtown, there were no appointments, just open windows of 10-5. You would just arrive and wait in line until it was your time. It was not the best time but it was not the worst thing. It was hopeful to see people getting their vaccines.

Once again, no issues for the first few hours after the vaccine. On that Thursday I had a sore arm by the time I went to bed. During the night I woke up a few times during the night, which is not typical for me. I woke up around 7 am on my typical day off, and had the worst headache I have had in a long time. So I got up to take Tylenol and drink water. I fell back asleep and woke up with a slight fever and was dizzy. It felt as though I had a rough flu. I felt bad for most of the day so I did not eat very much that day. But I did drink liquids and rest as I would when I normally have the flu or a cold. By the end of the day on Friday, I felt a little better.

The following day, I felt night and day different. I felt like I was on cloud 9 when compared to how I felt on Friday. I had to run groups that weekend as it was my weekend on. I had almost no issues other than my sore arm. I would say that the sore arm hung around for a few days after each vaccine. 

But now I have had no issues but a lot of stress lifted off of my shoulders. As vaccines open up for more and more people, it feels as though we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. So I wanted to talk about my own experience with it. Yes, we run the risks of side effects from the vaccine but the same goes for many vaccines. We may have COVID around for years to come but if I am protected from, I will not worry about my client’s safety or my boyfriend’s safety. I have been vaccinated for about 2.5 months. I do not regret it at all and if down the line the CDC states a need for yearly vaccines, I am okay with that. I prefer this over the risks that come with getting or dying from COVID. Having fears surrounding medical care is normal, especially in these uncertain times. But I trust that we are learning day to day on what to do with regards to COVID. We will move toward a new normal and hopefully can hug our family like we used to.