Put your hand up if you feel like you don’t have time to read books but fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through social media? (Picture us with our hands up!) It’s very easy to do, and we often don’t realise how much time we spend clicking on friends’ photos and watching funny cat videos. This month, our Healthier Habits tip is ‘Scroll less and read more books!’
‘I can’t stop scrolling!’
Social media is an excellent tool for keeping connected to others and staying updated with news and world events. However, it’s also a great time waster! We often hear from patrons who say they don’t have time to read books but admit they feel guilty about spending hours on their devices. While we’re not experts on this subject, we asked the Myli team to share some tips about how they limit their screen time.
- Set a timer – ‘I allow myself 1 hour per day on social media, and do this by setting three timers of 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, put down your device and keep busy so you’re not tempted to pick it up – go for a walk, clean the house, do some stretches or read a few chapters of your book’.
- Deleting apps – ‘Deleting apps from your phone for a period of time (for example, over the weekend). Doing this stops the temptation to click on the app icons and have a quick scroll’.
- Turn off notifications – ‘That little ‘ping’ notification can often tempt you into checking your socials’.
- Check your usage limits – ‘Take a look at your daily usage on your social media accounts. That can often shock you into putting down your phone! Instagram and Facebook also have a feature that enables you to set reminders to take a break or a daily time limit.’
What are the benefits of reading?
Apart from transporting you to another world or learning something new, there are many health and wellbeing benefits when it comes to reading! According to this article by Catherine Winter, some of these benefits can include stress reduction, knowledge enhancement, increased vocabulary, mental stimulation and a free source of entertainment. That last benefit is particularly true if you’re a library member.
‘How can I replace scrolling with reading’?
Getting back into the habit of reading can be tricky. Many patrons have told us that since the pandemic, they have found it hard to concentrate on reading, or life seems too hectic to fit in a session with a book. We suggest starting slowly! Aim to read one chapter daily or for a set amount of time (15 minutes is very achievable). Ask friends or your local librarian for book suggestions, and stick with genres you enjoy before advancing to something new. Re-reading an old favourite is another tip that we love. It’s like meeting up with old friends.
‘I really don’t have time to read!’
Audiobooks are perfect for you. We love listening to an audiobook while exercising, driving to work, or doing mundane chores around the house. And don’t listen to anyone who says listening to an audiobook doesn’t count as reading! We firmly believe that you are still experiencing the story and ‘reading is reading’. Your Myli membership gives you access to e-resources, including thousands of audiobook titles.
Track your reading –
Tracking your reading progress is another great tool to help you on your reading journey. You can participate in the Warm Winter Read challenge in June and July. This program encourages adults to create healthy reading habits by tracking their reading using the BeanStack tracker website or by filling out a lovely colouring sheet that you can collect from your local library branch. You can find out more about the Warm Winter Read here.
June Recommendations –
We are reading – Social Media and You
Aimed at young tweens, teens and their parents, this book will help you control your social media use, navigate the potential pitfalls of activity on social media and develop good mental health. There are hints and tips on quick ways to improve your mental health that you can try every day or whenever you need to.
We are listening to – The Readings podcast
The Readings Podcast is a celebration of books, reading and culture. Episodes are published weekly and include author interviews, event recordings, booksellers chatting about their favourite reads, industry insights, and more. Available through your web browser or iTunes.
June Special Events and Dates –
- Pride Month
- World Environment Day – 5th June
- Men’s Health Week – 13th to 19th
- Refugee Week – 19th to 25th June
Discover more awareness days and special events during June here.
Extra Support –
The opinions and recommendations in this blog do not replace advice from your doctor or mental health practitioner. If you feel like you need further support, you can access many free mental health helplines, support websites, online counselling, web forums, interactive toolkits, one-on-one counselling and group therapy sessions. Please visit the Better Health website for a comprehensive list of services.
Mental Wellbeing at MYLI –
The Healthier Habits blog is adapted from the Myli – My Community Library employee ‘Page Break’ program. Page Break is an initiative from our Manager Volunteers & Community Participation, Kathie Olden. Kathie sends out regular updates to staff inviting them to participate in simple activities and conversation starters that focus on making small changes to their mental health and wellbeing.