October 2020, readathon

Self Care and Readathon

Let’s face it folks, this year has been rough. Across pretty much all demographics, 2020 has not been kind. It’s really one of the biggest reasons I’ve been looking forward to Readathon. Why I look forward to it every time; It’s a day I take for me. I turn off the news, turn on my favorite music, prepare my favorite foods and enjoy myself.

Admittedly, not everyone can do this, an entire 24 hours for you. But even just taking an hour or so for yourself can do wonders for your well-being. Taking a seat outside and bringing your favorite book with you can be a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air for your system. Putting on an audiobook and giving yourself a mani/pedi can be so restorative.

And being able to interact with other readers helps. People who know the struggle of trying to continue reading after a beloved character’s death. People who know the pains of trying to get 5 minutes of reading in when you’ve got so much to do. People who can help and empathize with you. We’ve got a really good community here and that’s really helpful for self-care.

There are, of course, some Readathon self-care tips that cross over to the overall self-care:

  1. Drink water. Sadly humans have not yet evolved the ability to survive solely on caffeine. (I’m working on it!)
  2. Exercise. Okay, during Readathon it can just be getting up once in a while and moving around, but the principle is the same. Exercise gets the blood flowing, provides endorphins, and can actually give you some more energy.
  3. Ask for Help. Need advice? Need help picking your next read? Can’t find the energy to continue reading, even though you want to? Ask for help! We’re here to help and support you!
  4. Enjoy Your Book. I’ve seen so many Readathoners struggle because they want to read “X book” but aren’t really enjoying it. It’s okay to switch to a different book. Just like it’s okay to get so lost in a book that you don’t participate in as many chats/mini-challenges as you had wanted. Reading a good book can be a potent restorative.

There’s plenty of other tips/tricks for Readathon, but the most important one to remember: Have fun. It might sound cliche, but if you’re not having fun, it’s okay to step out, put the book down, go do something else. Taking care of yourself is a Readathon priority. Don’t worry about page counts. Don’t worry about your number of books read. Take some time for you, get lost in a book, and remember: We’re here if you need us.


5 thoughts on “Self Care and Readathon”

  1. Great article and tips.

    I also have found, since I keep doing these, that you can never anticipate what mood YOUR body will be in the day of.

    Some read-a-thons I have a lot of energy and when that happens, I end up doing better without naps and doing more walks/cleaning and other projects with audio to keep up the energy and enthusiasm.

    Other times I am in a lazy mood and those are the great self-indulgent days of laying around, more book baths, mini naps, and going with the flow with a relaxa-thon.

    This Saturday hopefully I’m a nice blend of the two, but I’ve found I do less well when I force a mood that doesn’t fit what my body is telling me that day, if this makes sense.


  2. Another tip I’ve found that I like doing is preserving something extra special for the big day.

    Examples: I have a few bath bombs but these are costly and I don’t use them every bath. If you want to take a “book bath” the day of, it’s a good time to use the special bath bomb, bubble bath, or something else self-indulgent like facial masks, deep conditioning hair — or all of it. Fully splurge out, it’s a BOOK HOLIDAY!

    It’s cool to pick up a special coffee blend you don’t indulge in regularly, or a nifty special tea blend, or some other drink you don’t have much or want to try for the first time. Drink lattes at home? Spice it up with adding in whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, or a new treat.

    If you have a favorite coffee shop or restaurant, or something nearby, it’s a great day to go alone and read in a new spot or a spot you haven’t been in awhile. I love making special trips during read-a-thon days to read outside of the house for a brief period of time while continuing the self-treat.

    I enjoy scheduling an evening walk on read-a-thon days with an audiobook. Comfy clothes and shoes wish nice fall weather for brief evening walks is a big morale booster, helps energy, and is so inspiring!

    I love doing mini stretches throughout the day. I am in a horrible routine but I can’t tell you how relaxing it is to keep stretching the arms, back, legs, and shoulders lightly (can mix with audio or ambience videos, or music) — you can use this time to close your eyes while stretching to give them a rest and prevent eye strain. It keeps the muscles looser and less stressed, which can help if you plan to sit in one spot for hours reading.


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