When the term "self-care" started to make the rounds in the popular lexicon, I initially envisioned sepia hued scenes featuring lengthy candle-lit bubble baths, cucumber slices delicately placed on eyelids and gallons of herbal tea - all set to an Enya soundtrack.
My reaction was, "I don't have time for that" and "Enya? Really?"
I knew that self-care was important, but the more I was reminded that I wasn't doing these things that everyone told me I should be doing, the more I felt like I was failing at being an adult human.
What I didn't understand, was that not everyone's approach to self-care is going to look the same.
For example, I love to read - especially new fiction and memoirs by female writers. I used to think my obsession with books was just that - but I've learned is that it's so much more. I read every weekend morning and every night before bed. It's not only an enjoyable hobby - it's become part of my own self-care ritual. I go to the gym and do other things to look after myself, but reading is always a constant.
Taking time to slow down and treat myself to new stories, perspectives and ideas, feels incredible. As someone with a naturally anxious mind, reading is my go-to reset button. Whenever things get foggy in my brain, I can always focus on someone else's words for a few minutes. Re-set. Repeat.
Not to mention - reading voraciously helps me grow as a writer.
So, in honour of one of my favourite self-care rituals, I decided to create an area in my home office designed just for that activity. Here are my ingredients for the perfect reading nook.
1. A comfortable chair.
This is going to be different for everyone. However, since I enjoy chairs with hard backs and wanted to stay on budget, so I decided to go with this Eames style armchair from O.co that I already had in my office.
2. Good lighting.
Even if you're reading on a backlit e-reader, good lighting is key. I'm a big fan of floor lamps. For my reading nook I chose this Catalina Chrome Arc Floor Lamp, which can also double as lighting above a sofa in another space.
There's something really nice about being able to kick your feet up. I was so excited when I found the perfect Moroccan style Ottoman for my space. The gold leather adds a dramatic pop and doubles as a side table where I could rest a tray or a small stack of books.
4. Luxurious textures.
The perfect reading nook needs to have a certain degree of coziness. I'm all about adding luxurious textures to your space. My go-to white mid-century chair got 110% more comfy when I draped this New Zealand Sheepskin Throw across it's back.
Grab a good book, some coffee and unplug! Although I like to keep my iPhone handy so I can update my Goodreads account and take #bookstagrams of whatever I'm reading, I try to keep my reading time as free of tech as possible. Taking some time to unplug from your phone is an act of self-care in and of itself.
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