There’s nothing like a good book to take your mind away from your troubles, to teach you something new or to spark your imagination. But you may not realize how beneficial the act of reading can be when it comes to self-care; especially during times of stress like divorce. Learn how it can help along with some of our favorite book picks to get you started.

Benefits of Reading as Self-Care During Divorce

We discussed the benefits of self-care during divorce in a previous blog. And while all those tips are important to your wellbeing, reading in particular has a powerful effect on stress. According to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex, reading can actually reduce stress by up to 68%.  In fact, just six minutes of reading can slow down the heart rate and improve overall health, even more so than walking or listening to music! And it doesn’t matter what you read, as long as you’re engaged in the content. Other benefits of reading include:

  • Calming and clearing the mind
  • Relaxing the body
  • Fostering imagination and creativity
  • Strengthening vocabulary
  • Helping with focus
  • Increasing empathy
  • Improving sleep

What If Reading Isn’t Your Thing?

True, not everyone is an avid reader. But there are ways to make it more enjoyable (and beneficial) such as: 

  • Focusing only on genres you enjoy whether it’s fantasy, history, romance, horror; it makes no difference as long as it interests you.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself in terms of how long you should read, how many books to read or even what books you should be reading – do this on your terms.
  • Stop reading the book if you don’t enjoy it – there’s no rule that you have to finish it – and switch to another one.

Our Top 5 Books to Get You Started

Again, choose the book(s) that speak to you, but here are 5 of our favorites. As you’ll see, we love variety!

  1. “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

This New York Times bestseller is written by a Nobel Prize winner in Literature and tells the story of an Artificial Friend for children named Klara who watches the behavior of customers who come in the store and those who pass on the street, hoping one will pick her. It explores our connection with the world and what it really means to love through beautiful narration.

  1. “Just as I Am: A Memoir” by Cicely Tyson 

An award-winning actress, lecturer, activist and now New York Times bestselling author, Cicely Tyson shares her life story from her childhood through her illustrious career; “plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside,” and we were mesmerized by her time and again.

  1. “The Vanishing Half: A Novel” by Brit Bennett

Named best book of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post and just about every other publication around, the story follows twin sisters who, after growing up together in a small, southern black community, go their separate ways. One lives with her black daughter in the same town, the other secretly passes for white and her husband is unaware of her past. It’s a riveting and emotional family story that explores how our past shapes us.

  1. “Giftology” by John Ruhlin

Through personal stories and data-backed evidence, Ruhlin shares how the art of gift giving can help you expand your business and create fruitful relationships both professionally and personally.

  1. “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller

This Wall Street Journal bestseller details how the StoryBrand Framework created by the author can help marketers and business owners improve how they connect with customers by using seven universal story points, simplifying their message, understanding why customers make purchases and learning how to create effective messaging.

For additional support and guidance as you navigate divorce and/or co-parenting, we can help with fully virtual coaching and mediation services. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.