Last week, I somehow flung my glasses off my face and broke it, so the next day, I had no choice, being ridiculously myopic, but to read all day while my glasses were being fixed. And honestly? I leaned into this. I had another Agatha Christie book that I’ve been meaning to get to, so I settled down at a comfy spot and got to reading. I couldn’t see my laptop. I didn’t want to use my phone. I put them aside and for one day, I chose books over technology. Here’s what I learned from this day of reading:
I was more mindful and patient
This is the big one and the foundation of everything. I was suddenly so in tune with everything around me. All of my movements felt so fluid and purposeful because of this inner peace that I felt like an enlightened monk. Even while preparing lunch for myself, I didn’t rush around, banging cups and bowls like I usually do, but slowly and gracefully, as if my arms were going through water, put together my meal and ate slowly for once.
Consequently, I was more patient because I felt like I had all the time in the world. The day neither rushed nor dragged by–I was content in the present. This made me feel much more patient and at ease with myself. I was so zen this day, guys. No snapping, sighing, or bustling around. I was more patient with myself and the people around me.
I made better choices
Still going off the mindfulness, I was much more aware of how I was feeling. I was in tune with my mind and body. They were telling me I had to get up and stretch, and out of respect for that, I obliged. I did not partake in any binge eating and felt no unhealthy cravings. I even drank tea for the first time in a while to detox. It was so relaxing to do that while reading.
I think exercising my brain through the act of reading actually helped me be in harmony with my body. I was more aware of stiffness, whereas when I’m watching YouTube videos or scrolling through social media, I tend to ignore the signs of discomfort. I was also relaxing my eyes by not staring at a screen with blue right or wearing my glasses all day, both of which strain my eyes then cause irritability.
In general, I chose education over entertainment when I did use technology briefly throughout the day. For example, instead of watching a TV show, I would watch a lifestyle guru on YouTube. Instead of listening to music, which distracts me, I would listen to a podcast, which grounds me.
What I got most out of reading for a full day and abstaining from technology was mindfulness. It was such a gentle yet powerful feeling, like I had much better control of my life, thoughts, and emotions. Of course it is hard to stay away from technology for all eternity unless you’re pulling a Walden, but I do think choosing books over technology is something you can try to adopt into your lifestyle whenever you can.
Try to have a reading afternoon to yourself maybe twice a month. Then turn them into full no-technology days. Maybe then you can start doing them weekly. Whatever works for you. Experiment! I understand that this is a challenge. I don’t even know when I can have such a day again, but try doing it at least once. You’ll completely understand where I’m coming from. Even though all I did that day was read at home, it was such a memorable day for me.
You could do it as a once-in-a-while treat or a much-needed break when life feels particularly hectic, like you are about to reach peak burnout. When you feel frazzled and life is spiraling out of control, this is the time. Put away the electronics. Pull out a book that you really actually want to read–not some book you think you should read–settle down somewhere comfortable with a cup of tea, and get to it.
Let me know what book you want to read on this special day down below! I want to hear about your plans. Will it happen for you this weekend? Today? Tomorrow? Is it never going to happen? Has it already happened for you? Then tell me your own “What I learned…” down below!