when you have no time

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What are your strategies for getting through a reading slump? I don’t mean a lack-of-interest sort of reading slump, but a complete lack of free time, and little to no focus available for reading a lengthy, or intense, book.

Do you simply ride it out and wait for quieter, less stressful days? Or do you manage to find a few minutes each day, and something “easy” to read, until you’re out of the woods?

Remember the adorable kitten we adopted recently?

After he’d been with us about two or three weeks, we found out that he had apparently come to us with a contagious skin condition that he then passed on to one of our other cats. Into quarantine they both went. Not surprisingly, taking care of two cats in quarantine and giving them two kinds of medicine twice a day takes time. A lot of time. And the rest of our non-work time? That’s been devoted to daily laundry and house-cleaning so that none of the rest of us catch it.

Needless to say, that huge literary novel I was in the middle of was promptly set aside. Instead, I picked up a much shorter book that I try my best to dip into each day while eating lunch. Even just a page or two at a time helps slow my anxious brain back down.

We all know that reading = relaxation for our brains. But when, for whatever reason, you simply can’t read a book during overly busy, stressful periods, it’s time to go back to “basics” to find your calm.

Take a few deep, relaxing breaths a few times each day. Get as much sleep as possible. Go for a walk, or try to get some exercise. Stretch.

Here are a few other suggestions I’ve received that you might try during a reading lull …

Listen to an audiobook for a few minutes before going to sleep at night.

Read — or better yet, re-read — a “comforting” book that you’re sure you’ll love.

Read essays or short stories, or magazines; nothing that requires a lengthy time commitment.

Besides these, what are your go-to strategies for reading and/or relaxing when you have absolutely no time?

mug of tea