Mental health and wellbeing matters: a good read

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In our regular spot where we chat about mental health and wellbeing, a few words about reading, and let’s recommend some books…

Hello and a very warm welcome to Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters, our spot on the site where we chat about things that may be affecting us, or people around us. We’re hugely passionate about destigmatising mental health conversations, and we’ve run over 100 weekly pieces so far. Hopefully there’s something in the archive that’s of use to you.

This week’s is a simple piece really. When the world is starting to crowd my head out a little, or when I’m struggling to sleep, my fallback tends to be a book. Which instantly makes it sound like it’s a backup plan or something, but the truth is I read a lot.

However, the book is always a good place for me on the bad days A few reasons why.

Firstly, I just love reading. You probably gleamed that, so I’ll move on.

Secondly, it’s an absolute retreat. A very simple one at heart, but also it shuts me away from everything else. Reading requires concentration, and it’s good for my head to focus on the book in front of me. I love a long book that I’m enjoying in particular: that I can get completely lost in it, and I feel sad when I get to the end.

Thirdly, assuming I’m not reading a book for research or something, it’s far enough removed from everything else I’m doing. It doesn’t involve a screen – well, sometimes an e-reader, but disconnected from the internet – and it doesn’t need me to be sat at a desk.

This all seems fairly obvious certainly, but it’s the obvious stuff we sometimes miss.

My most recent read was The John Nathan-Turner Production Diary 1979-1990, that I found myself really absorbed in. But then I’m a Doctor Who nerd at heart. So how about we share a few book recommendations here? We talk about films a lot, but let’s share the love for a few books as well.

Share any recommendations in the comments below. And most of all, you all take care and look after yourselves. This column will, as always, return next week.

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