Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care.
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, “ain’t nobody got 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. Re-set. Repeat. Plus, reading voraciously helps me grow as a writer.
I love the idea of having a specific area in my home to enjoy books (although, let’s face it – I read everywhere: the sofa, in bed, on my patio..) To my delight, the lovely people over at Overstock have once again stepped in to help me create the perfect reading nook in my home office/bedroom.
Because I’m all about keeping things budget friendly, I used some pieces I already had from O.co and mixed them with new items to create (what I think) is a pretty cozy nook in the corner of my office.
Here are some of my ingredients for the perfect reading nook.
A comfortable chair.
This is going to be different for everyone. But, I decided to go with this Eames style armchair from O.co that I already had in my office, with the plan to upgrade to something more plush when I have a bit more square footage.
Even if you’re reading on a back-lit 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. I love the look of this lamp in person, but as you can see from the photo below, it’s much bigger than I expected (that’s what she said!) It’s a bit too big for the room and I’m pretty sure if I stay seated under it long enough I’m going to get beamed into space, but I love it and I’m excited to use it as over-the-sofa lighting in a different 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. I’m kind of obsessed.
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.
Great Reading Material
If summer had a literary theme, it would be “the summer Simone read all the female memoirs.” I really enjoyed This is Not my Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden and am looking forward to picking up Jessi Klein’s You’ll Grow Out of It in the near future.
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.
As you can see, the scale isn’t exactly perfect but everything is versatile and I’m excited to use all of these pieces when I move into a new space.
What do you guys think?!
Thanks to O.co for making this post happen. An alternate version appeared recently on the Huffington Post. I received all the items free of charge in exchange for my honest assessment of the product.