By Randi Streff, Vice President, Outpatient Services
Dakota Family Services
For many of us, January is a time to refocus on health and wellness. With the start of a New Year comes the desire to take better care of ourselves and a renewed energy to look for wellness solutions. Reading is one wellness tool that is often overlooked, but is so good for people of any age.
I love stories and how when I read or listen to a book, I can escape to another world and the lives of the characters. Since I was young, I have been enchanted by the stories of others and have used books as a form of meditation to calm my mind and ease anxiety.
When my kids were younger, I didn’t read much on my own because having little children made it nearly impossible to find the time to get lost in a story. But, as a family we read many books together that are now forever favorites!
Each time you read a book with your children, you are learning and exploring together. Whether you are discovering and discussing a new word, talking about the feelings the book brings up, or sharing a laugh about the characters, you are creating special moments.
Reading or listening to books benefits people of all ages in so many ways. Reading reduces stress and can relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety. For many, it’s also a great coping mechanism for dealing with fear and anxiety. Reading also unplugs us from our devices, including social media and the news, which have a huge impact on mental health.
Of course, reading also educates by increasing vocabulary and language skills, increasing concentration, developing imagination, and increasing self-compassion and empathy.
As you make your wellness goals for the new year, I encourage you to think broadly and consider how reading may fit. I hope you will explore and learn (on your own and/or with your kids) through all the intriguing stories brought to us through books!
We’d love to get you started on a year of reading by giving you a free copy of the children’s book, “Project: Kids, Let’s Be Superheroes,” to provide children and their parents with information about mental health and emotional wellness. The book helps children understand their feelings, teaches them it’s normal to be anxious about change, and helps them find ways to cope with their emotions.
Start the conversation about mental health and emotional wellness with this free book from the mental health providers at Dakota Family Services.
Pick up your free copy of Project: Kids, Let’s Be Superheroes.
Thunder Coffee Drive-through
300 Sheyenne St., #190, West Fargo
Dakota Family Services staff will also be giving out a coffee or hot chocolate and a sweet treat!
Dakota Family Services is a highly trusted and respected psychology, psychiatry, and therapy clinic. Our community of compassionate mental health professionals help children, adolescents, and adults improve their overall mental health and well-being through their personalized approach, trusted expertise, and unconditional presence.