You all know I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. However, I have recently encountered a problem: my primary audiobook listening time is on my commute to work. Which, for the past three weeks, has been the thirty-second walk from my bed to my computer. At first, I was a little upset that my audiobook time was gone (it’s actually made me not hate my commute, so I highly recommend it). But then I decided I could still listen to audiobooks, I just had to be a little more creative about when.
Since the entire world is stressed out right now, I thought I’d share some great options for self-care you can do while listening to an audiobook. Because you can take care of yourself while also being productive. Who knew, right?
Put on a face mask
It’s probably no surprise, given the amount I read, but I am a glasses-wearer. My eyes have a tendency to be pretty dry (thanks allergies!) so I’m not super fond of contacts, especially when I’m just sitting around the house. I love face masks, but they just seem like more work because I’m not able to read while wearing them (I can, but it hurts my eyes after a few minutes). Solution: audiobooks! I can put on a soothing face mask, close my eyes, and listen to an audiobook. It’s like my own little spa. But instead of ambient spa sounds, I get to listen to The Odyssey. If you are so inclined, you can simultaneously draw yourself a bath. I’m just not really a bath person, but to each their own.
Paint your nails
Continuing the theme of at-home spa, I am a huge fan of doing my nails. (Fun fact, before Adventures of a Bibliophile, I ran a fairly popular nail art blog.) I do my own gel nails at home and love it. I just find the process so soothing. And it’s definitely something I can do while listening to an audiobook. I’m normally a dark nails kind of girl. My grey and navy polishes have pretty much been on repeat all year. Last week, I took off the navy and put on a bright lavender. And it’s such a cheery little bit of spring while I’m stuck inside most of the day. Why not give yourself a happy color to look at? (And, if you’re currently working from home, now might be a great time to try out some crazy colors that might not be allowed at work.)
Draw or sketch
This is my third year having a bullet journal dedicated to reading and my book blog. I really love it. I have all my real-life reminders and things on my phone, but it’s so nice to have a pretty, dedicated space just for keeping track of everything books. And doing little doodles in it (even though I am definitely not an artist) makes me happy. I can beautify my journal while listening to audiobooks, and then it’s something nice to look at throughout the month. But you can draw or sketch whatever and wherever you like. Give yourself permission to be bad at it (no one ever needs to see it if you don’t want them to) and just make some art.
Crafting is always fun and relaxing for me. And there are so many different options! My craft of choice: knitting. I find it so relaxing, because it’s so repetitive. Crochet or cross-stitch are also great. Yes, I know I have old lady hobbies, and I’m not ashamed of it. You can also make a new shelf for your books (there are some great DIY ideas online). Once, in college, I took a book that my cat had half-shredded and cut butterflies out of the pages and decorated my walls. So there are lots of things you can do if you’re creative, and working with your hands is honestly great for your mental health. You can also be listening to an audiobook at the same time.
Play a solo game
Whether that means Animal Crossing or solitaire, sometimes it’s nice just to play something soothing. And, as long as you are able to multi-task a little bit, you can listen to an audiobook at the same time. I’m also one of those people who doesn’t feel very productive when I’m doing mindless things like playing a game, so audiobooks help me feel like I’m accomplishing something, even when I’m trying to organize the flowers on my island. (I just bought a Switch two weeks ago, and I already have an Animal Crossing problem.)
Make yourself a good meal
I feel so much better when I take the time to cook myself something good to eat. And whether that’s something healthy (the other day, I was in need of some vegetables, and literally roasted myself an entire head of broccoli for dinner), or something not-so-healthy (now is the time for comfort food), go for it. Bonus: you can listen to your audiobook both while you cook and while you eat (and also while you clean up).
Go for a walk or a drive
I think most of us are probably tired of being cooped up by now (I’ve left the house twice in the last three weeks, and I’m starting to hate everyone – which, to be fair, is kind of my norm anyway, but this is worse). But, we can get out for a little bit. You can go take a walk or even just drive around for a bit. I know it’s a waste of gas, but sometimes I just like driving outside of my neighborhood for a bit, just to feel like I’m getting away, even when I’m not going anywhere. Either way, I can always listen to an audiobook while I do it.
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. I think they’re a great way to read more, and I definitely think they can be a better way to experience books. If you haven’t tried audiobooks yet, you can use this link to get a free month of Audible. Also check out this post about why Audible is my favorite audiobook platform, though there are many out there, including Overdrive, which lets you borrow audiobooks from your library, right from your phone! So find which one works best for you, and start listening.
What’s your favorite thing to do while listening to audiobooks? If you’re an audiobook listener, have you been listening more or less this past month? And if you haven’t tried audiobooks, do you think it’s something you might explore?
I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. Stay inside and take care of yourselves, whatever that means for you, and that includes your mental health.
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