NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Reading is the new yoga

Covid-19 gave way to new hobbies, such as reading. According to the New Yorker, reading can put people in a pleasure-like state of mind, similar to meditation.

I interviewed 2 current and one previous student from NECC asking how they utilize reading to better help their mental health.

Maddie Reid, a current student at NECC, told me how reading made her feel during the pandemic.

“Reading for me was escapism from what was happening. It allowed me to take a step back from the world and enter a new one where there was no pandemic and it was quite a happy scene”.

Reid then explained to me how reading helped to let her mind settle away from the problems of the world and she noticed herself feeling calm.

The same feeling was felt by former student Karen Smith. As a mother of three, covid took a large mental toll on her.

She picked up reading when her daughter suggested a book for her to read.

After reading that book she told me, “It really changed what I did with my time during covid. Instead of being on my phone unnecessarily for hours at a time I would pick up a book and begin reading. It helped to mentally to take a break from the news and social media”.

The news can be a downer, especially in times of despair like when we were in covid.

Taking a break from that to read can be a great measure to keep your mental health in check.

Ella Lane too told me that the world she entered while reading kept her anxieties about covid and the world away. “Creating that world in your mind from a book was essential for me to keep my anxiety in check and to not work myself up from the media.

Reading protected my mind from the scary thoughts regarding what was going Smith 2 on”.

Books for Ella were an iron curtain between her imagination and the real world.

Books have been known to be a relaxing tool for people, especially during times of covid. It is the small habits and choices, such as picking up a book, that can really help one’s mental health.