Welcome to self-isolation! Now go read a book.

Reading a good book is the perfect way to take your mind off the outside world.

 
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It’s hard not to panic when the world is facing a crisis, but it’s important to keep a level head.

Be prepared. Be smart. Stay informed. Practice good hygiene.

Oh, and read a book.

This last week saw a massive surge in known cases of COVID-19 in the United States and the larger world. Many have already been asked to practice self-isolation, others are quarantining themselves for 14 days or longer.

There are reasons for some to take extra precautions, but the majority of people infected with the coronavirus will recover just fine. Still, even with that fact in mind, anxiety will understandably settle in for many, according to PBS.

If you’re feeling anxiety creep in from the insane news cycle, this read from Harvard Medical School might be worth giving a glance.

Now, I’m no medical expert by any stretch of the means. (A Harry Potter expert? You bet. Medical? Not at all.) But this bit from Harvard Medical School’s article stuck out to me: “Tap into other ways you like to relax, too. Maybe you like reading a good book or watching a good comedy.”

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Reading a good book is the perfect way to take your mind off the outside world. Good books take you away for a while. They let you experience life outside of reality.

That might be just what you need right now.

If I could give you a recommendation: Re-read a favorite and stay away from apocalyptic stories. (Unless the end of the world soothes you … for some reason?)

Re-reading a favorite book is like going home. You come back to characters you know and love and you tap into happier times. Familiar settings are said to be comforting — and I’d argue that’s true of a setting whether it’s fictional or real.

Of course, don’t completely detach yourself from the news and the world. (Again: Be prepared. Be smart. Stay informed. Practice good hygiene.) But it’s good to pull yourself out of the noise every once in a while.

I know this is short, but there’s really nothing more to say.

Put down your phone. Log off social media. Take a deep breath.

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Open a book.

What will you be reading? Leave us a note in the comments!

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Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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