A baby holding a book

Oh, the Places You’ll Read

For military families, the only constant in our lives is change. New friends, new places, new house, new job, new school. This can often feel like a daunting position to be in regardless of whether you are a service member, a spouse or a military brat.

As a former Army brat and now Army wife, I have found reading to be one of my best kept secrets in coping with a move or deployment. I find it comforting to be able to escape into a book and be a part of someone’s story without the burden of that story being my own.

Reading is one of the easiest forms of self-care you can practice. Buying a book for yourself, or someone else, is an investment in their mental health, education and overall well-being.

As school or work began taking over my life and later as I became a mom, I found it increasingly difficult to find time for myself to read. The reality is these are actually the most important times I should be taking a few minutes to myself.

I have made it a priority to take 20 minutes every day to read something — anything. If I feel as though I am behind in my current events, I’ll read the news. If I just need an exciting mystery or drama getaway, I’ll read a book. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but I am definitely someone who values the opinions of others. I follow multiple book clubs and recommendation pages on social media to pick out my next find. If I’m working on a project for a client and need guidance or new ideas, there is always a self-help style book to point me in the right direction.

I fell in love with reading at a young age and knew I wanted my children to have the same admiration. Before my daughter Eleanor was even born, she had a collection of books waiting for her. When planning my baby shower, my sister asked everyone to bring their favorite children’s book instead of a card. This was such a beautiful way to start sharing our love of reading from day one.

Reading has become a part of our bedtime routine. After a soothing bath and jammies, Eleanor and I rock slowly together reading a book or two to quiet her mind and calm her tired eyes. We even have my deployed husband in on the action. Before he left, I recorded him reading a few books. I play these often while reading along and turning the pages. It is one of my favorite ways to feel as though we are still reading as a family.

If you are looking for a way to reduce stress or have a few moments of quiet time without spending a fortune or even leaving the house, pick up a book and see how you feel. You never know where a book may take you…if the military doesn’t take you there first!

Nora Anderson
Written By Nora Anderson
Army Spouse

Nora became a brand-new milspouse in 2018. Her first lesson: 12 moves as an Army brat will never be enough preparation for this whirlwind life.

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