reason people struggling read lockdown
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When lockdown kicked in we all hoped that it could be an opportunity to catch up on more self-care and hobbies that we don’t usually get around to.

And to read more books was top of the list for many people going into lockdown.

Not only does reading encourage calm and provide us the opportunity to escape the real world for a little bit, it can also be a social activity which can give us a chance to catch up with our friends over Zoom with some wine a little natter about our latest read.

However, there are some who may have been finding it more difficult to get into a book during lockdown, with even avid readers struggling to focus on the goings on of their latest novel.

MORE: Brits are reading more during lockdown for escapism but there’s a surprising genre experiencing a surge

And it turns out that there might be a reason for it.

“When we feel under threat we become more alert to danger, including becoming hyper-vigilant. We are fully focussed on ascertaining the source of the danger,” Sarah Lewis, Consultant Psychologist at Appreciating Change, explained to the Metro.

“Think of when you have been startled in the night by an unexpected noise. Immediately you think – is someone in the house?

reason people struggling read lockdown

“All your blood rushes to your muscles to prepare for action,” she continued, “chemicals are released that activate your nervous system for fight or flight, your attention focussed right down on to that sound, straining to make sense of it. Then you realise it’s your son knocking over the hall-stand trying to creep in; relief rushes over you and your aroused system calms down”.

Sarah then went on to explain why that reaction could be taking place at the moment, adding, “The problem with COVID-19 is that stage two, the resolution of the danger, the flood of relief, doesn’t come.

“Many of us remain in a stage of hyper-vigilance, unable to divert our attention elsewhere in case we put ourselves at risk. Logically it makes no sense but our nervous system doesn’t know this.

MORE: Woman&Home’s edit of the best books to read this year

“But this is why it is so hard to ‘lose ourselves’ in something like a good read; at an unconscious level we are scared to let our guard down until we know the danger has passed”.

So don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not ticking off as many books as usual off your reading list.

Take time out for yourself and do whatever feels right for you and your body to get yourself through these difficult times.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a Rioja- and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she stalked the royals via breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a good slathering of SPF and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines. Being a product specialist on a brand for bold women (and living the single life) means that Aleesha also knows a thing or two about the must-buy sex toys, so she relishes in unleashing her inner Carrie Bradshaw on our sex & relationships pages.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group.

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

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