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The Selfcare Hack Right Under Your Nose: The Library!

If you live near your local library, you have one of the greatest selfcare destinations on the planet available to you!


If you have a library card, you have the most powerful tool for knowledge and personal transformation in the palm of your hand!


Put them together, and the library becomes the best selfcare life hack ever and everything you need to start changing your destiny today.


Yes, the library is that life changing.


There’s a reason there’s one in every school, every town, and every city. Life is all about learning, exploring, growing, and evolving and you need three things for that, time, location, and information. The library provides them all.


When you think about selfcare, a pedicure, a nap, a massage, yoga, or a nature walk may come to mind. As I mentioned in my post from January of this year The Lost Art of Reading,” reading is one of the best forms of selfcare you can access. It’s great for your mind, body, and spirit. Stick with me and I’ll explain how it applies to all.

But first, the benefits of the library. Time, location, and information.


Time


Time literally slows down in the library. You walk in rushed and just the atmosphere of the place says, “Slow down and stay for a while.” Even if you run in, grab your book and leave, those few minutes in the library are calm, focused, and transformative.


Walking into a library is like walking back in time. The stories start to speak to you. You have to stop, browse the shelves, read the spines. You must slow down to find what you are looking for and your body responds in kind. Your breathing slows down, your heart rate slows down, good memories may come flooding back to you. You find yourself in an internal “quiet” place.


Perhaps it’s all the history that lies within the pages, or the heads downturned reading or writing. You get the sense that what is stored here must be honored and respected and so you take a little more time.


Library Time Selfcare = A better mood and balanced biology.


Location


If you need a quiet spot to get away for a while, the library is an ideal location. Many folks in a chaotic life or home situation may respond, “But I have nowhere to go,” when prompted by advice to distance themselves from that environment, if only for a little while. The library provides that temporary respite.


A stressed mom, an angry teenager, an upset spouse. The library is a place you can go where no one will judge, ask questions, or try to solve your problem for you. You can find a cozy corner and just read. Put on headphones and listen to music, guided imagery, or a meditation program. It’s a place you can go to work it out, plan your next move, and sit with your emotions.


I visited the library quite often in the past when I experienced moments of overwhelm. A huge part of my personal transformation included reading and listening to motivational books. The library became a haven in the storm of difficult parenting, periods of depression, or unhappiness. While there I was able to escape to a whole new world or start to understand and shape my own.


For you it may serve as a place to expand your world, meet new people, and make new friends. This is possible through the wonderful adult and children’s programming many libraries provide. For moms with young children or retirees that want to remain vibrant and engaged, the library can provide a great location for making new connections.


An interesting benefit of the library is limited food. As a health coach, I meet with a number of my clients at the library. Why? Again, it’s quiet, there’s a wealth of health, nutrition, and wellness resources there just waiting to be checked out and, there’s no means of purchasing food!


If you are looking to connect with current friends but are looking for locations that don’t involve eating, the library is the perfect place. Just connection and camaraderie with no temptation, smells, or distractions.


However, learning takes focus and energy, and healthy food provides that. Also, kids need snacks occasionally. If you do want a bite or have a little nibbler on your hands, make sure to follow a few rules:

  1. Eat before going. Choose something filling and satisfying like a protein-based meal to keep the hunger pangs away. A veggie omelet, avocado toast, a great smoothie, protein bar, yogurt and berries for the kids. These will keep you covered during your time in the stacks and avoid meltdowns.

  2. Pack Smart. If you couldn't grab something before, bring along some brain food snacks. Walnuts, almonds, blueberries, dark chocolate, apple slices and a preferred nut better, all of these will work; not too loud, not too messy. Oh, and wipes please. Big and little fingers get sticky.

  3. Bring Water. Finally, water. Bring a water bottle because hydration is key. Some libraries have water fountains and bottle filling stations. Choose a bottle with a spout or top vs. an open water bottle. Something you can shut so there are no "clean-ups in the personal growth aisle." Avoiding metal bottles with ice cubes will also go a long way toward your library neighbors not throwing you some serious side-eye.

Remember, as good patrons of the library, pack lightly and use the trash cans! Your librarian will thank you.


Library Location Selfcare = Solace when you need it, connection when you want it, and no food when you struggle with it.


Information (i.e. knowledge)


Entering the world of the library is like entering a world of possibilities. You can learn about anything you want, especially health, nutrition, and selfcare. 😉


Whatever your focus, the library provides you with access to books, videos, newspapers, and magazines on topics from acupuncture to Zen Buddhism. As mentioned earlier, libraries offer programs for all ages and many topics. Most library systems have robust websites and a calendar of events to provide a learning opportunity for just about everyone.


If you’re looking to start a new career path or just interested in a new hobby or passion, the library can be your springboard to learning about something new or figuring out that, whatever it is, it’s not for you after all! The beauty of the library is that there are endless “do-overs” for what you can pursue and where you want to go.


And, if you haven’t “danced with the Dewey Decimal system” in a while, your librarian is there to help. Think of your librarian as the “Internet with a heartbeat.” These wonderful, trained professionals are there to literally find the needle in the bookstacks for you so utilize their skills and training to get what you need.


Library Information Selfcare = Continued learning, personal growth, and new beginnings.


There you are. All the benefits of the library that you’d probably forgotten about since grade school or didn’t even know existed. Introduce your kids to the library early and nurture the relationship throughout their lives. The gift of the library is one that will add value for generations and lasts much longer than the electronics and shiny things.


Support our local library with your donations and your time as well. Give back as much as you can to support this wonderful treasure. It will make you feel good to do good.


Well, hopefully you’re reading this post at your local library. If not, put a note on your calendar to get there soon. You’re missing out on one of the best kept selfcare hacks around.


Looking for other unique selfcare activities that you may not have thought of and looking for a little alone time? Book a complimentary consultation call now to find ways to slip away and get back to being YOU!


Leave a comment, share this post, and go to the library!


Take care and be well,

Courtney


An expansive view of a beautiful library.
Spending time in your local library can be your most valuable source of selfcare and personal growth.

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