I need my 20 minutes too.

As if I wasn’t already bombarded with too much, deciding to focus on writing has me spread even thinner. All the other obligations, mom-related tasks, work, social pulls are still there but now I’m hyper-focused on putting in regular effort to write. Reading and writing go hand in hand. When you are reading your writing is better, makes total sense. But, how the heck do I find time to read? I miss reading. I had a good long stretch of making reading a priority. I have a stack of books (not to mention all the e-books on my Kindle) that I have yet to crack open.

We all know that our kids need to read. I know that for my oldest, ever since he’s been in Kindergarten, 20 minutes of reading is part of his daily homework. Luckily, he loves reading so it’s never been much of a fight. According to Edudemic, skipping your nightly reading can have adverse affects on learning. The benefits for those children who get their daily 20 are pretty substantial. Edudemic cites, they are better at Math, they tend to be more empathetic and reading raises self-esteem and confidence.

It made me wonder what reading might do for adults. I’ve seen all the articles that say that adults who do things like word searches and puzzles have greater retention of memory. So I went to Google. Turns out there are benefits for getting just 30 minutes of reading in per week for adults. Express cites a study that found adults who read for 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their life. Twenty percent! Mirroring the benefits that children see, adults who read weekly have higher self-esteem and self-acceptance. One reason offered, which makes complete sense, is that reading is a way to share life experiences. For any age, sometimes you read and you realize you aren’t alone in your circumstance. The study went further to get a group of people who had stopped taking the time to read for various reasons. Those folks were challenged to spend 2o minutes per day reading. They reported sleeping better, feeling happier and more energetic.

It’s funny that I work pretty hard to get some sort of exercise most days of the week. I made the realization long ago that no one is going to make me a priority, unless I do. Getting in just a little exercise daily, relieves my stress and makes me feel better. So I do what I can to get it in, even if it’s only 30 minutes and I’d prefer an hour+. But why not reading? With so many benefits, 20 minutes a day could be while I drink my coffee. Or sitting in the car rider line at pick-up. I’m challenging myself to get in a daily 20. Will you take the challenge?

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