Any book lover worth their salt has experienced those dreaded book withdrawals. When twisting plotlines, emotional scenes, quality characters and intense cliff hangers have taken you on an emotional journey of epic proportions. You can’t help but feel emotionally drained after all of that. I myself get incredibly invested in every book I read, to the extent that I’m balling my eyes out with every character death, laughing at witty monologue and pining after every heart wrenching hero/heroine. So it’s safe to say that I’ve had more than enough practise at dealing with withdrawal symptoms, courtesy of every book I’ve ever read. With this practise has birthed my very own way of navigating the emotional landmines and brutal aftermath of a really good book. So in this post I thought I’d share some of my homemade remedies (tried and tested).
Reread a favourite book
I recently tweeted about this and got a lot of positive responses, so I can happily say that the majority of us have reread our favourite books many times over. Revisiting a book you enjoyed the first time (and every time after that) is a great way to take your mind off any post traumatic stress caused by your recent read. Knowing you’re about to read your favourite scenes and characters is bound to lift your spirits. After all, the best way to get over a book, is to start another one! Personally I love a good YA or NA romance, so every time a book has left me feeling down, I revisit one of these books to pick myself back up again. See one of my previous posts for more on my favourite authors.
Watch a film or tv show
Take your mind off the latest read with a good film, preferably a comedy so you can have a laugh and smooth any edginess leftover from the brutal cliffhanger. It’s always good to laugh away any strong emotions or dark moods. My number one choice is always either Friends or That 70s Show on Netflix. Can’t go wrong with abit of sitcom humour.
By focusing your attention of another storyline, however humorous it may be, is a concrete way to get your mind off of your latest book. Just don’t make the mistake of watching a drama or anything that is bound to bring you to tears. Once you’ve opened those flood gates, it’s guaranteed you won’t be able to stop!
Create a playlist
May sound cheesy but different songs put you in different moods, so creating a strong and enjoyable playlist will help you get rid of any leftover post book funk you find yourself in. (Trust me I recently did this with Thank u Next and it worked like a charm). Music is famous for giving us listeners all the feels, so use it to your advantage. It’s guerrilla warfare people, use music that makes you feel good or hypes you up, to push back any withdrawal emotions. Honestly, give me any Taylor Swift album and I’ll be over any dark mood in no time.
I was thinking the other day that authors really should warn us beforehand if a book will be emotionally taxing, if they do that then I can better prepare myself and have my playlist at the ready!
Make yourself a to- do list
Focus on other things, even things as simple as errands will help take your mind off the book. Go to the shops, visit a friend or do some meal prep (the last ones for me). Anything that will take your mind off of your latest read. By redirecting your attention it takes your mind off of any questions like ‘How could you?’, ‘But what happens next?’ and ‘Did that really just happen?!’, prompted by the storyline. My tactic is to take my laptop to the kitchen, watch Friends whilst cooking a meal. Dual focus people, it’s not failed me yet.
I mean, do you really need a reason? Sometimes a really powerful book can incite a lot of emotion and after reading I sometimes feel emotionally exhausted. So take a relaxing bath, put on a facemask, paint your nails and literally lie around and do nothing. You don’t want to be running around emotionally drained, at least I don’t!
Play with your pet
If you have one that is, if not google some cute puppy or kitten images- they’re bound to put a smile on your face! Animals never fail to pick you up and make you smile regardless of your mood. Walk you dog, play with your hamster or give attention to your cat. The cuteness is sure to take your mind off any lingering book emotions. Animals are calming creatures, so lying on your bed or on the couch and giving her/him some love is a foolproof way to douse any lingering emotional fires.
So there you have it. A few of my personal ways to successfully survive any deep rooted book withdrawals. They work at least for me anyway, I hope this works for you too!
What do you think of my tactics? How to you get over the end of a good book?