In collaboration with Penguin Platform, Daniel J. Layton shares with us why reading is a necessary form of self-care.
“Sometimes, I experience a particular feeling, which I don’t fully understand,” says Daniel while discussing the affects books have on him. “So I share it with my friends and get their perspective, and then I’ll spend some time mulling it over and thinking about it. But I don’t quite have a grip on it. And then I’ll read a passage in a book and, suddenly, it’s illuminated.”
The written word has the ability to help us in every aspect of our lives, including the pursuit of mental health. For Dan, it gives him the ability to process and understand things he might not otherwise be able to and it’s this ability that’s convinced him reading is an important part of anyone’s self-care routine.
Throughout the video, he discusses three books, the first of which is Sarah Wilson’s First, We Make The Beast Beautiful. It covers the topic of anxiety, stressing that we should all accept it’s a human response and find strength through our embracing of it. Daniel connects with this, as he finds something inspiring about inviting vulnerability in and gaining strength from it.
He goes onto discuss Turtles All The Way Down by fellow YouTuber John Green, which covers the day-to-day life of a young girl, named Aza, who suffers from OCD. Dan appreciates how John drew upon his own experiences with mental health to help create Aza’s character and states that this will help readers to view the world through someone else’s eyes, therefore helping them to support those they know.
The final book shared is Meera Lee Patel’s My Friend Fear, which further brings home the point of embracing that which we fear. It’s a book that reminds Dan of those cherished (and much needed) 3am conversations we’ve all had during sleepovers or after a party, and the message it spreads is a crucial one.
While Dan stresses that these books don’t hold the answers in which we seek – in fact, he doubts there are any, bringing in a sly little Socrates segue – he leaves viewers with this piece of wisdom, “While we’re on our journeys, while we’re trying to make peace with each new day, I think that books like these can really help us to explore who we are and consider the impact we have on ourselves and the world around us.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
Check our out Channel Spotlight on Jakia Khanom and how she’s using her YouTube videos to share her passion for beauty. Alternatively, you could read about Jimmy Hill‘s thoughts on the phrase “straight acting”.