Creative Healing: How Joining Bookstagram Saved My 2020
Banana bread, “Netflix Party”, whipped coffee, and scrolling through TikTok. These are an array of activities that take us back to the infamous time that was March 2020.
When lockdown first hit us in early spring of 2020, it left most of us with nothing to do besides find new ways to entertain ourselves. I fell victim to retail therapy, utter boredom and yes, I may have baked a banana bread (or three).
However, after taking a look at the abundant number of unread books on my shelf, another idea came to mind: creating a Bookstagram account.
If you’re not familiar with the term, Bookstagram is made up of a community of people, on Instagram, who share a love of literature. Users will post bookish content including book photography, giveaways, reviews and so much more.
A few of my friends were already apart of the Bookstagram community, and with nothing else to do at home, I was inspired to create my very own account. At first, I thought of the account as a fun little activity that would hold me over until the outside world became available again. However, after a short while, the creation of this account blossomed into something so much more meaningful.
For one, Bookstagram revived my love for reading. Though I’ve always felt a strong connection to books, the last few years left me in an unfortunate state of reader’s block. I went from reading multiple books a month to a couple a year, if I was lucky. It felt as though the rush that usually came with browsing new books to read was slowly but surely dwindling. Since joining Bookstagram, I felt inspired by the recommendations and reviews that I saw while scrolling through my feed. Suddenly, I was back to adding novel after novel into my cart and re-immersing myself in the world of fiction. It felt like coming home.
Though content creating on social media can be an overwhelming and competitive space, for some, I’ve never felt anything but the utmost amount of support since creating my book account. I’ve made connections with fellow readers and bloggers from all around the world and there is a unanimous, uplifting energy within the community that is extremely necessary during these difficult times.
Throughout this period of (literal) isolation, one challenge that I had not expected to deal with was mental health. Though I, like many others, have had my fair share of dark days, being trapped in one place made recovery very difficult. Verbally expressing my emotions and insecurities is not something that comes naturally to me by any means. Bookstagram became an outlet through which I could vent these internal frustrations in a creative manner.
Running this particular type of account requires a focus on visual aesthetics and coming up with unique, creative ways to express your desired content. This was a side of myself that I’d never explored before. In the spirit of attempting new talents, I was also prompted to explore myself through writing poetry. Though these pieces are private (for now), letting these thoughts flow throw my fingertips was the greatest relief. Suddenly, I wasn’t holding the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore.
Overall, the past year has been daunting. As we hold out hope for the future, I stress the importance of finding your very own expressive outlets. Whether it’s social media, writing, reading or baking delicious treats, do not take for granted the healing effects of creative expression. I certainly won’t.