Is there also a place of well-being in your life? A place where you can withdraw and immerse yourself in another world. A place where you feel safe when you feel lonely, where you might sometimes be able to distance yourself from pain and anguish. If not, then perhaps it is time to look for such a place or to create it yourself. Some people have a single place of well-being, others have several, and for some it exists in the imagination. The important thing is that it triggers a good feeling when you think of the place. Here is a relaxation exercise for a place of well-being. If you scroll all the way down the page, you can listen to the exercise. My feel-good place has to do with books.

Another world

She had never looked in the mirror when entering a bookshop, but she was sure it was visible. When she read the shop sign, "Meeting place for letters", a comforting warmth spread through her.

She opened a door and closed it behind her, but it was not the shop door. It was the door behind which the world she wanted to escape spread out.

Woman reading book

Like a cosy blanket

Her pulse slowed, her features relaxed and then she started walking. At first without a destination, with quiet steps on the carpeted floor. She didn't want to disturb anyone. A book title caught her interest, she took the book from the shelf and sat down on a wonderfully comfortable reading chair. It felt like she was snuggling up in a cosy blanket in front of the fire. She opened to the first page, taking in the smell of freshly printed paper. The book welcomed her. She was at home...

Basket with blanket

A new method

"What made you feel at home?" She sat on an uncomfortable wooden chair in Dr Lamotte's surgery. On the wall was a large picture with pencil drawings she was trying to decipher. "Mrs Lilly, are you listening? At home? Yes I asked you about the place where you used to feel most comfortable - a feel-good place?" That was easy - "The library in Middleton." She could tell the doctor hadn't expected that answer. They were going to try a new method today to relieve her depression, something about eye movements.

The scent of old books

Her place of comfort. She remembered. Immediately she heard the crunching of the wooden floorboards. She saw a labyrinth, that's how it seemed to her at the age of eleven. Many towering bookshelves made of dark oak. She grasped familiarly at the back of a leather armchair that was worn through and thus shiny and polished. The smell of old books brushed her nose. It was not unpleasant. She sat down at the table and slowly ran both hands over the worn wood.

The first lines

Here she wrote the first letter to her father, who had disappeared from her life five years before, and then suddenly contacted her again. Here she wrote her first love lines. She fell in love with her best friend's cousin and had to leaf through a Spanish dictionary a lot, because he didn't speak English. "Javier" , she still felt the excitement and fear of that time: how would he react?  

A journey

Writing journal

Here she went on a journey in the picture tapes. Her mother had no money for a holiday trip, she was a single parent and had to work a lot. She often didn't notice whether Iris was there or not. Iris her inconspicuous daughter.

Here she discovered the mysterious land where her mother had grown up. The Andamans, an group of islands in the Indian Ocean, a primeval forest and an untouched paradise. Here she found inspiration in Dickens for historical essays. To this day, "The Christmas Carol" was her favourite story at Christmas time.

And it was also here that she copied down the odd sentence for schoolwork. It was almost never noticed. Back then, you had to pick up a book to find a sentence. This is where she studied for her exams. And this is where her friend always looked for her.

One island

Your place of well-being

Yes the library was that place.

She hadn't lived in Middleton for a long time and had moved around a lot after that. Whenever she moved back into a flat, she checked the opening hours of the local library. To see if there was a bookshop. The first thing she did was unpack her books.

"All right," said Dr Lamotte, "let's try it. Imagine you are in the library..."

A comforting warmth spread through her... at home.

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