Put down your To-Do list and just …stop.

If you pack every waking second with Doing Stuff, it’s time to take time…

Doing Nothing.

I think I could be very good at this. In fact I do, on occasion, allow myself the “luxury” of Doing Nothing (as in, not Pursuing Something), and it’s great. A relaxed state of mind ensues … until I think about my To Do list, waiting for me, somewhere, and I start feeling guilty…

Purely from a medical point of view, it’s good to stop from time to time – it decreases your heart rate and stress cortisol levels, you sleep better and it can be a preventative treatment for anxiety and depression, says Jennifer Kunst  (Wisdom for the Couch: Knowing and Growing Yourself from the Inside Out). Who am I to doubt her.

I could happily spend an entire Sunday morning leafing through a magazine and having a bath, so maybe it’s time I just did it.

I switch off all social media and technology for me and my kids anyway on a Sunday (haven’t quite convinced hubby yet), so I’m halfway there.

Jennifer (remember her from above) says:

If you make time to relax and recharge your batteries, you wind up being able to do more and do it better.

We should build a little holiday into each week, not just store it up for the summer.

So here’s a little advice on how to do nothing:

1 Look at the clouds

Lie back on the grass, look up at the sky and make shapes or patterns in the clouds and before you know it your mind will have emptied out.

2 Count your breaths

Sit in a quiet room and breathe slowly in, then slowly out. Count one as your breath enters your body, through your nose and into your lungs. Then two as it goes out of your body through your mouth. Repeat until you’ve counted ten, then start again.

 

3 Start small

Allocate five minutes for your “me” time and build it up as you get better at switching off and doing nothing.

4 Disconnect

Switch off your phone, tablet, laptop and TV, then there’s nothing stopping you doing nothing.

5 Do something for pleasure

Yes, do something because you WANT to do it, not because you have to (because it’s on your To Do list). Read a book (I’ve got four half-finished on my bedside table, gathering dust), take up a new hobby or get back to an old one (mine’s knitting and sewing), write (a poem, a short story, a long story, a blog, a letter to a friend), flick through a magazine, take a long bath, listen to your favourite music, dance around the kitchen, lie down and close your eyes and doze, DAYDREAM.

And don’t now write on your TO DO lists “Take time out for ME”, it somewhat defeats the object, n’est-ce pas?

JUST DO NOTHING.

NOW.

And let me know how it feels.

 

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