When is the last time you did nothing? I’m talking NUH-THING! Literally just sat there completely idle — not watching your favorite show on Netflix or reading a book.
Are you constantly checking off a to-do list and battling the guilt that comes from time-wasters? Because let’s be clear, there’s a difference between wasting time — like checking Facebook every ten minutes — and spending time in reflection…
…the kind of down time that is good for your soul.
Introspection and reflection have become lost arts as the temptation to ‘just finish this’ or ‘find out that’ is often too great to risk.
This meme I came across illustrates this point with a little humor…
It’s funny, but it’s the sad truth.
It might sound weird and FEEL weird, but doing nothing may be the best thing you can do to induce a state of mind that nurtures your imagination and improves your mental health.
How To Do Nothing
If you haven’t tried meditating, I highly recommend it. It’s a simple practice you can add to your morning routine. There is no hard and fast rule about how long you need to meditate — 5 minutes is better than no minutes.
And if you think you suck at meditating, it’s not something you can suck at…I promise. You just have to breathe. If you find your mind wandering to your busy day, simply catch it and bring it back to nothingness.
Be kind to yourself. Even the top gurus have meandering minds. It’s a practice for a reason.
You have to drive so why not use it as a time to do nothing? Yes, focus on the road, but drive in silence. Just be…don’t listen to music, podcasts, or the news. Don’t eat or drink. And definitely, don’t text or do your makeup!
Turn off all distractions and just drive. Focus on steady breathing…being easy on the gas pedal and soft on the brakes.
Nature is one of the most calming environments. It’s fresh, the trees and plants offer an abundance of oxygen and the sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the wind is sedative.
Do you normally wear your earbuds and listen to music when out for a walk or run in the forest? If so, try just listening to your own breathing and the indigenous sounds around you.
If you live in a city, seek out a park and find a quiet spot under a tree. Sit and just be.
If you normally hit the snooze button a few times in the morning, try putting your clock out of reach, so you have to physically get up to turn it off. Set your clock 20 min before you normally get up and practice a quiet morning routine.
Part of your routine can be to just sit in silence and enjoy 5 minutes of undisturbed time — and it’s the best time to sip your morning coffee or tea.
There’s something special about mornings…
Rumi ~ “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”
Progress Not Perfection
Doing nothing can feel weird–especially if it’s new to you. We live in a busy, noisy world and have access to instant gratification, at all times.
Start practicing things like leaving your phone in the car when you grocery shop so you aren’t tempted to pull it out when waiting in line. Just stand there in silence. It’s not that dreadful — you’ll get used to it and start appreciating these opportunities to do nothing.
Practice leads to progress…not perfection.
Need a hand scheduling some down time into your day? Download my Ideal Day Blueprint.
Or maybe you need more than that. You can’t remember how to appreciate the little wins in life and need a major disruption to get back on track.