5 minutes reading time (931 words)

The Art of Doing Nothing

I've recorded a podcast about this but it seems that Apple Podcasts and I are having some issues right now so my web team is working on hosting the Podcasts on this site for you while we work with Apple to get this all sorted out. In the meantime, I am going to fill you in on the podcast here on the blog and hopefully, in the next few days, we can have the Podcast up as well.

The art of doing nothing.

It sounds a lot fancier than it is. It almost sounds like something royalty would talk about years ago as they wandered the castle hallways. Of course few us of actually have the luxury of doing nothing anymore, with the number of activities we plan into a day.

There's work, school, bills, sports, friends, meals to cook, laundry to do. It can all be a little overwhelming at times. Of course, when we do have an hour or two to catch up on our favourite TV show or read a book we feel guilty the whole time because we have so many other things to get done.

Well, I am here today to tell you to STOP FEELING GUILTY! 

 I know, easier said then done but hear me out. This guilt we feel isn't imposed on us by our kids, our significant others or even our co-workers (maybe sometimes by your boss if you have a deadline but you get what I am saying), WE do this to ourselves and it needs to stop.

Why should we feel bad because we want to re-charge?

Why should we allow ourselves to become run down and irritated, simply because we refuse to put ourselves first?

What good are we to the people we care about if we are always on edge because we have too many things on our plates to worry about?

How can we possibly be enjoying our lives, if we never stop to actually enjoy life?

We need to start enjoying doing nothing and allow ourselves to be in the moment without the guilt.

Have your whole family spend a day doing nothing and see how much happier everyone is. Go spend a day at a water park and lounge for hours in the lazy river. Go have a day at a local park doing nothing but enjoying the world around you. Go watch TV for a whole day without cleaning or doing laundry. Spend time with your kids in the backyard playing for the whole day.

I promise you, you will all be changed by the experience.

 Stress is the leading cause of a number of health issues including High Blood pressure, Heart Attack, and other heart-related illnesses. It also puts you at an increased risk for health issues like Obesity, Diabetes, Depression and Alzheimer's Disease. The more stress you feel the more at risk your health is. If that stress continues over a long period of time, you're at an even greater risk for health-related issues.

This stress is very seldom added to our lives by other people. Other people don't agree to 3 sports groups a week or a party every Friday night to entertain friends. We agree to it, we do it because we want to be a good person, a good friend, mother, father, sister, whatever. We run ourselves ragged because we watched our parents do it and we think it's normal, but most places in the world don't have people die from stress in their 40's. This is a purely North American thing. There are countries where writing about the joy of spending a day doing nothing would seem silly because it is simply what they do. Other places in the world (France, South Africa, Poland, Thailand, and many others) have no need to be told to simply enjoy life, they just do.

We have lost our ability to sit still and we are now teaching our children that they can't either. Between work, cell phones, school, sports, when do you stop and put it all away to spend time with the people you love. To be fully present in the moment with them and not worrying about all the other things you need to do?

How many of us enjoy weekends anymore? We spend all our time running around and doing the things we don't have time for in the week. This leaves us with the feeling that we never really have a day off and so we get more stressed out and resentful.

Doing nothing can not only help you mentally recharge, reduce stress and give you perspective, it also gives you the peace of mind that you're enjoying what life has to offer and not just simply working 24/7.

Reducing stress has been shown to decrease health-related issues associated with stress by up to 74%. So what do you have to lose? 

I challenge you reading this to pick a date this week, any date and do nothing! Set aside the day to simply be in the world and enjoy something you haven't had the time for. Do nothing, with the people you love or alone. Have a glass of wine and a cheese plate and simply enjoy. Lay at the beach all day reading just because you can. Be as present in the moment as you can be and if you find yourself worried about something else, don't feel guilty or ashamed, simply remind yourself that it will still be there tomorrow and go back to doing the nothing that you were doing.

Life is not a luxury; it is meant to be enjoyed at every opportunity.

So go out and Enjoy it!

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