The Art of Making Time to Do Nothing

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Issue 139, Issues, Lifestyle | 0 comments

It's often something that slips our minds in the crazy, hectic, busy lives that we live, but taking time for yourself is crucial to our health. Yet, on average, we...

It’s often something that slips our minds in the crazy, hectic, busy lives that we live, but taking time for yourself is crucial to our health. Yet, on average, we only spend 15 minutes a day doing something self-care-related.

Choosing to put your health and well-being as one of your top priorities can be difficult, but we’ve compiled some helpful suggestions to aid you on your journey towards unadulterated “me-time,” as well as some pretty compelling reasons why you should. So here are some ways you can start putting your alone time first today:



Tips and Tricks to Do Nothing

Self-care doesn’t have to be all bubble baths and meditation, although these are also a great way to relax. Sometimes, the simplest things like brushing your teeth, moving your body every day, and making sure you’re getting sound, sufficient sleep can make the most significant impact on how you feel. Although these may seem basic, starting small as you acclimate yourself to self-care is essential. 

When was the last time you actually did nothing? No phone, no TV, no thoughts of work or responsibilities. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking time to do absolutely nothing has terrific benefits. 

Schedule time for yourself! Take a page from your professional life, open up your calendar, and block off some “me-time.” We’re so used to making sure we attend meetings and meet deadlines, so why not put that same energy into cutting out specific time for yourself?

Getting up 15 minutes before your alarm usually goes off will give you an excellent opportunity for alone time. Of course, this earlier rising time may mean that you need to make sure to go to bed a bit earlier too, but trust us, the time spent just for yourself (no phone, no distractions) will be well worth waking up earlier. 



The Benefits of Taking Time for Yourself

Sitting down with the express intention of doing nothing seems counterproductive in our busy culture. But it can be one of the most beneficial things with the least amount of work you can do right now. 

Aside from the health benefits, other ways of doing nothing can positively impact your life. For example, one study found that when we’re idle, we’re prone to daydreaming, making us more creative and better problem-solvers. So maybe the next time you’re stumped with a problem, take some time to do nothing and daydream. 

Getting rid of all distractions will quickly lead to boredom. But don’t be afraid of this boredom! Tapping into emotions is difficult to do when running around and keeping busy. Doing nothing can help you gain emotional clarity and lead to holistic well-being. 

Carving out time just for you can help you connect with yourself more deeply than you have in a long time. This will help you deal with problems more effectively, boost your creativity and improve your productivity! Spending alone time with yourself can also help you connect with your inner voice and improve concentration

Your relationship with yourself can improve drastically by simply taking some time to intentionally be alone with yourself. This simple task can also help you improve your relationships with the people who matter most to you. Making a concerted effort to have time alone helps you reconnect with your inner voice and shows you what’s most important to you. This revelation can help you communicate your needs and desires more clearly with the people around you. 

Taking time to be alone with yourself can also give your brain a chance to unwind. When you’re constantly working, your brain doesn’t have time to rest and recuperate. Alone time gives your brain a much-needed break with time to reboot.

Starting Your Self-Care Journey Today

Now that you’re equipped with some practical ways to set aside time to do nothing, how can you get started today? One of the very first steps you need to take on your journey towards health and self-care is accepting yourself as you are. Comparing ourselves to others and setting standards too high for ourselves steals joy and prevents us from believing that we deserve taking time to do nothing. 

Starting with simple, realistic goals is a great way to ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by cutting out time in your busy schedule to do nothing. If all you can do today is make sure that you get up and stretch and move your body in a way that feels good to you, that’s great! You’re still taking time for yourself, and the more you prioritize yourself, the more benefits you’ll reap. 

It can be difficult to do nothing regularly in today’s ever-moving world. To start, it may be helpful to plan to sit and gaze out the window the next time you’re in the passenger seat or on public transport. 

You don’t have to suddenly block out three hours a day to sit on the couch and don’t do anything. Instead, start with five minutes at the same time every day when you choose to do nothing. At first, this may honestly be a difficult task to achieve. However, after a week or so of training yourself to be okay with five minutes that don’t seem productive, you’ll start looking forward to that time just for you. 



A Parting Reminder

Taking time for yourself in today’s constantly busy culture may seem selfish or counterintuitive, but it is a crucial self-care decision. There are many ways you can carve out time, specifically to be alone and do nothing. Hopefully, this guide has given you some helpful suggestions on how to do that and why it is so beneficial. 

Taking time for your mind and body to rest is vital for preventative healthcare. If you have specific questions about the best health choices you can make, be sure to reach out to your primary healthcare provider to get specialized recommendations. 

Louisa Emhof

Louisa Emhof