Blog, Mental Health

It’s ok to do nothing

It’s ok to do nothing

We all have busy lives, even if we’re not that busy. Even if we’ve nowhere to go that day, it can get mighty busy in our heads.

Sometimes I just can’t get motivated to do much at all. In between my 3 jobs and writing One Empty Shelf, I still manage, on those days, to feel guilty for feeling lethargic. I just can’t shake off the feeling that I should be doing something. I should be inspired. I should be off out exploring or writing some more or making a video. I should be updating client records or planning a display or event, or practicing my meditation. I should be working on writing a course or stocking up on supplies or tidying the garden or the house. I should be creating, drawing, singing, playing music.

Today was a day like that. This morning I wrote 2 posts and still felt like I’d done nothing. But even if I hadn’t done that…I need to realise it’s ok. It’s fine to do nothing when your body and mind are telling you they need a break.

I acknowledge now that if I’m unmotivated and lethargic, I listen to what my body’s telling me. I’ll bury myself in a fiction book and tune out the day. So today I read for hours, stopping only to refuel on cups of tea and Americano. And it’s ok.

We obsess over how much we must achieve each day. It’s seen as lazy to even just take some time for yourself. But we all need to recharge, in our own ways. Usually I love a long, wild walk in torrential rain, or to just run, feet covering rough, wild moors, oxygen flooding my mind. I like to immerse myself in a project, writing songs, pyrography, baking.

But sometimes even that escapes me. And yes….that’s ok. So many of us are told to ‘get up and do something’ whenever we stop or slow down. But even I’m realising that sometimes we really just need to stop.

So I’m writing this sat in the middle of the patio on the floor, the sun beating down on my back. A few moments ago I was just lying on the stone floor with no agenda, watching the leaves of the tree above rustle in the breeze and listening to bumble bees buzz around, feeding on nectar from a nearby flowering bush. The cat joined me and is currently asleep in a warm pile, spread eagled on the paving slabs.

We need to stop sometimes, so that we can start again.

3 thoughts on “It’s ok to do nothing

  1. I usually find I am beating myself up for not getting anything done, when actually, when I stop and make a list of what I’ve done, there’s quite a lot achieved! I’m still working on not feeling guilty when I do have a really relaxed day, but I think, more than that, I just need to be nicer to myself!

  2. I agree with you and Clare the first few days I was fine laying about and milling around my small apartment. But as my vacation days got smaller I started to ask myself why am I not “doing” anything. The constant thought of “how dare you not get shit done” but I could not move. I left the house once a day to go purchase dinner and come back. I felt that was good. The thinking of “you need to be productive” quietly whispered in my brain. And then I do know when the vacation is over I’m back on the hamster wheel and will be glad I did nothing.

    1. That whispering voice is very familiar Florence! Sometimes, the thing that needs to be done is…nothing…! We need down time. There is so much these days about GTD and productivity and doing more and more and more… we overlook the power of a real rest. Your vacation sounds perfect – a well-deserved rest 🙂

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