Happiness Is… doing absolutely nothing

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I’ve started writing lists to help me remember the things I need to do in the day when I am writing. I will list how long I want to spend on each item on my list, setting myself a limit on the time I want to spend doing the social media aspects of a blog, how long I want to spend on writing each post, how long I will allow myself for a break. From after my breakfast until Jack gets home, my day is scheduled. It helps with productivity and makes me feel like I am really achieving things with my time. I love my lists, my little routine, my entire life right now.

This weekend, because of both of us not feeling 100%, we haven’t done much, if anything, at all… and it has been bliss. Everything has been an impulse decision within a totally free timescale and I feel the most relaxed I have felt in a long, long time.

We make our lives so, so busy. What choice do we have? There are so many demands and expectations of us now. We have work to do, this text to reply to, this event to go to, cleaning to do, the shopping to go and get… we rush around constantly, giving ourselves a 10 minute ‘wellbeing’ break if we are lucky, until we collapse into bed, ready to start the whole routine again the next day.

I get that we have to do it. To afford the lifestyle we have, we have to work. To live in a nice environment, we have to keep it clean. To keep our relationships strong, we have to invest time and effort into them. We don’t run ourselves into the ground for things that don’t matter.

But those blissful times where you can completely clear your diary and do absolutely nothing are so, so important. Instead of having a meeting at this time, lunch at that time, a bus to catch at that time, your day becomes an endless stretch of doing whatever you feel like. It’s the ultimate expression of self love, to give yourself the time, energy and space to just be. You aren’t set to a rigid timeframe. You can give into laziness, into every passing whim, into every urge to just stop.

It’s like my movie hero Ferris Bueller says – ‘life moves pretty fast – if you don’t stop and take look around once in a while, you could miss it’. We keep up with the ever increasing pace of the treadmill, taking on more and more roles, cramming more into our lives even when it feels like there is no room for anything else in it… we don’t even think about stopping. We don’t think of the things that we might make ourselves miss out on because we feel so bound to a sense of duty to complete tasks when really one of the most important tasks we can complete is to look after ourselves.

So when there is a chance to do nothing, take it. Pause the treadmill, set down the load.

Your idea of doing nothing might be a lie in. It might be reading a book. It might be catching up with a friend. It might be just sitting there, looking out of the window and being alone with your thoughts. For me, I had a lie in and then listened to music I haven’t listened to in months. I watched a film. I snacked. I did everything I wanted to, which amounted to pretty much nothing. And now I am so incredibly content.

This next week, make sure you stop, even if only for a little bit. Make sure you turn your phone facedown and ignore the clock. Listen to yourself and to what you want to do. Do everything, do nothing. Find your happiness in the nothingness.

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