Outside of Cora’s window was her one-way guilt-free ticket to Nothing-Ville. Still wearing her favorite pajamas, warming both hands holding a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee, Cora watched the thick snowflakes rapidly fall, accumulating on her already fully coated walkway. This morning’s winter wonderland has halted everything outdoors, except for the squirrels and deer darting around. “Well, Obi, change of plans. It’s just you and me today,” she tells the dog as he waits patiently for his breakfast. “What to do, what to do,” she thinks to herself, trying to reconcile doing nothing with that annoying little voice telling her to be productive. Making her way to the kitchen to feed Obi, she continues a mental checklist…“There’s the stupid laundry and the bathroom, but I so wanted to binge that show. I mean, I could multi-task. Ughh! I hate laundry.” She eventually plops down onto the sofa, and Obi plops down beside her. “Should we do nothing today, Obi?” Obi seems preoccupied with his stuffy toy. “Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!” she chants in a childlike tone nodding her head to the beat of her voice, and then fondly remembers a quote from the Christopher Robin movie that bonded with her soul a few years back.
“Doing Nothing Often Leads to the Very Best of Something!”
That was enough to convince her. Cora prepares herself avocado toast, serves herself another cup of coffee, grabs the remote, and tells Obi to brace himself for pure bliss of nothingness today, and two seasons of Schitt's Creek.
Is Doing Nothing a Good Use of Your Time?
Don’t feel bad about it either. According to The World of Physics (Of course I had to look this up), Nothing IS actually Something. Sure, it’s more complex than that, with big scientific words, but for the sake of our conversation, lets just roll with it. ***Full Disclaimer: This does NOT apply to the habitually lazy, slacking, freeloading individual. This is dedicated to all those busy-bee folks (me included) that find it difficult to indulge in any true downtime.
Finding a moment of personal time can be challenging to many individuals. And most of us have convinced ourselves of the notion that once this time is carved out, be it an entire weekend, a day, or a few hours it should be somewhat “productive”.
Productive can mean different things to different people. As with Cora's dilemma, laundry and cleaning the bathroom are easily classified under the productive category. But there are those that believe doing the things they love to do is productive as long as it's filled with activity. How was your weekend one may ask another. Well, let me tell you... I went hiking, went to the movies and watched an amazing film, visited a museum, went golfing, I went to a restaurant, visited the zoo, worked on my garden, I took a painting class, went shopping, worked out, tried out skating, went bicycling, baked a cake from scratch, or hosted an intimate brunch/dinner with friends and/or family. I agree, all of these are great pastimes. But fill ALL your free time with some of these and you’ll be exhausted come Sunday night.
Now, on my list below are some "activities", that when asked “What did you do for the weekend?” most people will reply with a shrug of the shoulder and a disheartening “Nothing really, I just…”
Well, NO MORE!!
Given that Nothing is actually Something, and in the words of Pooh as previously quoted, “Doing Nothing Often Leads to the Very Best of Something!” when you get back to work on Monday, hopefully more relaxed, you can emphatically say that you did NOTHING with dignity. Better yet, go ahead and feel proud to claim these as SOMETHING accomplished. Please review and enjoy any of the following easy going activities below. Depending on who you are or what your stress level is, something here will inevitably help you unwind. And THAT is definitely a good use of your time.
Read a book (I prefer a physical book, but ebooks are just as effective)
Page through a magazine (Having a subscription to one will motivate you to enjoy this downtime)
Listen to your favorite playlist on repeat (look up the lyrics to make sure you've got the words right)
Watch old-school/throwback music videos (the 80's is a fun decade to watch)
Daydream about your future vacation (don't think about the budget at this moment)
Sip on some tea/wine/coffee (for me it's coffee in the morning and wine in the evening)
Binge watch a television show (or two)
Soak in the tub (I love adding a few drops of lavender)
Sit on your porch (or stoop) and say hello to the neighbors as they walk by
Stretch out your body (focus on each body part, don't rush through it)
Do a word search or crossword puzzle (no cheating though)
Try out a coloring book (this isn't just for kids anymore)
Use a Tibetan singing bowl (this helps with focus and meditation)
Cuddle with your pet (no explanation needed)
Watch a stand up comedian on TV (laughter is good for you)
Chat with a friend on the phone (texting counts)
Draw (doodling counts)
Google something new (you’ll be a little smarter)
Write down your thoughts (about anything, no to-do lists though)
Look through old photos (go down memory lane)
Re-watch the Ross and Rachel “We’re on a break” episode (has your opinion changed after all these years?)
Watch AFV episodes (I have my kids to thank for this)
Scroll through Pinterest for home or craft inspiration (hh the life hacks I've discovered)
Take an afternoon nap (so many of us don’t have this luxury or feel guilty about it)
Enjoy a solo game (Dots and BitLife are said to be very addictive. A video game works too)
Observe and take in your surroundings (even if you’re home)
Take a walk in the park (nature helps soothe the soul)
Count how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop (I did this twice and averaged 286 licks)
Light scented candles and focus on your breathing (this will help with that afternoon nap)
Soothe your hands and feet with your favorite lotion (I then slip on gloves or socks)
Try a new face mask (I enjoy sheet masks the most)
Take a long shower (my niece has eucalyptus hanging in her shower to make it a spa like experience)
Enjoy the warmth and crackling sounds of your fireplace (I use my fireplace even in the summer)
Makeout with your significant other (Does not need to lead to sex)
Did I miss something? I'm sure I missed something. Please let me know what kind of NOTHING helps you relax.
Here are some of my "nothing" moments...
This hammock is a souvenir from my trip to Puerto Rico, and I use it all summer long. It's truly relaxing here away from the noise inside the house
The hubby built me this meditation station in the backyard. It's where I come to just listen to nature and stretch.
Yes, I have a television in the bathroom. It's where I soak and binge. Can't wait to renovate the bathroom.
I don't have a large porch but it's the perfect size to sit and watch nature and the neighbors go by.
There are a few beautiful parks nearby and a walk always helps re-energize the body and mind.
Wine, magazines and the fireplace is just what I need after a long week of chores, kids, work and writing.
I received this singing bowl for Christmas and it was the perfect addition to my downtime rituals.
(make sure the sound is on)
Cuddle-time with the family always feels like SOMETHING!
Please share some of your moments with the Lopez lot. We'd love to add them to our list.