How to Embrace the Art of Doing Nothing
Are you busy, mama? Do you at times feel like you want to slow down, but if you do your world will come crashing in on you? If so you should learn how to embrace the art of doing nothing.
There are so many things competing for our attention in today’s world, that finding a moment for your thoughts and embracing the art of doing nothing while being mindful and at rest is a hard task even for the most zen of mamas.
Yet, as we learn to embrace our inner energy we can feel at peace and we can be more joyful and calm in other aspects of our lives.
What is the Art of Doing Nothing?
The art of doing nothing is just that. Learning how to slow down and do nothing.
Doing nothing came as a HUGE surprise to most of us last year when our country shut down. However, I used this time as an opportunity to learn.
I used to feel overwhelmed by my everyday life. I was the room parent for my son’s class, my kids were in boy scouts, soccer, and t-ball. I volunteered in the library at my son’s school library every week because he was having a hard time as a kindergartener being away from me. I also teach online in the mornings and run two blogs. Not to mention managing my household including:
- deep cleaning
- doctor/dentist appointments
As you can see, I, like most mothers was NOT “embracing the art of doing nothing”. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I often felt exhausted. And did I mention overwhelmed? I literally had no time for myself.
But this is just my list. Likewise, I am sure you are in a similar situation, mama. You may not have the things above on your daily list, but I am sure you can fill them in with replacements of your own responsibilities. Am I right?
So yes, when the country shut down, I literally embraced the art of doing nothing.
I used this as a time to slow down. I wanted to enjoy being a mother and not just “make it” through from day to day wishing bedtime was closer to noon than 9:30 PM.
Slowing down for me, meant not rushing from place to place and filling in the gaps with my own work. I started to take time for myself and participated in things that made me happy like reading, running, and writing.
Guess what happened next? I felt more energized. My life seemed more peaceful and joyful. I was able to truly enjoy being around my kids and was able to listen to them without a rushed feeling coming over me, wishing they would just finish up what they were saying so I could throw the laundry in the dryer.
Learning to slow down and do nothing is critical for the survival of mothers alike.
Why is doing nothing good for me?
According to SCLhealth, learning to do nothing without distractions helps boost creativity and kindness.
Learning to do nothing, or just be will help you gain calm and balance in your life. It is essential to rest the body and the mind. It helps to turn off electronics and find quiet and calm.
Learning to quiet the noise will help you live in the present and help you learn to regulate your emotions.
What Stresses You?
There are many stressors that can increase anxiety and overwhelm. Perhaps a traffic jam, a meeting with your boss, or a child throwing a tantrum can leave you feeling anxious and your cortisol levels rise.
Learning the art of doing nothing can help you in these stressful situations. You can use your calm energy and put your brain back in a state of ease.
How Can I Master the Art of Doing Nothing?
If you are a busy person, mastering the art of doing nothing may be challenging. Yet if you use these tips, you will learn to embrace your inner calm and as you practice, it will get easier.
- turn off electronics
- put your phone away
- light a candle
- find a mantra
- rest your body
- deep breathing
- facial mask
Using these ideas will help you learn to embrace the moment and relax.
Another trick that can help is to find a memory of true calm and happiness. Once you have found this memory, continue to replay it in your head. Pay attention to the colors, sounds, smells, touches that are happening in this memory. You can use this memory over and over again to bring yourself back to that state of calm and contentment.
What does doing nothing mean to you?
Doing nothing will mean something different to everyone so it is best to find what works for you. You can sit and relax on the couch or if you have a favorite place in your house go there. Perhaps you love the outdoors. You can sit outside in your back yard and watch the kids play.
My favorite include reading. learning new meditation methods, and resting in my favorite spot in the houses.
Related Self-Care Posts:
- How to Fit Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine
- What is Self-Care?
- How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
- Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Moms
- How to Combat Mom Anxiety
- 5 Types of Self-Care for Moms
- How to Love Yourself Again
- The Importance of Self-Care for Your Well-Being
Plan for it
Like most things in life. leaving your relaxation time to chance, will often leave you without.
I often find if I do not plan for something it doesn’t happen. So take your planner or ad some “nothing” time to your to-do list.
Make sure you have some time planned out in your day where you do absolutely nothing.
I like time-blocking for activities. For example, I may write down “do dished – 15 min.” on my list. I will also add “rest -30 min.” as an example. Make sure to schedule it in so it gets done.
Another idea is to set aside five to ten minutes every morning when you wake up so you start your day off right with mindfulness. You will feel better all day if you prime your day in the morning.
Learn Your Signals
Are you able to recognize when you need a break? Usually, moms continue to push on throughout the day and think bedtime is the time for rest. Yet, taking breaks throughout the day and learning to embrace the art of doing nothing will help you remain calm and peaceful throughout the day.
What are some signs you are ready for a break?
Do you start snapping at your family?
Are you almost in tears?
These are cues, you should have rested about an hour ago.
Hence, why it is better to plan your rest time throughout the day. You can avoid these negative feelings and save your energy for things that are important.
Don’t wait until you are exhausted
Plan these little rest periods throughout your day. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Research shows taking breaks before you’re tired actually increased productivity and leaves you feeling refreshed and happier.
If you wait until you are utterly exhausted, your short break may turn into an “all-day” break and your day could go downhill.
Try to be realistic with productivity
Often times we want to be productive. So we get out our planner our to-do list and write down ten to twelve things we are going to accomplish that day. Yet, looking at this long list often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. As a tired mom, it is hard to get the dishes done some days.
So make sure you are realistic with your productivity expectations. I suggest jotting down three goals or I like to call them intentions so I am “intentional” with my time.
Prioritize your list using “A” for the most important item you need to get done, “B” for the next important, and “C” for the least important. In fact, if you don’t get to “C” you will transfer it to your list on the following day.
Once you get your stuff done, give yourself a reward, but “doing nothing.” Find a quiet area of your house and relax. You deserve it. You have accomplished something and resting after is key to keep up your motivation.
Learning to be realistic with productivity will actually increase your productivity and you will accomplish things that are most important to you.
How to Embrace the Art of Doing Nothing
Learning the art of doing nothing is good for your well-being. You can learn to embrace the art of doing nothing and learn to just relax and love yourself. Learn to be present at the moment and make sure to rest before you are overwhelmed or exhausted. You can turn off and tune into your mind with mindful rest throughout the day. You will be a better mama for it.