I did something radical the other day.
It was quite huge for me. Something I have not done in a long, long time. It was scary at first. I didn’t want to do it, but I faced my fear and did it anyway. I am so glad I did because I felt amazing afterwards.
I’m sure you are busting to know what this life changing thing is….
Are you ready?…..
That’s right. I did absolutely nothing for a whole day. When I say nothing, I mean nothing productive. I didn’t try to ‘get things done’.
I rested. I slept. I read. I wandered about in the garden with a glass of kombucha just looking at the flowers and bees and butterflies…
I’ll admit. It was hard at first. My inner critic gave me a real hard time.
‘There is so much to do”
“You’re not getting anything done”
‘What about those weeds? What about the washing? What about your next blog post? What about those emails?’
With four children, an online business, a big organic garden and a busy household, I am not accustomed to being intentionally unproductive.
I was freaking out…….to start with…..and then I got into the flow surprisingly quickly.
I know it sounds fun but it didn’t start out that way. It started because, from the beginning of the day, I was so so tired. Bone tired. I felt like I was moving through cement. Maybe I’d had a few too many late nights. Perhaps my eating was a out of whack. I probably hadn’t been doing enough exercise. I was definitely pre-menstrual.
Usually I’ll push through. Do what I think I have to do anyway. Maybe have some coffee. Keep going. And most times I do feel better in a little while. Usually I get my mojo back after an hour (or a day) or two.
But this day was different. A radical new thought popped into my head ‘What if I didn’t fight this fatigue?”
‘What if I listened to my body and let myself rest?”
“What if I just let it be OK that I am weary, instead of trying to push it away?’
and then the doozy…. ‘What if I did nothing today??”
What if I gave myself permission to do nice, relaxing things just because I felt like it? Would the world come to a grinding halt? Would my house be surrounded by black helicopters and uniformed soldiers demanding me to come out with my hands up?
I am both relieved and slightly miffed that the world carried on just fine without me for 24 hours.
Hmmph. Is it possible that I am not as essential to keeping the Earth spinning on its axis as I presumed? Could it be that my stress and tension is not adding anything useful to humanity? This is crazy talk I know…it’s like finding out the world is not flat for the first time….but hear me out…..I may be on to something.
I discovered that, not only did the world carry on just fine without me being busy, busy that day, but also, I was completely rejuvenated, refreshed and more productive the following days. Weird, hey? Who would have thought?
My groundbreaking theory is this: A day of rest improves your physical and mental health and leads to increased happiness and productivity.
I am now so convinced of the validity of this theory that Ian and I are scheduling in regular Do-Nothing days. This is the list of permissable activities on our Do-Nothing Days:
- Cloud watching.
- Butterfly spotting.
- Lying in the hammock.
- Reading for pleasure.
- Playing with the kids in the treehouse.
- Eating pre-prepared yummy treats. (minimal cooking or washing up)
- Nature walks.
- Relaxing crafts such as knitting, crochet, paper mache, drawing, painting.
- Movie watching.
- Card games.
- Board games.
- Star gazing.
- Tea drinking.
- Chocolate eating.
- Picking flowers.
- Fruit salad eating.
- Journal writing.
- Story telling.
- Green smoothie mocktail drinking.
- Reading out loud.
- Listening to music
- Playing music.
- Love making.
Not necessarily all of them and not necessarily in that order.
The only agenda is pleasure. All day.
Do what makes your heart sing for an entire day (or at least half a day). Once a week (recommended), once a fortnight or once a month.
Even if your family or husband can’t or won’t join you, you can still do this on your own. Choose a day and block out your schedule like it’s a super important and hard-to-get appointment. Schedule yourself a pleasure filled Do-Nothing Day.
Stay in your room if you must. It is not illegal. Spend 15 minutes straightening and making it lovely just for your own enjoyment and comfort. Play your favorite music, prepare a pot of your favourite tea and some delicious snacks, snuggle up with a good book or whatever takes your fancy. And Do Nothing.
You don’t just deserve it – it is essential to your wellbeing. Fill up your own cup and you will achieve much more on the other Do-Lots-Of-Stuff Days.