In a day and age of constant stimulation and the influence of “go, go, go”, it can be hard to allow yourself permission for deliberate idleness. And I don’t mean neglecting responsibilities, nor am I promoting laziness. This is NOT an excuse for procrastination. Please hear me correctly when I say “deliberate idleness”, I mean creating intentional breaks in your overly busy routine to step back and embrace stillness.
As a busy mother of three who homeschools, a wife, a daughter of two retired parents, and a small business owner; finding time to just rest can sometimes feel like an impossible task. From the second I open my eyes in the morning to the time my head hits the pillow at night, I constantly have someone (or something) that needs my attention throughout the day. We also have a 14-acre farm with animals that have needs. It is busy here.
So, my super busy reader, I ask you.
Have you ever paused to consider the power of – doing nothing?
Doing absolutely NOTHING can be one of the most effective things for our overstimulated brains. (Dear moms, you have to learn to let go of the guilt you may feel when you decide to do nothing. Because it’ll come.)
Why would I choose Deliberate Idleness?
Contrary to what society may have us believe, it is scientifically tested and proven that rest can improve performance. “A great deal of meaningful activity is occurring in the brain when a person is sitting back and doing nothing at all,” says Marcus Raichle, a professor of neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Improved Creativity and Productivity
- Boosted Mood and Well-Being
- Reinforced Learning
- Processing Experiences
- Consolidating Memories
So, How can I Practice Deliberate Idleness?
- Nature Walks – don’t schedule where or when you’ll end up somewhere, just stroll
- Take a nap
- Unstructured Down Time – garden, journal, express your creativity, sit on the porch with your pup
- Take a Shower
- Watch Fish Swim
- Breathe/Meditate – I use an app called Headspace and it’s helped my middle child with anxiety and panic attacks
There you go, folks! Giving yourself permission to rest, relax, turn your brain off, avoid stimulation, and hide away – whatever you want to call it – is actually doing your brain some good. And if you’re a mom who experiences guilt whenever you take a moment to yourself try to remember that you can’t run yourself into the ground by constantly giving. Please treat yourselves well.