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How to Enjoy Doing Nothing

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Laundry pile taller than your hamper? Dust bunnies say “have a good day” when you walk by? Feel guilty for doing nothing? Well, don’t. Here are a few ways to enjoy doing nothing. 

A lot of us feel like we should always be doing something because there is usually a lot to do, so we can’t be lazy because we know the nagging that may follow. Well, ancient Europeans in the Middle Ages felt no shame for laying around in their jammies. Just tell everyone bothering you to read a history book, so banish that guilt.

Choose a good role model. Some of the greatest musicians and poets were idle a lot of the time. Treat yourself to Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, John Lennon or John Keats. Carry a book of verses in your briefcase and when you’re on the bus, take it out, read a few lines and then stare out the window and ponder their meaning.

Go “bumbling” or wandering about without a purpose. Just to give you an idea of how slow you should bumble, legend has it, Parisians used to take tortoises out for walks, so try and make an effort to slow your pace and soak in the day. Today is a good day to bumble. It’s going to be 50.

Sunday used to be a day of rest, but Sundays around my house are anything but restful. With a husband and a home, something always needs to be fixed or cleaned or clothes always need washing, so Sundays can be just as stress filled as any work day during the week. It doesn’t have to be Sunday. Just pick one day out of the week where you can relax, catch up on a month’s worth of prime time programming that you DVRed and have a glass of wine or two. Maybe even tell the husband and kids it’s a day off, order take out and play a game or watch an On-Demand movie.

Lay down in a field and watch the clouds. If you don’t have a field, your back yard will do. Listen to the birds, smell the grass and try to pick out shapes in the clouds.

Here’s my favorite: Take a nap. Just a 15 or 20 minute siesta can really recharge the batteries. If your boss doesn’t want you sleeping on the job, find a nearby park or church and just close your eyes. Even if it’s just for ten minutes. Or if you get caught drooling and slobbering on your desk, tell the boss that you’re meditating. Meditation is the accepted way of doing nothing.

What’s your favorite way to relax?

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