Why Doing ‘Nothing’ is the Ultimate Way of Wellbeing
Rest and relaxation gives you time to reflect and do other tasks with more energy and a fresh mindset. It is time to get busy doing nothing!
In our fast-paced and constantly connected world, it has become increasingly difficult to find moments of stillness. Especially during the chaos of the Summer holidays.
The idea of doing nothing might seem counterintuitive, even counterproductive, in a world that prioritises productivity and being go, go, go. But taking the time to rest is essential. In fact, doing nothing can be a powerful way to achieve overall health and wellbeing.
But how do you do nothing effectively? This blog explores the art of doing nothing, the benefits it offers as a form of health and wellbeing training, and why HR managers should encourage their teams to embrace this practice, especially as we begin the 2023 Summer holidays.
Rest, Recharge, Reflect
There is power in pausing. We often associate value with what we achieve and how productive we are throughout the day. But having too much work and not enough play or rest can be bad for our wellbeing and mindfulness, in the workplace and at home.
According to The HR Director, 53% of UK employees feel overworked - that’s over half of workers! While it is important to be productive and focused, constantly being on the go without any breaks can lead to burnout, stress, and a decline in overall health.
Embracing the art of rest, taking time to recharge, and engaging in moments of reflection are essential for our wellbeing. Rest allows our minds to rejuvenate, recharge by energising our body and mind, and reflect to foster self-awareness and encourage good wellbeing habits going forward.
Carving out time for purposefully doing nothing in this way is a form of mindfulness that will uplift your personal and workplace wellbeing.
Your Brain's Hidden Potential
When we pause and allow ourselves to do nothing, it gives our minds a chance to rest and recharge. It's like hitting the reset button on our mental state.
This break allows our brains to:
• Process information Processing information is a form of cognitive consolidation during relaxation. Much like a librarian sorting and organising books, the brain sifts through the day as a form of mental decluttering. This enhances our ability to focus on what truly matters to us. • Become calm and centred Resting and digesting information calms the body and mind by decreasing stress hormones, like cortisol. It is in this state that the brain performs its most important work, with the space and time to catch up on tasks it couldn’t during busy moments.
• Make connections that might have been missed during the day As we relax, our brain sorts through the vast amount of information we encounter during the day, even the info we didn’t realise was important at first. It filters out irrelevant details and solidifies the important ones into long-term memory, crucial for learning and retaining new skills, knowledge, and experiences.
Doing nothing is not a waste of time, it is an investment in better cognitive function and overall mental health! Particularly useful when home and work are extra busy in the Summer holidays!
How To Do Nothing Effectively
Ever sat still or laid down in an attempt to relax, but found it impossible?
It may sound backwards, but being active rather than passive with your resting, recharging, and reflection is most effective and beneficial for your wellness. To pause effectively, it is key to intentionally do nothing in a way that promotes wellbeing and resilience.
Here are 3 ways to do nothing effectively:
1. Create space for stillness
Set aside dedicated time each day for doing nothing. It could be as short as 5 minutes or as long as an hour - whatever suits your schedule. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can disconnect from distractions such as devices, work, and the outside world. A space that is just for you to pause, breathe, and take time for yourself, such as a park, a break room, a different room of the house, or a coffee shop.
2. Practice mindfulness
What is mindfulness? While slowing down and doing nothing, having an awareness of yourself in the moment can provide a grounding anchor. Let your mind wander freely, focus on your breathing, the sensations in your body, or the sounds of the world around you. By purposefully observing, rather than getting swept up in distractions, you can regain control and relax.
3. Add breaks to your routine
Planning to do nothing means you are more likely to take the time to do nothing, rather than aimlessly hoping to squeeze time in, and then getting lost in life’s chaos instead. Step away from your desk for a few minutes, find a quiet spot during your lunch break, or go for a walk after work. You could even take time to do a creative outlet or hobby, such as art or exercise.
Want some more resources, ideas, or local events to take part in to do nothing with purpose? Leeds Wellbeing Week activities, walking tours, and challenges can be done out and about, or from the comfort of your home or workplace!
Workshops & Webinars For A Healthy Mind
Doing nothing is a skill that we must relearn in our modern world. It is not about being lazy or unproductive, it is about recognising the importance of pausing, allowing our minds to rest, recharge, and reflect, and nurturing our overall wellbeing.
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." _Anne Lamont
There is lots of benefits of mindfulness in the workplace. If you are a HR manager looking for health and wellbeing courses online or in-person, Mind It offers specialised corporate mindfulness workshops, such as:
Sleep More, Sleep Better - Sleep deprivation is worn in today’s society like a badge of honour. But sleep is actually essential for good health and disease prevention. This 60-minute workshop covers the importance of sleep, effects of sleep deprivation, and how to sleep better.
Meet Your Neurotransmitters - The brain is a very complex organ - so this 60-minute workshop teaches you how it works! Neurotransmitters - or ‘happy hormones’ - help us boost our brain’s positivity. It covers the basics of understanding the brain and strategies for boosting happy hormones in the body, plus activities and an action plan to keep endorphins flowing long-term.
For more guidance and information, get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.