So what have I got planned for you today?
Nothing. That’s right not one thing.
No, I’m not being lazy. No, It’s not that I can’t think of things to do.
I want you to do nothing.
Give yourself a break. There is an idea that being busy is good, and it can be, but so can being still. Particularly at this time of year it can seem that the list of things to do is never ending and there is always something for you to do. People will often tell you how busy they are with the shopping and the cleaning and the cooking and the cards….as though that makes them good people or something.
I don’t care how busy you are, you need time out. If all you can manage is 10 minutes, take 10 minutes. If you can take 30 minutes, that’s better. If you can take 30 minutes every day, that’s brilliant. If you can take 30 minutes every day in nature, then you my friend are taking good care of yourself. Well Done.
I’ve talked quite a lot about making mental space. It’s not that I can’t think of other things to write about, it’s that I think this mental space idea is incredibly important and often overlooked. It’s all too easy to dismiss this. We often think we don’t have time – but this is when it is most important. There is an old saying ‘everyone should spend 20 minutes a day sitting in a field, unless you’re busy, then you should spend 40 minutes’. I know this sounds counter intuitive but it’s exactly right. The busier you are the more important it is to make space.
Sometimes when we are busy we can become unproductive. Have you ever had so much to do that you really don’t know where to start? I know I can start rearranging things – moving things from one pile to another, making lists but never ticking anything off, stressing about how I’m going to fit everything in. When this happens, I stop. I breathe. I remind myself that the guy rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic never saved any lives. I think about what’s going to make the most difference and I get on with that.
I was chatting to a friend of mine the other day who said she was so busy that she barely had time to sleep. That worried me. As well as taking time to do nothing, you really must make time to sleep properly. Sleep is not doing nothing, nor is it unproductive. Sleep is essential to our mental health and is one of the things that can have a knock on effect to lots of other areas of life. Did you know that you eat more and make less healthy choices after a poor nights sleep? Did you know that sleep deprivation has an equivalent effect to alcohol on your responsiveness? Sleep is so important!
So , today, plan in your hectic schedule a little time to do nothing, and enjoy it.
If you are having trouble with your sleep you really need to get on top of it. Talk to a doctor or a hypnotherapist to see what you can do to improve things – and remember do what you can without chemicals, but know that medicine has an important place too!