Feeling good about doing nothing


Do you feel guilty when you decide to just do nothing, take a break or rest?


Many of us feel that we must always be doing and accomplishing something.


However, far from being unconsidered lazy, unproductive or demotivated, this self-care time off is good for us.


It can decrease stress and associated health risks like strokes, migraines, digestive issues, aches and pains.


It boosts creativity, better decision making, enhanced health and in turn productivity. In essence, we probably all know this but it’s hard to stop our negative self-talk about doing nothing. So, here is some advice that I recently came across from a Professor of Psychology and a registered Psychotherapeutic Counsellor on positive words and phrases to say to yourself when doing nothing.


Advice from Adam Grant


Adam Grant is an organisational psychologist at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania: a business school focusing on changing the way business is done. They focus on generating big ideas, backed up with incisive analysis and then turning them into ingenious workable solutions. Grant is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning and live more generous and creative lives. See more about him here. He says:


Resting is not a waste of time. It’s an investment in wellbeing.

Relaxing is not a sign of laziness. It’s a source of energy.

Breaks are not a distraction. They’re a chance to refocus attention.

Play is not a frivolous activity. It’s a path to connection and creativity.



Advice from Elsie Owen


Elise Owen, also known as @the_peoplepleasing_therapist is a Registered Psychotherapeutic Counsellor who integrates various tools from different approaches to therapy. She offers alternatives to saying “I did nothing.”


I rested

I chose not to make plans

I recovered from the week

I shortened my to-do-list

I had a mental health day

I took a nap

I watched the show I love

I had a day with myself

I recuperated

I had some time out



Over to you


Write down some words or phrases that will work for you and then when you need to rest or take a break, refer to your list for a guilt free experience.


You might also like to look at my previous posts on Niksen: The wellbeing benefits of doing nothing and The wellbeing benefits of play for adults.


Enjoy some time doing nothing today, this week, this month and regularly throughout the year.

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