The importance of doing nothing

 

Who are you when you are not overwhelmed with excessive activity, social engagements, work, or screen time? To find out, you have to give yourself some space.

For a large part of our lives, we don’t get a chance to find out who we are, what we think, and how we feel because we spend most of our time exposing ourselves to external influences. When we are browsing social media, listening to music, watching TV, even reading books, we are looking outwards. These are all somebody else’s thoughts, ideas, and/or creations. I am not saying any of those activities are not valuable – they do provide entertainment, relaxation, and also food for thought. But for us to grow as individuals, we need to space these external exposures out with some solitude. When we constantly bombard ourselves with external influences, when do we take the time to listen to our own voice, dwell on our own ideas, or create something of our own? Hence the need for some personal time.

Now we frequently find that in our busy lives, nothing happens unless previously scheduled and planned for. So it might be necessary to schedule a part of your day to be alone with no agenda.

Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. 

-Dolly Parton

Personal time is not a physical need like food, clothing, and shelter. We can certainly learn to live without it but may not get to our fullest potential unless we give our minds the time and space to flourish.

For a big part of my life, I could not be alone for any length of time. It was difficult to be alone with my thoughts and my inner voice. Being alone then was scary to me. In solitude, my mind rebelled and I rushed to seek companionship and/or distraction. 

As I matured emotionally, I had several more occasions to be with myself. I resisted it at first but eventually learned to accept and embrace this. In time I started to relish this personal time. I enjoyed being by myself and doing nothing, allowing my mind to drift or just relax into the moment. At such times, ideas were formulating, concepts were getting clear and I was becoming more self-aware. But it all happened in the back of my mind and all I felt was quiet serenity. Sometimes unexpressed emotions and embryonic ideas began to surface. In time, I have learned to not hanker after such spurts of self-expression and simply stay disciplined in giving myself this time on a daily basis.
Now that I have experienced this bliss of truly being present for myself I have come to demand it from myself and from my life. Consequently, I carve out a good chunk of my time devoted to being with myself.

 

self-care-isn-t-selfish-signage-2821823

Personal time can be many things. What we do is not as important as how we feel as a result of doing it. Here are some of the things I like to do:

  • go on a solitary walk
  • drinking tea
  • yoga
  • taking a nap
  • take a long leisurely bath
  • spend some time alone in the garden
  • journaling, drawing, or listening to music

I restore myself when I’m alone.

– Marilyn Monroe

Anything that is in my own time and in my own space. This time has become so precious, it has a romantic vibe for me – complete with candles, fairy lights, music, and a generally warm soothing ambiance all around me. Now I find that some of the most beautiful time in my life is this time that I spend alone with my own thoughts and in my own space.

I hope this will inspire you to find some me-time. And that you will experience this joy of being alone with the most important person in the world – your Self! And in being in a loving space with yourself may you find the greatest love of all.

Whereas I don’t like accumulating too much stuff, when it comes to my personal time, I do like to splurge just a little. Here are some of my favorite things to use when I am by myself:

  • I find that ambient lighting seems to transform any space into a cozy and warm retreat. I bought these fairy lights from Amazon some time ago and love how they soak my home office in warm ambiance.

 

66 Ft 200LEDs Waterproof Starry Fairy Copper String Lights USB Powered for Bedroom Indoor Outdoor Warm White Ambiance Lighting for Patio Halloween Thanksgiving Christmas Party Wedding Decor

  • Essential oils – being alone is a time to indulge all your senses. These essential oils came in a good mix of fragrances for a beginner like me.

 

Essential oils by PURE ESSENTIALS 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils kit- Top 6 Aromatherapy Oils Gift Set-6 Pack, 10ML(Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon grass, Orange, Peppermint, Tea Tree)

  • I bought this essential oil diffuser to use along with the essential oils. In addition to being a diffuser and humidifier, this device has a beautiful array of lights and adds to the ambiance of any space;

 

VicTsing Upgraded Mini Oil Diffuser 130ml, Easy to Use Super Quiet Essential Oil Diffuser, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Waterless Auto Shut-Off, BPA-Free for Home Office(Black)

  • This tea has become my favorite tea. It is a robust black tea and never fails to perk my energy and calm me all at once!

The Republic of Tea Organic Assam Breakfast Tea, 50 Tea Bags, Premium Assam Black Tea

 

 

Read some of my other blog posts on solitude and self-care below:

One of the best books on the power of rest and relaxation:

 

Buy it on Amazon Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

 

Here are some additional articles on this topic:

Forbes The Importance of Doing Nothing

Time Why Doing Nothing Is One of the Most Important Things You Can Do

New York Times The Case for Doing Nothing

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