Need Relaxation Techniques? Try Nothing


resting cat on fenceWhether stress, anger, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed is the trigger, many of us probably have tried relaxation techniques in the past to help manage our response to these emotional triggers.

From mindfulness practices to meditation to deep breathing, we may have tried it all, but I’d like to recommend you try doing NOTHING. Just rest.

I had knee surgery last week and as a result was forced to spend the last 10 days on my couch doing nothing. I really couldn’t be very active, and despite having a list of things I would have loved to get done in that time frame, I just had to stay off my feet.

Those who know me well would understand how much it bugs me to not be productive. My weekends are typically filled with accomplishments and I’m always on the go. I cannot remember the last time I took a day off to just lounge, crochet, and watch the tube all day, or took an afternoon to lay out in the sun and read a book. I don’t do that.

However, getting to the point, being forced to do nothing was amazingly refreshing. I needed the permission to do nothing before I felt OK about resting and not accomplishing anything. Going forward I plan to add a little bit of nothing to each week. I can’t promise I’ll do it every week, but I’d like to block off some time to just rest and relax without feeling bad about not producing something.

When was the last time you really allowed yourself to relax? What’s your favorite way to “do nothing?”

2 responses to “Need Relaxation Techniques? Try Nothing”

  1. Cindy says:

    Sadly, I think the last time I did nothing and felt OK about it was also when I had surgery. Same deal…I couldn’t do anything about it — so it was “OK”. By the way…who’s watching and judging anyway?

    I’ve thought about this many times over the years. Same feeling I get at the beginning of any vacation. That ‘down time’ feeling is hard for me to get to. I always feel some level of anxiousness. I will say that if I’m being physcially active (for pleasure) I have less problem with the ‘shoulding’.

    I think just like permission-based eating, it’s about giving myself permission to relax — without having to be on crutches or sewn together with stitches to achieve it.

  2. Robyn Priebe says:

    Good point about who is watching/judging. Although many of us could have others at home who might make comments about us vegging out, I find it’s ME who is disappointed when I feel like I’ve wasted time. That’s why it was a revelation to me that there are benefits from doing nothing, just like there are benefits from keeping busy and accomplishing things.

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