I’ve been approaching the last few weeks in a bit of a zombie-like state, and although I am still struggling to find my rhythm, still confronted by my own insecurities, doubts, and fears of what the future may or may not hold, I am throwing myself back into the game of life. That is not to say that we should avoid our feelings – sadness is legitimate and we need to allow ourselves to feel and give ourselves the proper period in which to grieve (be it over the loss of a job, relationship or loved one). But we also need to try to avoid falling into bouts of self pity, because once you realize just how fleeting it all is, you don’t want to waste any minute of the time you have been given. So, I have been trying to get shit done. Which actually paradoxically sometimes means doing absolutely nothing.
Case in point: Yesterday I made the decision to put aside my unhealthy forms of coping (despite how lovely these things can make you feel) and instead opted for the much healthier approach of not doing a goddamned thing. It helped that I was physically feeling under the weather, so that constant looming pressure of always being productive in some way or another and cancelling the plans I had made for the day were easier to deal with. Taking the time for myself was less about confronting myself with my emotions and dealing with all dem feelz and much more about cutting myself some slack and letting my battery recharge stupidly. Not actively thinking about anything or attempting any problem solving. Because if you are anything like me, constantly looking at the areas in your life which you could improve upon, sometimes the best thing that you can do for yourself is just to hang the “closed” sign on the door to your brain and just veg out. And although it’s so easy to fall into that trap of feeling painfully guilty for doing so, it’s so essential. Without “zombie-ing out ” every now and then, we never allow ourselves a real break – and honestly sometimes by not actively thinking, the tangled knots that make up the current complicated situations in your life manage to untangle themselves just a bit on their own.
It sounds counter-productive, but slowing down and doing nothing does a lot. And when I say doing nothing, I don’t mean using the time to catch up on things on your “to do” list. I mean literally basking in all the sloth-like glory of doing nothing for the next 24 hours. Because those 24 hours are yours. Now, I’m not recommending that you do this for days on end. But for over-achieving types who are constantly chasing the next big dream and next big goal, learning to indulge in the exact opposite will help you come out the other end more refreshed and ready to tackle that next big project with more clarity and energy. For us over-achievers, doing, well, NOTHING is actually more challenging than doing SOMETHING. So think of it as an extra practice to add to your “wellness rotation.” (What, you don’t have one? Well more on that this week…)
What did I do, when I did absolutely nothing? I wore my pyjamas all day. I took a bath. I watched surfing on television and then did a bit of “surfing” myself, looking for pictures of faraway places with blue water and white sand on the web. I took a nap and then I ate and took another nap. I watched a movie. Oh and I cheated just a little bit, because I did write this post and empty the dishwasher. But overall, I just slothed the fuck out and did nothing. And it was awesome. 10 out of 10 would do again. What I am trying to say is that sometimes we need to relieve all of that pressure we put on ourselves and remember that life should be fun and enjoyable. And sometimes when life is at it’s hardest, we just need to step back and chill the fuck out. Whether this means taking a guilt-free day for yourself, spending time with friends, family or boyfriend, or pursuing hobbies totally unrelated to work. Cos it’s all gonna be okay, even when it feels like this is farthest from the truth. Cos stuff always ends up working out one way or another. After all, no one ever regretted not worrying more during their lifetime while lying on their deathbed.
Photography: Johannes Husen
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