There is a character in the film Eat Pray Love that talks about how some cultures are always on the go and never stop doing things, while Italians appreciate taking some time to not do anything at all. They call it il dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. I come from a very Meditarreanean culture where there are siestas and moments in the day where there is real stillness, but it seems that I have long lost that ability to appreciate it, or at least do so for longer than a couple of weeks while on holiday. This month I have had to learn to feel ok about not doing things that are productive, sit back and get better, and whilst it si still a work in progress (I am sure I will start enjoying it as soon as I have to return to work!), there are a few activities that are the closest to doing nothing and that I have genuinely grown to find pleasure in.
WATCHING YOUR FAVOURITE TV DRAMA
For me this month has been all about The Good Wife. I had always heard it was really good but had never watched it, so I have been slowly working my way through it thanks to Netflix. I love the female characters in the show - they are all very different but all strong, determined and resilient, which are the kind of women that inspire me. Each episode stands on its own with a legal case, but the politics and the relationships that weave through the whole six series are really interesting as well. Not to mention the dilemmas between right and wrong that are often posed by the different cases.
Whether it is The Good Wife or something else, choosing your favourite tv drama and binge-watching a few episodes is actually a great way to spend a lazy morning or afternoon, especially if it is cold outside.
When my friend Mollie turned up at my door with a colouring in book for adults and some coloured pencils I wasn't sure this would be for me, but I didn't exactly have that much else to do, so I started flicking through the pages, a drawing with beautiful palm trees caught my eye and I started colouring. It soothed my mind so much! All I was focusing on was staying within the lines, whar colours I was going to use for different parts of the scene, etc. I think this would be the perfect thing to do after a stressful day at work.
There was a time not so long ago when the word meditation was a bit of a taboo. Thankfully, mindfulness has become part of our every day life and there are plenty of apps out there. Headspace is the one I have been using for nearly a year now, although not constantly. There are 10 free sessions to begin with, and if you become a paying member (it costs less than two lattes a month) you have access to a huge amount of resources. There are daily sessions plus special one offs, like SOS quick sessions for when you get very stressed, or sleep oriented ones if you are finding it difficult to go to sleep one night. Of course, you can always just sit and breathe for 10 minutes, and that is just as perfect!
GETTING LOST IN A BOOK
Now it's over to you. If you have a day with no plans and nowhere you need to go, what do you enjoy doing? What makes you enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing?