The challenge to do nothing

Is it just me or do you also find it hard to do nothing without feeling guilty? What I mean by doing nothing, is what normal people call relaxing!.  Enjoying a great book,  sitting staring into space, watching movies, or just chilling out.

I seem to be one of those freaks that has to keep busy, thriving on challenges.

Honestly I don't know how Pete puts up with me, running around like a mad lady most of the time. Thank goodness he is not like me, can you imagine two of us ...ohhh lordy.

It is actually really hard for me to relax without the guilt. In fact, I find that if I stop and relax "do nothing" I am constantly thinking of what I need to do.  Unfortunately this not healthy.

Recently I had a perfect storm which sort of forced me to stop!

My world is very busy, working full time in the corporate world, running a home and garden, raising a family, renovating our house, doing running events, work travel, and developing my wee business.

It is fair to say that it is rather all consuming at the moment.

About a week ago I was trying to juggle everything, over achieving to the max. I had planned to do a running event in the weekend however was struggling with my preparation. My internal voice was very loud...."not good enough", "you should be fitter", "you should be able to run faster".

I was time poor and struggling to do everything, so getting myself into a bit of a state.

All sensible people would have worked out what was achievable and what was not. But clearly I am not sensible. It was my lovely Pete that put his foot down and made me realise that I actually had to stop, take a breath breath and relax. ...I need you to, he I had to actually give myself permission to have a day off and do nothing.

So there it was, I was forced to stop.

Sunday was the day off. The first thing for me was to sleep in, yes I love early morning it is my best time, so sleeping in is not something I do a lot. This time however I ended up sleeping in until 11am. I spent the rest of the day watching my favourite chick flicks. Oh boy it felt sooo good.

What really hit home for me was how relieved I felt when I actually made a conscious decision to do nothing. For me removing the guilt of doing nothing was the key. At the age of 47 you would have thought that I would have figured out this stuff a long time ago, but no I had not. Life continues to teach you and you have to be open to continue to learn and change.

Ok so what did I learn from this experience?

Plan to do nothing

Actually put the "do nothing" time into your week as a task to do. If you need to specify a day and time this does help so you can plan around it.

If you are a planner, then plan it in, big and bold.


If you struggle with feeling guilty when relaxing, I suggest having it as a reward for doing something that you have to get done during the week. It will really help reduce the guilt.


Give yourself permission to relax, tell your family and friends so they know what your "do nothing" time is.


Make sure that you do this on a regular basis, again even if you have to schedule it in, same day each month, same time each week, what ever works for you.

Now I know that it will always be a bit of a battle for me to relax so for me it is really important that I have a way to achieve it, if not only for my health and wellbeing but also for the sanity of my poor Pete!!!

I would love to hear how you relax, take time out or whatever you do to recharge. I am sure there are lots of other great ways for me to learn from.

Hugs and smiles