12 Ways To Force Yourself To Do Absolutely Nothing and Enjoy It

While there is no shortage of information, tips, and tools on how to be the most productive with your time, that’s not always the best way of thinking or living. Sure, when it comes to work you want and need to be productive, but what about your downtime? Are you cheating yourself out of a much-needed rest period? Here’s a better question, with today’s busy lifestyle is it possible for Americans to adopt the Italian art of “doing nothing” or dolce far niente?

Here are the best ways you can embrace the art of doing nothing and make it a staple in your lifestyle.

Don’t Keep Banking Your Vacation Time

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Did you know that a large number of employees in the U.S. don’t make use of their paid time off? Pew Research Centre reported that an incredible 46% of employees either don’t take all or part of their paid time off. Whether they bank their time or just work through it and cash out instead, the vacation time isn’t spent the way it was intended – relaxing away from work.

Vacations Don’t Have to Be Big and Elaborate

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And speaking of using your vacation time, it doesn’t have to be for a big elaborate holiday. Just because you have a week off doesn’t mean you have to go or do anything. Again, it goes back to the art of doing nothing. A staycation at home can be exactly what you need to feel refreshed. Traveling may not be something you have an interest in, or the budget for, and that’s perfectly fine.

Learn How to Be in the Moment

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This tip is perhaps one of the most important yet difficult ones to master when it comes to the art of doing nothing. To truly be doing nothing, you need to be in the moment. This means you’re not thinking about anything and your mind is blank. This tends to take practice and effort, which goes against the art of doing nothing – but remember it’s a journey and eventually you’ll get there.

Find Techniques That Help You Relax

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To help you be in the moment, there are techniques that many swear by. These are meant to help you relax, re-focus your mind, and learn how to push thoughts out of your head. Some of the most popular techniques used are deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next person, so there will be some trial and error.

Get Out and Explore Nature

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Another way to harness the art of doing nothing is to get out into nature and appreciate what it offers. When was the last time you went for a walk just for the sake of being outside? Forget counting your steps, worrying about the pace you’re walking at, or even the route you should take. Just get outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate all the beauty around you. Ideally, you’ll want to visit a peaceful place in nature, without a lot of other people and city sounds. This makes it a little easier to be one with the surroundings.

Embrace the Little Things

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Learning to embrace the little things in life is a popular thing that people say, but have you tried it before? Embracing little things means you find the joy in life no matter how big or small the “things” are. It could be something as simple as enjoying a fabulous meal, having a coffee outdoors while you listen to the birds sing, or sharing a laugh with a good friend.

Stop Over-Scheduling Yourself

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Are you guilty of constantly over-booking yourself? Does it feel like you’re always in a state of panic wondering how you’ll fit everything into the day? To truly embrace the art of doing nothing you’re going to need to stop over-scheduling yourself and start learning to make decisions in the moment and show some flexibility.

Carve Out “Me Time” To Ensure Downtime

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If you still have a hard time slowing down, it may be necessary to carve out “me time”. This means blocks in your calendar wherein you don’t have anything scheduled. And when you see those empty chunks of time, resist the urge to fill them.

Remind Yourself to Slow Down

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All of this will require constant reminders to slow down both physically and mentally. It will feel unnatural at first, so those reminders will be important. Any new habit is hard to adopt at first, and this is no different. Practice makes perfect, so the more you stick to these tips, the easier it will become to live the Italian lifestyle.

Stop Feeling Guilty When “Doing Nothing”

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A big part of succeeding in the dolce far niente is to stop feeling guilty about it. Americans tend to rush from one errand and responsibility to the next, always feeling like they need to be productive or explain why they haven’t accomplished everything on their list. The art of doing nothing requires you to stop feeling guilty when you stop and relax. It’s okay to take those moments, it’s healthy for you.

Take a Break from Social Media

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A surefire way to torpedo your efforts to relax and do nothing is to fall down the rabbit hole of social media. You may only intend to be on it a couple of minutes but before you know it, you’re completely absorbed. The art of nothing means putting up boundaries and not allowing aimless scrolling on social media. You may even want to put time limits on how long you can spend on your mobile device daily.

It’s Okay to Start Small

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Finally, it’s okay to start small. No one said that the art of doing nothing is simple or that it will come naturally to you. It’s going to take work. Begin by practicing the art of nothing for five to 10 minutes at a time. As you perfect the skill, you can gradually add more time.

Read More: The Most Common Health Problems That Sneak Up on You After Age 50

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Getting older is a wonderful thing in that you have more years to enjoy, make memories, and surround yourself with family and friends. But getting older doesn’t come without a set of downfalls too, as several health problems can sneak up on you after age 50.

While not every health problem can be avoided, knowing what to watch for can help with early detection and getting medical attention when needed. Here are 15 of the most common health problems that can sneak up on you after the age of 50.

The Most Common Health Problems That Sneak Up on You After Age 50

Divorce Rates are High and this Generation Particularly Can’t Make it Til Death Do Us Part

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Marriage, a cornerstone of societal structure, has witnessed shifting dynamics across generations. One pertinent aspect that has garnered attention is the increasing divorce rate among the Baby Boomer generation. One may wonder how a couple can be married for 20 years or longer, referred to as the 25-year itch, and then want to end the union.

Divorce Rates are High and this Generation Particularly Can’t Make it Til Death Do Us Part