How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards. – Spanish Proverb

Sundays are for resting, and taking a break. And sometimes, the best way to spend a Sunday is to do absolutely nothing.

We live in such crazy busy times that stress has become the norm for most people, and because of that, most of us don’t even realize how stressed we are until we allow ourselves to slow down. It’s well known that the more stressed we are, the more damage we do not just to our mental health, but also to our bodies. Our bodies are not designed to distinguish between a real threat – “I’m being chased by a tiger!” and a  looming deadline. Your adrenal glands release the stress hormone cortisol regardless of the trigger, and higher and prolonged cortisol levels in your bloodstream wreak havoc with your system.

This busy lifestyle carries over into what is supposed to be our leisure time. Weekends are filled with activities and errands and social engagements. All of this busyness leaves no time for what is one of the best things you can do for yourself: spend some time doing absolutely nothing.

Doing nothing without feeling guilty is something all my cats have taught me over the years. As a culture, we tend to always feel rushed, and many consider being busy a badge of honor. However, there is great value in doing nothing, in simply being.

We need down time. We need time to relax. If you can’t remember the last time you did absolutely nothing, start today. Just sit on the sofa, preferably with a cat or two or three, and just be. Don’t think, don’t plan. Just sit and read a book, or watch mindless TV, or admire the way your cat’s fur looks.

Make doing nothing a daily practice, even if it’s only for a few minutes. You’ll find that not only will you feel less stressed, you’ll actually accomplish more in the long run.

I’m off to do nothing. How about you?

12 Comments on Sunday Purrs: The Value of Doing Nothing

  1. Oh, Ingrid! I so agree. After dealing with a thyroid disease for 8 years, I really realized what stress can do on your mind and then on your body.

    Last year, I went through some emotional readjustment – got closure to things that were bothering me and decided to be more in touch with nature. As a little girl, I loved being outside all day long and hunting for bugs.

    I decided to start going for long walks – no cell phone, just tunes. And I also started playing golf again – to be outside in nature.

    I lost 60 lbs without trying and my business increased! It made me realize that I was putting too much energy in trying to succeed rather than just being me and enjoying life, nature and the wonders of the universe.

    I agree that my cats help me slow down and look at what’s really important – the other day I was freaking out about my taxes (you know how those go as a self employed person) – Charlie came downstairs, sat on top of my tax documents and then belly flopped over asking me to pet him. Problem solved!

    So for me, it’s not about doing nothing, but rather about unplugging and getting in tune with your true self – not the one that society says is what you should do. Honor your heart and you will honor yourself.

  2. well, this past weekend we had family come in from Florida and Colorado (our new great nephew made his debut!) and I unplugged from blogs and email from friday until now. It was great, but not when I just signed in and discovered I had over 1400 emails lol

  3. I call those days/moments Piper Kitty days after my cat. I used to have a hard time relaxing and felt I had to do everything all the time. Working in animal rescue the pressure to get everything done and save everyone seems even greater. I finally realized after looking at her one day, and being totally exhausted that I needed to do something. She certainly never felt guilty about taking a nap or spending the day playing so why should I? I certainly didn’t ease into this role as easily as she did, but I got better at it. Now I force myself to take at least 1 Piper Kitty Day a month where I just hang out and be like her. Sundays are our days.

    My favorite moments of the day are at the end when we sit on the couch and snuggle. Nothing like the power of purr to wash away your cares. Fuzz therapy rules! The best life lessons come from our pets. Thanks for the reminder. <3

  4. always chill with my kitties when I am not at work. . .best stress reliever in the world!! <3

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