- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Taking Time to Do "Nothing"
When I was growing up (yes it was a long time ago) there were no computers, electronic games, cell phones, I Pods, or any of the technology that we have today.
We wrote letters to people that took a week to get to where they were going. We had no e-mail or faxes to communicate with.
Consequently things moved much slower, which gave us more time to do nothing. There are many benefits to this electronic age that we live in, but there are also some negatives that should be addressed.
We have to do more because everything is 100 times faster. Instead of waiting for a letter from a friend for a week, we now receive e-mails or comments on face book by the hundreds in one day. Responding to that many types of communication feels like a full time job sometimes.
Along with all of the current ways to communicate, we live in a society that tells us that if we aren't doing something, we lack drive and ambition. I disagree with this and find it unhealthy to always have to be doing something.
It is important to take action in much of our lives, like education, projects, home and family, but we need to schedule in "Down Time" in our overly busy lives.
Many kids today are ridiculously over scheduled. Five days a week they go to school. Then there are the after school sports, dance lessons, music lessons, and what ever else their over achieving parents want them to do. After that there is homework, and for most schools it is a good couple of hours worth.
The weekends that used to be for relaxing, are now to fit in more scheduled events that couldn't be fit in during the week. Kids are booked weeks in advance! A little crazy if you ask me.
We need to have some down time in our week. Time where you have nothing planned, no time schedule to keep, and nothing to feel pressured about. Time to do nothing.
Doing nothing helps lower stress which helps your body be healthier. It is also shown to improve memory and help with your ability to learn. It allows you to sit in a space where you can unwind and rejuvenate yourself from all the busyness in your life. It will help to give you a different perspective on things when you step back and slow down.
I remember when I was a kid I used to lay on the grass and look up into the sky and watch the clouds float by in their many shapes and forms. I would see them take shape of an animal or a face. It was wonderful and relaxing and the best part was that I didn't have to do it, it was not on the schedule.
I have a rocking chair on my porch that I will sit in during the twilight hours of the day. I love that time because I am just sitting and listening to the birds while the sky begins to turn into the sunset colors. It is one of my favorite things to do. I do nothing and have a wonderful time doing it.
It is not how much we do, but the quality of what you do that matters. You can be busy, busy, busy, all day and not get much done. I know many people that are busy all of the time, but never have much to show for it. Being busy does not mean you are productive.
I believe that down time helps you to be more productive. We need balance in our lives. It is important to do the things that need to be done like school, work, and taking care of our responsibilities. But we also need to relax and do nothing from time to time.
So add a little "nothing" into your week by finding that time to just "Be" and not "Do". You will discover that it will help you when you have to be busy and get things done. Notice I said a "little" nothing. A lot of nothing is not going to get you where you want to go. Everything in moderation....that is the key!