The Subtle Art of Taking the Time to do Nothing

We live in a world where, especially during the pandemic, we are spending an increased amount of time drowned in busyness: work, school, social life and (of course) digital life. Sometimes we fail to realise just how busy our mind is throughout the day, whether it is focusing our eyes on a screen, or purely thinking about things.


Which is why one thing that has significantly helped my wellness is taking around half an hour a day just to lay down, close my eyes and do nothing. And no – scrolling through TikTok does not count. Doing this one effortless thing every day can really help slow things down in the middle of the day or after an intense study session. It is similar to meditating and, above all, is something we can all do. Somehow, a lot of us class a ‘break’ as involving a phone or tv – and yes, those are important to do in moderation, but have you ever questioned if your mind has rested enough, excluding when you are going to sleep?


Attention is a hugely impactful value of your time. Amongst many other things you can do to benefit mental health and wellness, learning how to pause at a time that works best for you is vital. One thing that contributes to this, personally, is managing screen time. It is actually very recently that I realised you can control the amount of time you spend on specific apps. It’s almost relieving to know that iPhones aren’t really there to suck the time and energy out of you – if you use this one tool. For example, in the morning I block out most of my apps so that I am not tempted to start the day mindlessly scrolling. The same goes for Instagram and TikTok, for which I set a limit of around half an hour per day.


Now don’t get me wrong, I love social media and it has its many positives. However, like all things, it also brings many negatives, one of these being the unfulfillment we seek through these apps and never actually attain. For example, the Instagram story of your friend is not a valid depiction of their reality (and you are probably guilty of this too). So why waste time on something that can potentially have a negative emotional effect on your wellbeing?


With twenty-four hours in a day, the way you use your time can affect your general outlook on life. Indeed, it is extremely hard to not get sucked into the world of social media, and it may take time. But remember that you are in control of your own life. By learning the art of taking the time to do nothing and distance yourself from false realities (social media), you will become a better person just by intentionally trying.