Amidst COVID-19, how many times have you heard someone say, "Now that I have more time, I want to be more productive"?
What is productivity? The dictionary definition is, "the state or quality of producing something." Why does the addition of more time automatically equate to more output? In Western culture we were already at max capacity. Could more time simply be more space for quiet? More time to pause?
Not everyone has more time right now. There are those who have continued to work in essential businesses and even increased their hours. There are those doing full-time childcare and full-time work. Those who are severely ill and need to focus all energy on healing. The myth that COVID-19 should be a time of extra productivity, is damaging to many.
Because productivity is so ingrained in our culture, most of us do not know how to pause or rest. In addition, a quiet mind can allow for anxiety, so we work hard to keep our mind occupied. I decided to write a post with 50 concrete examples of how to slow down without having anything )or very little) to show for it. Added bonus: nothing on the list is done on a screen.
All 50 will not be accessible to all. As you are reading the list, preface each statement with, “If it is safe…” Consider trying one or two each day.
50 Non-Productive Things To Enjoy (Not On a Screen):
1. Stare out the window.
2. Watch the wind blow through the trees.
3. Take a bath.
4. Snuggle up with a cup of tea with or without a good book.
5. Call a friend.
6. Look through an old photo album.
7. Watch the rainfall.
8. Do a few half sun salutations.
9. Scribble with bold colors on plain paper.
10. Name your plants.
11. Cuddle with your pet.
12. Play a record and really listen to it.
13. Go on a meandering walk.
14. Read a magazine.
15. Slowly sip your morning coffee in your favorite spot.
16. Listen to a podcast.
17. Listen to an audio book.
18. People and pet watch in your neighborhood.
19. Stream of consciousness writing.
20. Try on unexpected outfit combinations.
21. Eat ice cream from the carton.
22. Bird watch.
23. Read old journals.
24. Look through old yearbooks.
25. Play a board game.
26. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk.
28. Experiment with makeup.
30. Watch the sunset from dawn to light.
31. Watch the sunrise dusk to dark.
32. Go on a short drive with no agenda.
33. Smell the flowers around your neighborhood.
35. Scan the room and notice light vs. shadow.
36. Scan the room and notice which colors your eyes are drawn to.
37. Aimlessly walk though your living space, noticing with new eyes.
38. Staring contest.
39. Practice feeling gravity under your feet and sit bones.
40. Earthing (walking on the earth with bare feet).
41. Enjoy a glass of wine outside.
42. Field trip to a drive thru coffee shop.
43. Do a puzzle.
44. Send a postcard.
45. Rock, Paper, Scissors.
46. Solitaire with playing cards.
47. Easy crosswords or word searches.
48. Look through a coffee table book.
49. Cut up a magazine and make a collage.
50. Hug someone.
This is not an easy time for anyone. You do not have to put on a brave face or produce anything at all. Doing nothing is a beautiful thing.
"This was a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before." - Maya Angelou
I'm Kerry (She/Her/Hers) and I am a licensed therapist, writer & speaker. This is a positive space focused on how to thrive in any situation and the transformative power of suffering.