January 20, 2018

Time to ‘Do Nothing.’

Felicia Harlow - Why Time to do Nothing

Self care is a key element of the Growth in Motion process… and ‘doing nothing’ is a key element of self care, better known as ‘rest.’

When school is out there are no more final papers and exams to worry about, it’s a time to relax and rejuvenate yourself before returning to school. After all, you’ve been working hard over the past year. But, if you think like I did while I was in college, you may have scheduled a lot on your ‘to-do list’ for the summer. Or you may be spending lots of energy worrying about something yet to come.

One of those things on your ‘to-do’ list may be: work to make some money to use for next year’s expenses. If so, I celebrate your commitment to yourself! At the same time, I want to remind you to schedule sometime into your days to ‘do nothing.’ This means schedule 20-30 minutes each day to sit or lie down and just breathe. That’s it – nothing else! Yes, that’s right – no texting, checking Facebook, skyping, tweeting, emailing, talking on the phone, playing with the Wii, exercising, reading a book, going for a walk, watching tv – nothing for 20-30 minutes each day – except breathing!

Do you think you can do it? Are you willing to try it? Let me know why you think you can or cannot do it by responding below.

As I encourage you to schedule time to ‘do nothing,’ what thoughts came to your mind? Did they go something like, “yeah, right! Or, I can’t sit still for 2 seconds! Or, that’s not a problem for me!” Well, whatever your response was, know that it was the correct one and it helped you learn more about yourself.

So, why is it so important to ‘do nothing’ sometimes? Well, when we don’t allow for “non-activity” in our lives, we become out of balance and our natural rhythm gets thrown off. And, frustration, irritability, and/or exhaustion can sneak up on us and settle in. When our natural rhythm gets thrown off, we spend a lot of time “in our head thinking” and we forget about the rest of ourselves – our body and spirit. We forget to just ‘be.’ When we are ‘just being’ we allow life to flow. The results are happier relationships, better grades, and feeling good inside. Things seem to just work out for the best without the struggle. We don’t feel like we are constantly working against the current.

So, here’s a challenge for you: try ‘doing nothing,’ starting with just 10 minutes. You might find it to be hard work at first because you are not used to it. Remember, if you are watching tv, that doesn’t count. If you are texting, tweeting, catching up on Facebook, or talking on the phone, that doesn’t count either!

Just sit or lie down and breathe – that’s it! Now, go to it and write me back to let me know how you did. Once you’ve achieved it for 10 minutes straight, send me a quick reply message explaining how easy or hard it was for you.

♥ Take Care of Yourself,


About the Author: Felicia Harlow (43 Posts)

Felicia Harlow, the Heart Ecologist, Life Coach, & College Speaker, teaches women and students how to empower themselves through self care, heart awareness, and self direction. She encourages students to embrace her 4 step Growth in Motion Process™, starting with the Growth in Motion Oath™ and applying it by living a Growth in Motion lifestyle! Felicia is available to speak at campus events year round to help BRING BALANCE TO YOUR STUDENTS LIVES.


  1. Nicole,
    Thanks for the mention in your article The 5 best stress-busters! Here is another resource for you and others facing stress in college. http://growthinmotion.webs.com/apps/podcast/ (Just click on “Mindful Breathing Practice” It is 2 1/2 minutes in length) Enjoy!

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  1. […] it won’t be effective. As Harlow suggests, deliberately devote a few minutes of your day to “doing nothing” to become balanced and stress […]

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