Do You Need To Keep Busy, Or Can You Relax And Do Nothng?

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I’m thinking about this question on a Sunday afternoon when I had a flash of panic. I realized I was caught up with all my chores (I did a lot of yardwork yesterday), and I had nothing to do today. I just went to the grocery store to buy three things, when this could easily have waited a few days.

And, It’s a beautiful day outside today: 82°F (28°C). I should be outside relaxing, enjoying a beverage of some kind. But, here I am. Now, I am inside organizing things.

Needless to say, I am not a person who is able to just relax when I have down time. I’m sure I’m going to be one of those people that will want to be busy doing something until the day I die.

I understand that this is not a binary question. Some people generally want to keep busy, but also are able to relax at times. When I try to do this, I find that I am constantly thinking about things that I need to do.

I was going to create a poll for this, but I think hearing people’s responses would be much more interesting.
 

The Velvet Curtain

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I can feel guilty doing nothing, but I learned through looking into improving my mental health that making time to do nothing and deliberately choosing not to think about 'stuff' is beneficial. We can all do it on a tropical beach with a cocktail in hand, but doing it at home with family and dusty paintwork is hard. My tip is to actually plan FA time in so you have given yourself permission to be lazy without guilt, and enjoy it. If I find my mind wandering into planning mode, or worrying, I can then remind myself that such things are not scheduled for that time.
 

TastyReuben

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Well, there's doing nothing and then there's doing nothing...the former would be doing something that's low energy/low mental strain to relax, like watching TV or mindlessly flipping through a magazine or browsing the internet.

I can do that with the best of them, but the latter, actually sitting still with nothing but my thoughts and a drink...no. I'd be up in a flash, trying to find something routine to do to help the time pass.

My mom is the type who stays busy constantly. She hardly ever sits down, she's always working at something. Always. Washing dishes, sewing something, digging in the dirt outside, making some kind of recipe she found in a magazine, gathering stuff up to donate, etc. She simply cannot sit down, and frankly, when I'm around her, she makes me a nervous wreck, because she's like a housefly. She sits on the couch, then she's up like a flash getting something from the printer she wanted to show me, then she's down again, then right back up 30 seconds later getting me a snack I never asked for, then she sits again, then her butt hardly touches the cushion and she's up again, looking for a book she got from the library, then she's sitting down again, and it never stops. She can't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, and my sister is the same way.

I fully plan, when I retire, to be bossed by absolutely no one (except the Commandant, as rascal likes to say :laugh:) - no volunteering at the hospital or the senior center where I have to do something someone else tells me to do or where I have to adhere to someone else's schedule. Nope. I'm going to tell people at least three times a day to eff off, I earned my rest.

My doc told me once that statistics show early retirement combined with no sense of purpose in retirement is deadly for American men, that an extraordinarily high number live much shortened lives, and my response was, "I'll have a purpose, to do what I want when I want." :laugh:
 
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rascal

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Well, there's doing nothing and then there's doing nothing...the former would be doing something that's low energy/low mental strain to relax, like watching TV or mindlessly flipping through a magazine or browsing the internet.

I can do that with the best of them, but the latter, actually sitting still with nothing but my thoughts and a drink...no. I'd be up in a flash, trying to find something routine to do to help the time pass.

My mom is the type who stays busy constantly. She hardly ever sits down, she's always working at something. Always. Washing dishes, sewing something, digging in the dirt outside, making some kind of recipe she found in a magazine, gathering stuff up to donate, etc. She simply cannot sit down, and frankly, when I'm around her, she makes me a nervous wreck, because she's like a housefly. She sits on the couch, then she's up like a flash getting something from the printer she wanted to show me, then she's down again, then right back up 30 seconds later getting me a snack I never asked for, then she sits again, then her butt hardly touches the cushion and she's up again, looking for a book she got from the library, then she's sitting down again, and it never stops. She can't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, and my sister is the same way.

I fully plan, when I retire, to be bossed by absolutely no one (except the Commandant, as rascal likes to say :laugh:) - no volunteering at the hospital or the senior center where I have to do something someone else tells me to do or where I have to adhere to someone else's schedule. Nope. I'm going to tell people at least three times a day to eff off, I earned my rest.

My doc told me once that statistics show early retirement combined with no sense of purpose in retirement is deadly for American men, that an extraordinarily high number live much shortened lives, and my response was, "I'll have a purpose, to do what I want when I want." :laugh:

Lol, no one has ever told me what to do in 50 years except the odd boss who I played. Then working fit myself for 30 odd years I made my own decisions. I did a dale Carnegie course 30 years ago that taught me not to worry, it helped me a lot. And how to treat people. I've pretty much been retired for 3 years and as my wife still works I come and go as I please. Pub with mates or a road trip I do what I want. My wife's pretty laid back and knows me well. Today a friends calling over with a deal on lamb chops. We will do a road trip later in the week. I've been working painting up ladders and down ladders so my legs are a bit sore so I'll take it easy all week. I always have stuff to do. People may see me as lazy, I don't give a flying f$&@ what they think. I know I've earnt every bit of down time I get and don't feel guilty in the slightest. In 9 months I'm entitled to super ( retirement money once a fortnight around $700) at 65 we get it. I've worked since I was almost 15 until now and never claimed unemployment or any benefit . I'm entitled to my super and can't wait until I get something back.

Russ
 

Rocklobster

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I have too many things I want to do....I'm good to sit down for a few minutes and socialize when the circumstance calls for it, but when I am at home I get the urge to do something...maybe it comes from a life time of working 60-80 hours a week..there is no down time..maybe aroud 9:30 -10:00 at night for a television show, but then I fall asleep
 
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My tip is to actually plan FA time in so you have given yourself permission to be lazy without guilt, and enjoy it. If I find my mind wandering into planning mode, or worrying, I can then remind myself that such things are not scheduled for that time.

I’m going to have to start doing something like this. Maybe I need a shock collar to administer a jolt if I’m trying to relax and I start to get up to do something productive.

Lol, no one has ever told me what to do in 50 years except the odd boss who I played. Then working fit myself for 30 odd years I made my own decisions. I did a dale Carnegie course 30 years ago that taught me not to worry, it helped me a lot. And how to treat people. I've pretty much been retired for 3 years and as my wife still works I come and go as I please. Pub with mates or a road trip I do what I want. My wife's pretty laid back and knows me well. Today a friends calling over with a deal on lamb chops. We will do a road trip later in the week. I've been working painting up ladders and down ladders so my legs are a bit sore so I'll take it easy all week. I always have stuff to do. People may see me as lazy, I don't give a flying f$&@ what they think. I know I've earnt every bit of down time I get and don't feel guilty in the slightest. In 9 months I'm entitled to super ( retirement money once a fortnight around $700) at 65 we get it. I've worked since I was almost 15 until now and never claimed unemployment or any benefit . I'm entitled to my super and can't wait until I get something back.

Russ

Or, maybe I could switch brains with Russ for a while so I can learn how to relax. LOL. One day, I’m going to have to figure out how to be retired.
 
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rascal

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I’m going to have to start doing something like this. Maybe I need a shock collar to administer a jolt if I’m trying to relax and I start to get up to do something productive.



Or, maybe I could switch brains with Russ for a while so I can learn how to relax. LOL. One day, I’m going to have to figure out how to be retired.

The dale Carnegie course taught me a lot, don't worry, what's the worst thing that could happen?
It might never happen, you can't change some things in life. Go with the flow is pretty much me. And enjoy life.

Russ
 

rascal

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Well, there's doing nothing and then there's doing nothing...the former would be doing something that's low energy/low mental strain to relax, like watching TV or mindlessly flipping through a magazine or browsing the internet.

I can do that with the best of them, but the latter, actually sitting still with nothing but my thoughts and a drink...no. I'd be up in a flash, trying to find something routine to do to help the time pass.

My mom is the type who stays busy constantly. She hardly ever sits down, she's always working at something. Always. Washing dishes, sewing something, digging in the dirt outside, making some kind of recipe she found in a magazine, gathering stuff up to donate, etc. She simply cannot sit down, and frankly, when I'm around her, she makes me a nervous wreck, because she's like a housefly. She sits on the couch, then she's up like a flash getting something from the printer she wanted to show me, then she's down again, then right back up 30 seconds later getting me a snack I never asked for, then she sits again, then her butt hardly touches the cushion and she's up again, looking for a book she got from the library, then she's sitting down again, and it never stops. She can't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, and my sister is the same way.

I fully plan, when I retire, to be bossed by absolutely no one (except the Commandant, as rascal likes to say :laugh:) - no volunteering at the hospital or the senior center where I have to do something someone else tells me to do or where I have to adhere to someone else's schedule. Nope. I'm going to tell people at least three times a day to eff off, I earned my rest.

My doc told me once that statistics show early retirement combined with no sense of purpose in retirement is deadly for American men, that an extraordinarily high number live much shortened lives, and my response was, "I'll have a purpose, to do what I want when I want." :laugh:

A horse trainer I know can't stand still for any amount of time, he's funny to watch tell you something while moving around on the spot. I can't imagine him in bed ? He's 70 and still working full time. And training part time.

Russ
 

The Velvet Curtain

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I’m going to have to start doing something like this. Maybe I need a shock collar to administer a jolt if I’m trying to relax and I start to get up to do something productive.



Or, maybe I could switch brains with Russ for a while so I can learn how to relax. LOL. One day, I’m going to have to figure out how to be retired.
The is a lot of 'self care' and mindfullness stuff about, and many new age charlotans making big money off gullible people. However, if you strip away the guff there are a few very sound ideas at their centre. Mindfullness is worth looking into, but be ready to throw away the fluff and think about the core ideas about how to manage your own mind.
 

ThatDude

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I go through swing where I feel like I HAVE To be moving, and getting stuff knocked out...then I'll have a week where it's like pulling teeth to get motivated to do anything. I've always found it hard to find the middle ground, feast or famine I guess.

When we vacation, in the olden days B.C., I ADORED sea days as it really forces me to sit, relax, be unplugged and just "be".
 

Timenspace

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My body taught me the necessity to relax , even for a while.
There were a few mad years of two jobs, house, family, until I fell over at a street rushing from work to make it to the butcher's shop. That was the first wake up call.
Then some more madness, I fell from the doorstairs, broke my foot. That was a stronger call.
Then finally, through some gradual changes in easing the work schedule,job change, and a strained ischiaticus I realized, I do need relaxing periods, and "me-time".

So what I do now is, mostly, do then relax for a while, then do again, relax etc.
Sort of lasagna layer aaproach😂

Relax is rarely completely without either music, news, videos or planning, at least the body rests.

But at extreme times, I will shut off any stimuli and just ride the train or walk the streets to sort of silence the brain fireworks...😂

For anxiety I use the box technique breathing.

I should go back to meditating though, as we did in yoga. It is a deeper mindfullness that does good.
 
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