30 Ways To Relax, Do Nothing . . . And Accomplish More

Practice doing nothing!

It always feels so rejuvenating to let go, relax and just do nothing. Have you tried it lately? In spite of how good it feels doing nothing, we tend to insist on being busy all the time.

Our go-go-go culture along with our ingrained puritan work ethic teaches us to work hard and be productive – get things done. We feel guilty when we do nothing. But when we try to do too much, we feel overwhelmed, rushed and anxious.

Even with all of our modern conveniences, we seem to be busier than ever. Why is that? We work more, yet it seems we get less done. We’re stressed and exhausted. Even worse, we aren’t as happy as we could be.

So what’s the solution? Do nothing more often!

Your time is sacred. So make sure you treat it that way. You can’t give it all away and then wonder where it went. If you really want to accomplish more – yes, be MORE productive – clear your head and do nothing for at least a few minutes every day.

Not sure exactly how to do nothing? Here are some ideas to spark your creative imagination:

  1. Gently roll your head around to relax.
  2. Sit under a palm tree. (or any other kind of tree!)
  3. Stare at nothing.
  4. Ponder your random thoughts.
  5. Meander barefoot through the grass.
  6. Sip on a yummy pineapple concoction.
  7. Notice the birds flitting across the sky.
  8. Contemplate your dreams.
  9. Watch the sun go down.
  10. Observe the flight of a butterfly.
  11. Imagine living on an island.
  12. Soak up the warm sun.
  13. Smell the sweetly scented flowers.
  14. Lazily float in the pool.
  15. Watch a rainbow until it disappears.
  16. Stroll on the beach.
  17. Lay on a blanket in a patch of sunlight.
  18. Look for fun shapes in the drifting clouds.
  19. Listen to the melodious sounds of nature.
  20. Sit in your favorite chair.
  21. Feel the breeze ruffle your hair.
  22. Enjoy a cup of tea.
  23. Gaze at the stars.
  24. Hug yourself.
  25. Whisper a prayer.
  26. Lounge on the couch.
  27. Examine the intricacies of a seashell.
  28. Savor a piece of chocolate.
  29. Close your eyes and connect to your spirit.
  30. Tune into the rhythm of your breathing.

It’s almost addictive to be rushed and busy – to not have time to think and reflect. Too much busyness not only keeps us from being productive, it keeps us from facing and coming to terms with things we’re trying to avoid. Denial of these things won’t make them go away.

Facing up to your sorrows, hopes, fears and dreams can lead to inner peace and happiness. When you create space and do nothing, you have a glorious opportunity to get to know and understand your deepest and best self. Clearing out all the chaos and clutter around you helps you learn who you are inside.

Guard your “do nothing” time like a hawk. Distractions and busyness have a way of slowly creeping right back in.

Get away from the information and activity overload of this world so you can remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ll gain a fresh perspective as well as some amazing health benefits by giving yourself permission to just do nothing for a while.

Living with An Island Perspective means living mindfully. And that includes relishing the pure and simple joy of quiet stillness. You deserve a life that is more serene and fulfilling. Refresh yourself – do nothing – and accomplish more!


Join the island tribe at facebook.com/IslandPerspective.

Coming soon! The complete guide . . . An Island Perspective – Finding the Path to Tropical Tranquility

About Renee

I’m passionate about living a balanced, healthy, happy life with purpose and meaning. And, I love sharing ideas on finding tropical tranquility through An Island Perspective.


  1. I realized as I was reading this entry why I’ve been so stressed lately. I used to take my ‘doing nothing’ time, and write. That writing was my reflection time. But lately I’ve been using all my writing time to write my new public health blog instead of writing in my personal blog. What’s odd is that I just have not felt ‘in the mood’ to do personal writing – funny thing about that statement though… I’m writing something ‘personal’ write now – this comment. Maybe I have been in the mood, but I’ve been ‘addicted’ to getting things done, as you were saying. I’ve been focused on the goal of getting readers for my health blog so that I could finally start making an impact with all that I’ve learned about nutrition and health. Usually when I take a quiet moment to reflect on that, I think “good, I’m focusing on something and not running between six different projects; that’s a positive thing,” but I have not had the time – I have not made the time – to really contemplate how I really feel about things in a while. Perhaps it’s time I do that. Thanks for this entry, and for the twitter message that led me here. ~Phoenix’s Muse

  2. Renee says:

    I’m so happy to hear you are going to make some time to do nothing. I’m just like you. I forget! We all need reminders to slow down and relax more rather than rush, rush, rush. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  3. Lee Lonitz says:

    Wow, is it really possible to “do nothing” in our busy society? I agree that even with modern conveniences, we only get busier — because we use devices to multi-task or speed things along so we can do another task in its place. Even when you listed the 30 things one can do to do ‘nothing’, I noticed there was literally no mention of active items like take a vacation, play a sport, etc….maybe because in those cases you aren’t really doing nothing? (esp on vacation, which unfortunately causes many people stress!)

    I love how you said our time is SACRED. That is something I’ve got to write down in big bold letters and put it in my bedroom!

  4. Renee says:

    Hi Lee,
    Isn’t it amazing how hard it can be to do nothing? At least for me it is. Our time savers actually make us work more. I guess a part of us just feels the need to fill up the space. That it’s not right to just do nothing. That’s why it’s so important to give ourselves permission to relax. I like your idea of reminding yourself that your time is sacred. It really is a valuable gift that we need to use wisely. Thanks for your insight!

  5. C... says:

    I often turn off the TV, mute my phone, turn off my laptop and sit in my living room with the lights off just contemplating my existence and sometimes just trying try to shut off thoughts all together, meditating. I love my solitude. I crave it when I have had to be around too much noise or people.

  6. Renee says:

    What a great exercise! It really is refreshing to sit in total silence. Good for you for doing that on a regular basis. I think we all crave solitude, but we’re too busy to even pay attention to that need. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Bernadette says:

    Just love it! We need to get in tune with the wonder that is inside us and all around us. We’re “missing” it, while we are trying to have it all.