Doing Nothing

Hygge was cool. We vibed with the Danish concept of valuing the cozy, simple things. We also rocked with Còsagach, the Scottish concept of staying snuggly. But have you tried the most exhilarating Dutch concept of niksen — AKA doing absolutely nothing??

Let us catch you up to speed so you can get to (non)work. Niksen means to do nothing, or to be idle as a form of stress relief. Appropriate activities are purposeless ones, “like staring out the window, hanging out, or listening to music,” Carolien Hamming, a coach at an organization devoted to combatting stress, told Olga Mecking for Woolly Magazine.

Niksen focuses on slowing down and opting out of societal expectations about productivity. It’s to remind you of the benefits of giving your mind a chance to recharge and reset. Take a big breath and pause.

This isn’t to say the Dutch value the sin of sloth. Mecking writes that there is a cultural bias against being goal-less, noting, “The popular proverb ‘niksen is niks,’ for instance, means ‘doing nothing is good for nothing.'”

Rather, niksen is promoted as a way to prevent burnout from constantly focusing on work. It’s like mindfulness, but instead of zoning in, you’re zoning out.

“In the wild, most animals do nothing two-thirds of their time,” Hamming told Lifehacker. “They yawn, look around, sit and wait until a little snack comes by. Therefore, niksen seems to me a natural state of being.”

We agree.

h/t: Lifehacker

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