Consciously doing nothing is the new antidote to busy lives
When was the last time you did nothing, really did nothing? Not absently scroll through your phone, or watch some escapist reality TV, we mean really sit down without any other distractions and just … be. In a digital world that seemingly never sleeps, even when we think we are doing nothing, most of the time, we are doing something. But the Dutch seem to have mastered the art of truly doing nothing. Enter Niksen, the latest lifestyle trend. Following in the footsteps of Hygge, the cosy Danish trend that made homes cosy and staying in cool, Niksen is gaining traction in Northern Europe and around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Millennial burnout is now being recognised as a genuine condition, brought on by the generation’s inability to switch off, thanks largely to our smartphones and constant access to emails and social media. Evening when many people do have downtime, they feel as if they should be filling that downtime by doing something productive, whether it’s a side project, a hobby, or just finding the time to socialise with friends and family. But Niksen is promoting the art of really switching off, doing nothing and taking some proper time for yourself.
What is Niksen? Niksen is a Dutch word which means to do nothing; “to be idle or doing something without any use,” Carolien Hamming, managing director of CSR Centrum, a coaching center in the Netherlands, told Time. Practicing Niksen could mean just sitting still and taking in your surroundings, losing yourself in thought, or listening to music. It differs from mindfulness, which encourages those who practice to be present in the moment, in that it encourages you to relax and be with your thoughts, wherever they may take you.