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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Not Nothing

We often think, “How wonderful it would be to do nothing!” And when we lead hectic, busy lives, it is wonderful, for about three days. After that, if we continue to do nothing, we will start to get depressed. In fact, if you want a really effective way to get depressed, stop. Do nothing. Do not read, watch TV. Do not go on social media. Do not interact with others. Do nothing. You will get bored. After you get bored, you will begin to fall into a serious depression.

So, when we say we want to do nothing what we are really saying is that we want a break and we need recovery time. We need a break from our typical chaotic days. We need to slow down. Look at different things. Perhaps not have a long to do list, not have every moment of the day scheduled. This is important to do on a regular basis. In fact, according to Judaism, you do this every Friday night and Saturday for the Sabbath. We stop, we reflect, we hang out with family and, of course, we eat! We are not scheduled!

Recovery is another thought. Is sports, there is a term called active recovery. Rather than stopping after a big workout, we do something more gentle. An elite runner may do an intense 15 mile run one day, really pounding it out, then the next day they do an easy 5 mile run. Elite cyclists, on their days off, will get on a stationary bike and have an easy spin.

The lesson here is that when you are feeling overwhelmed, change your routine and give yourself some time and space to reflect and be in the moment, but do not do nothing, at least not for long periods of time. The best way to truly recover is to gently move, in an environment that is as stress-free as we can make it.

Enjoy the journey and be nice to yourself!

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