Why Down Time is Vital
Do you or your kids ever lounge around, slightly bored, staring into space and daydreaming?
If this is still in your life, it's a very good thing. For many of us, however, there is a constant stream of stimulation from emails, texts, social media posts, books, newspapers, television, and video games. We spend a fraction of our time just doing nothing. Look around…even in line at the store or waiting at the doctor's office, most of us have a device, a book, a magazine, or a newspaper to occupy us. We are rarely bored anymore.
But scientists say this is negatively impacting our creativity — a vital piece of all of us.
Emma Seppälä, a scientist who works at Stanford and Yale, tells us that creative thinking arises from being idle. Great inventors came up with some of their best inventions while sitting around…think of Isaac Newton under the apple tree or Dmitri Mendeleev discovering the periodic table of the elements in a dream. Naps have been favored by creative thinkers like Salvador Dali, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison.
So what's the solution?
Create time in the evenings and on weekends for lounging. Build a fort out of pillows and blankets where you and your kids can relax. Encourage naps. Take a tech-free walk every weekend, or even better, every day after school. Keep a shelf in the closet for art supplies and bust them out often. Meditate. Play games together. Get bored.