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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately—almost all of my non-work time—doing “unproductive” things.
I’ve cooked and gone to the grocery store and helped around the house, but other than those kinds of practical tasks, I’ve focused mostly on fun or relaxing things with my free time.
I’ve been resting and doing things that I enjoy simply because I enjoy doing them.
And it has felt so wonderful and so nourishing.
Many of us are uncomfortable with slowing down and taking it easy. We resist rest and relaxation; we think there’s something wrong if we’re not constantly doing something. There’s a part of us that urges us to be productive all the time, to do something “worthwhile,” something that will move us forward or help us in some sort of outer, external-world way.
I noticed this kind of energy in myself years ago, and have worked every day since, to learn to rest and relax and take it easy. I’ve worked to distance myself from pull of that energy that wills me “to do” and instead listen to my heart and what it is I truly want and need in each moment.
Yesterday, I asked this question on one of our social media pages:
“What are some of your favorite things to do just because you love doing them?”
I asked it because I think it’s so important that we do things for the simple joy of it, just because they make us feel peaceful or connected or light, just because we like doing them.
Here are 30 fun things to do just for the joy of it, from Elephant readers:
1. “Listening to music of all genres, reading, and loving my pets.” ~ Kathy
2. “Walking, keeping in touch with family, and being organized.” ~ Carol
3. “I love to write, dance, run, exercise, sing and binge watch.” ~ Damini
4. “Upcycled art. I love making something beautiful from things that would otherwise be thrown away.” ~ Velma
5. “Holding my dog near my body and petting him.” ~ Teisha
6. “Reading, outdoor activities, playing with pets, just thinking.” ~ Lauren
7. “Writing – making music – studying indigenous worldviews and values, the gym, running, golf.” ~ Jay
8. “Genealogy. Reading. Gardening. Cooking and Baking.” ~ Julie
9. “I love creating beautiful things from raw materials!” ~ Alex
10. “Walking, biking, yoga, reading, gardening, traveling, hanging with my family and friends, being by myself is a quiet personal joy!” ~ Karen
11. “Have coffee in bed early in the morning as the sun comes through the Venetian blinds and casts filtered striped shadows on the wall and my dog sleeps hard, curled under the covers.” ~ Susan
12. “Singing. Dancing. Making people laugh. Watching great movies. Walking for miles.” ~ Trisha
13. “Puzzles and playing Scrabble with my mom.” ~ Karen
14. “Reading, sitting on my front porch enjoying my nature connection out here in the woods.” ~ Suzanne
15. “Sweeping.” ~ Barbara
16. “Eat chocolate cookies for breakfast.” ~ Herta
17. “Repurposing. My current project is turning an unused twin bed into a sofa.” ~ Penny
18. “Gardening, Yoga, reading, hiking, walking my dogs, being around my livestock.” ~ Catherine
19. “Watching 1970’s movies.” ~ Carol
20. “Cooking for my dog & for the dogs on streets. (I live in India.)” ~ Malvika
21. “Pray, spending quality time with my daughters and grandchildren, arts and crafts, read, garden, bake, dance, listening to music.” ~ Rosie
22. Skiing, kayaking, biking, walks in nature, creating delicious meals,drinking good coffee and margaritas. ~ Jolie
23. “Painting, taking pictures, staring at the moon, yoga, watching movies, being with my family, playing with my dogs, walking on the beach, walking in the woods, traveling, learning new things, and more.” ~ Susan
24. “Be with and study Nature…Take carefully chosen photographs of life itself. Please my spouse, who does so much for me. Listen to my grown children because they teach me so much and they love me madly.” ~ Barbara
25. “Feeding and talking to my chickens.” ~ Alma
26. “Being retired…every day is Saturday, so we live in the moment, no schedule to have to contend with…unless we want, it is called simply living.” ~ Lance
27. “I play oboe in an orchestra and English horn.” ~ Lori
28. “Reading thrillers, writing sci-fi, having lunch out with my friends. Drinking my morning coffee in the sunroom, walking our yard and watching the birds. Cooking favorites.” ~ Patricia
29. “Ballet, hike, read, meditate, yoga, paint, bird watch, snorkel, the list goes on.” ~ Angel
30. “I sing purely because I enjoy it. Not because I’m ‘good’ at it. (Everything else that came to my mind, I feel good at in some way so I can naturally enjoy it.)” ~ Leah