The Need To Stay Still

A body at rest appears as if it isn’t doing anything. It isn’t moving or shaking or contributing. Yet, there are millions of tiny essential processes happening and that doesn’t even begin to address what is going on inside a quiet mind. Only then do you really have the space to marinate on the dreams and ideas in your head. You need silence and you need rest. 

On Tik Tok they call it the #QuietLife.

When we think of a writer’s life, we think of them actively doing something: writing. We may imagine them typing away all day on the keyboard or scratching words on a legal pad. But writers spend a lot of time just thinking because that is where the stories come from, the plot twists and turns. They don’t come from busy fingers; they come from quiet minds that have the time and space to process.

The busyness of the world makes it difficult to be still, to make space for just chilling, but it is important to our overall health whether we are adults or children. It might be especially important for children to have unstructured time to pretend play and test nature in ways that help them make sense of everything. 

Constant busyness means that the stress created in one’s 9-5 life doesn’t ever have an opportunity to dissipate. If you go from five days a week of work and activities straight to a weekend full of different (or just more) activities and house and yard work, your body and mind never have a chance to recover. 

It is true that a lot of people find relaxing not just hard, but near impossible. It is a challenge to slow yourself down and learn to enjoy doing nothing. If you struggle with slowing down, here are a few easy things to begin doing to help change your pace:

1–Turn off notifications on your phone and switch it to silent (preferably as long and as often as you can, but if you can only do it for an hour at a time, do this). 

2–Take the extra step and put the phone out of your reach. Out of sight. Out of mind.

3–Complete a puzzle. Solving a puzzle slows down the brain and allows you some rest. It forces you to sit still and do nothing but work that puzzle.

4–Go for a nature bath. Take a hike or simply sit outside and listen to the birds. Feel some sunlight on your face. Make a mental note of things you never noticed before.

5–Lie on the floor and do some stretches, but hold those stretches for 30 seconds or longer. Train your mind to not think about all the other things you could be doing. Remind yourself that what you are doing in this moment is exactly what you should be doing.

These periodic breaks of quiet time are not a waste of time. They are a reset. And a necessary one at that. Visualize your phone being updated. While it is updating you cannot use your phone. It is locked. Announce to everyone to leave you alone- you are updating. Then return as “you 2023.0”. If your phone requires, needs, and deserves an update, you do too.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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