Niksen: Find out how to embrace the Dutch artwork of doing nothing

Niksen: How to embrace the Dutch art of doing nothing

London’s newest life-style import must be the best of the lot of them. Technically talking, kitting your property out with cosy Danish “hygge” vibes and making use of Norwegian stability or “lagom” to your life-style require a terrific deal extra effort (and value) than the Dutch artwork of niksen.

But reaching true nothing-ing — a verb (fittingly) non-existent within the English language — feels surprisingly difficult as I try and stare into house and clear my thoughts of my rising to-do listing.

In my effort to be senseless, I’m all of a sudden all too aware of the just about primal want to achieve for my telephone and clear that pile of washing on the desk. Maybe I can do some yoga whereas I stare on the wall? No, the presumably tanned, blonde niksen gods inform me. Can I at the least eat my dinner? That’s not true niksen, they scold.


Sitting cross-legged on my couch, it takes me simply 90 seconds to return to my conclusion: the Dutch may be the happiest on the planet, or so say new findings by Unicef, however they need to even be essentially the most self-disciplined.

How else would they have the ability to free their minds of all the things they should do or could possibly be doing? Or am I simply too innately programmed to be reaching on a regular basis that I’ve forgotten the right way to actually change off?

(Getty Pictures)

The reply to the latter might be sure, in response to Olga Mecking, creator of a brand new e-book concerning the phenomenon: Niksen. Embracing the Dutch Artwork of Doing Nothing. In keeping with Mecking, a British journalist dwelling within the Netherlands, the fixed have to work and obtain can really result in extra stress, decreased psychological wellbeing and, paradoxically, decrease productiveness.

Within the Netherlands, apparently it’s a standard rest method to cease no matter you’re doing and embrace nothing-ing. Right here within the UK, the closest most of us get to switching off is scrolling by Instagram with a Calm podcast and calling it meditation. No marvel we’re all burnt out.

The mother-of-three detailed these findings in a now-viral piece for The New York Instances final yr and the ensuing hype prompted her to jot down her niksen bible, printed this week within the Netherlands (seemingly the mistaken viewers, however maybe they’ve extra free time from all that niksening).

Mecking additionally runs a Fb group for folks the world over who love doing nothing. And it seems telling your colleagues you probably did nothing final night time isn’t sufficient to qualify you as a so-called nikseneer — until you actually did take a while out from bingeing Emily in Paris that didn’t contain portray your nails or squeezing in a fast FIIT class.

Niksen: Embracing The Dutch Artwork of Doing Nothing is printed this week within the Netherlands

To attain true niksen, shut the laptop computer, put your telephone out of sight and embrace what Mecking calls “doing one thing with no function”. Staring out of the window on a bus or letting your thoughts wander within the grocery store queue are good examples.

The e-book suggests just some minutes of niksen may be efficient, but it surely’s nonetheless necessary to schedule it in, particularly on this age of distant working. Whereas it’s pure to take formal breaks working in an workplace, the strains can change into extra blurred when working from dwelling, so mark the top of every activity by niksening for a couple of minutes.

Higher nonetheless, take into account a “not-do” listing of duties that don’t transfer you ahead, says Mecking. “Cancel these socially distanced work drinks or that hectic on-line blind date… the time you release, you spend on niksen,” I learn, ­scouring my diary for an acceptable daydreaming slot.

Maybe the Dutch are on to one thing: on this world of productiveness and accounting for each second, discovering the time to do nothing all of a sudden seems like the largest achievement of all.

@katie_strick

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