The Power of Doing Nothing

The Power of Doing Nothing

Gwendalyn Waggoner, Editor

Everyone has experienced anxiety in some form, whether it is minute and controllable or overpowering. Either way, it is a universal feeling, and at the moment, it is more common due to the change in routine. For me, any simple schedule hindrance can set me into a state of panic and worry. Typically, I am able to control this feeling by taking a few steps back and mentally rearranging the timeline I planned. At first, I enjoyed the extra free time and lack of concrete plans because it was something I lacked for so long. Now, it seems almost unbearable to keep living in the monotony of my lazy schedule.

Anxiety in T.V. is often portrayed as fast paced blurred images and a symphony of white noise. When I am experiencing anxiety, it is coupled with the urge to stop doing everything altogether. This being said, my time at home has been filled with the background noise of Netflix as I lay scrolling through Instagram for the sensation of my finger sliding across the screen while paying little attention to the content. This coping mechanism of immersing myself into the wanderlust of the fictional characters on my screen has left my days feeling barren and desolate.

In an attempt to fill my days with productivity, I turned to my sketchbook, but rarely produced anything other than blank pages. When this was the outcome, I became angry at myself for achieving nothing, which put me back into the cycle of monotony. It was not until three days ago a friend reached out and asked if I had been keeping up with my habit of practicing yoga. I responded with the truth, no, I lacked the motivation to leave the cocoon that was my bed. It was his next message that provided a challenge to return to my daily stretches and quiet moments of peace.

 I spent most of that day doing the same routine of mindlessly scrolling until I had the idea to grab my mat and spend a few minutes in the back yard. With no idea where to start, I pulled up a guided yoga routine on my phone and followed along. It was only ten minutes, but it allowed me to find the connection to myself I thought I lost. I spent another ten minutes testing my limits in common stretches, and as I was about to return to my room, I had the idea to spend more time outside. The next day, I returned and began without the guided poses, and today, I woke and was filled with the excitement to spend my moments alone with my yoga mat. 

 Practicing yoga has always been a way for me to feel mindfulness and relieve the urges of anxiety.  It has only been a few days but I have felt more enthusiasm to spend time away from my screens and outside. I felt trapped within a cycle of anxiety and emptiness, feeling pressure to accomplish something while I have all of the time. It wasn’t until I relinquished myself into the moment of emptiness that I found fulfillment.