The importance of a proper summer ‘nothing’

I never understood why my parents would send my sister and me to my grandma’s countryside house for the summer when we were younger. It seemed so long and boring. Surrounded by nature and without the internet, it felt like torture. We had to entertain ourselves with the beautiful landscape, learn how to play chess, or sit in the fresh air and read a book—anything to not just do nothing.

Now, the first thought I had the morning after writing my last exam was, ‘I want to do nothing, and now I finally can!’ 

After a year of intense studying, I craved proper rest. I thought sleeping a lot, catching up on missed Netflix series, and partying with friends I hadn’t seen in a while would be the perfect solution. The plan was great. Yet, after a week of this, I found myself still feeling overworked, perhaps even more tired than during my full days of lectures and assignments. 

I thought I could just get some rest and then get back on track without pushing myself too much, like I had been doing all academic year. But as days went by, I found myself binge-watching Netflix until late at night, doom-scrolling Instagram all day, or day-drinking with friends. Despite these activities being well-deserved and appealing, they weren’t providing proper rest. I was procrastinating from resting. 

Watching something, drinking, or scrolling is still doing something, but passively

A friend’s straightforward advice gave me a solution. ‘Watching something, drinking, or scrolling is still doing something, but passively. Either do something actively or do absolutely nothing at all.’ 

Coming back home, I put my devices aside. After fifteen minutes of ‘doing nothing’, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted. Instead, I completed chores, a yoga workout, and finally finished a painting I hadn’t touched in months. Anything to not do nothing.  The house got clean, the body relaxed and creative needs were fulfilled. The tiredness vanished. I finally felt rested. 

Then I realized my parents were right about the summer holiday choice. Those long and at first boring summers weren’t torture, but a remedy. Summer is there to unwind us from the busy year and recharge our batteries for the upcoming one. The best way to do that is to experience boredom sometimes, and then do active things to avoid it. 

Now, with the internet constantly at my fingertips, it’s easy to forget. But if I ever do, all I need is to embrace that actual ‘nothing’ for a bit and finally have a proper summer rest.



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