Emotional Wellness Creative Idleness

Tips for increasing Creative Idleness in your day to day life

Dr. Emma Seppala, in her book The Happiness Track,  offers the following suggestions for building idleness into your daily schedule (see pages 117-120 for further detail):

Diversify your activities

  • On your breaks, avoid the temptation to keep your focus on content/details – choose an activity that is less focused (stretching, quick walk, cleaning your desk)
  • At work, organize your tasks to alternate activities that demand concentration and those that don’t
  • If your work is weighted towards the intellectual, make time for tasks/hobbies that use your hands or bring you into the moment
  • If your work is weighted to the relationships, make time to use your intellect
  • Try expanding your areas of interest – explore a new TV show, visit a new place, do something that causes you to be in receiving/reflecting mode

Make time for silence

  • Attend a structured retreat or activity to help you unplug (yoga, meditation, hiking retreats, etc.)
  • Take a walk with the intent of receiving nature and noticing new things
  • Practice mindfulness meditation that feels right for you
  • Introduce quiet time during mundane activities (like no radio on while driving home)

Engage in Play

  • Remember what makes you laugh, and do more of that
  • Be with people who are lighthearted and goofy
  • Take a fun exercise class that is unusual and outside of your comfort zone
  • Engage in games that are fun for you and try playing in non-competitive mode
  • Play with your partner
  • Play with your children
  • Play with your pets
  • Incorporate playfulness in workplace in a variety of ways

Related Articles

Emotional Wellness

Now is the Time for Increasing Our Psychological Flexibility

In a strange and confusing time, these strategies and resources can help you be in the present, open up, and do what matters.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Emotional Wellness

Take Care of Yourself on National _________ Day!

National holidays give you a great excuse for some fun self care.

So many books!  How to choose!?
Emotional Wellness

Parenting Self-Help Books That Might Actually Help!

With so many parenting self-help books to choose from, it's sometimes hard to know which ones will actually help! One of our Emotional Wellness consultants provides you with a list that he recommends to his clients to get you started.

Thank you
Emotional Wellness

Be Grateful and Be Healthy

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, take a moment to learn about why expressing gratitude can make you healthier!

More Emotional Wellness Articles

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for food and nutrition counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees and the spouses/partners of members of these groups.

To schedule an appointment with Health4U you are not required to email us from your MSU email address; please email us from the email address you are most comfortable with. 

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide