Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: April 2021

What happens if you do nothing?

I felt nostalgic watching my 8-year-old play in the park with a child she had just met. They were immersed in a growing sidewalk chalk masterpiece, with nothing else to worry or distract them. Time did not exist. They simply floated along to the tune of joy, creativity, and friendship.

It was a beautiful sight, but also painful, as I grieved the loss of my own care-free childhood days. I thought of how busy my life had become, and my perpetual race with the clock to accomplish more. I thought of my addiction to checking my phone and email, always anxious that I might miss something important.

I'm ashamed to admit that, even when playing with my daughter, I sometimes feel a strong urge to do something "productive," forgetting that there is nothing more important than spending time with my little girl.

I don't believe that the joy of truly living in the moment, without distractions or agendas, is only a childhood virtue. People of any age can savor the moment, and even take pleasure in doing nothing. We've just forgotten how.

We live in a world that applauds busyness. But as we plow through life, filling every single moment with another task, we eventually find ourselves stressed out, burned out, and depressed.

What if we were to spend some of our time doing nothing? I know - we immediately think doing nothing is lazy and wasteful. In reality, the opposite is true. We need to take regular breaks throughout the day to simply gaze out of a window, take a walk, or sit quietly. These breaks are what give us the energy and replenishment we need to carry on with our work, parenting, chores, etc. When we're constantly on the go, we become physically, mentally, and emotionally depleted.

By hitting pause on the busy cycle, we can give our overactive minds a chance to quiet down and gain perspective. Then, when we return to our regular programming, we are rested and clearheaded, and our performance and productivity improves.

Sandi Mann, a psychologist who wrote a research paper entitled Does being bored make us more creative?, says that doing nothing "literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving, better at coming up with creative ideas."

"Sounds nice," you might be saying. "But how do I do nothing?" Excellent question. Unlike children, we need to schedule time to do nothing - actually put it in our calendars. Figure out what times of day your mind starts to go numb, or you feel fatigued. Those are great times for a nothing break. Sit quietly and let your mind wander. You'll need to unplug, or put your electronic devices out of reach. Then relax. You have nowhere to go and nothing to do, but to simply be.

If sitting idly is too challenging for you, try doodling with a pencil, or playing with a fidget toy. (Sidewalk chalk works well for my daughter, but might get you some puzzled glances.) You can also practice doing nothing while waiting in line or riding the subway. However you choose to do nothing, do it with purpose, and own it!

Learning anything new takes time and commitment. Doing nothing may feel strange at first, and even difficult, especially in a world where busyness is often associated with importance and status. But rest assured that you are giving your body what it needs to thrive!

Source: New York Times

How to relieve texting thumb pain with simple self-massage

With all of the typing, tapping, and swiping we do on our phones these days, it's no wonder that so many of us are experiencing pain in our thumbs. Texting thumb, sometimes called trigger thumb, is an overuse condition that causes inflammation in the tendons of the thumb.

Join me today as we alleviate thumb pain with self-massage. These are easy but effective techniques that you can do anywhere, any time. For a faster and more complete recovery, I strongly suggest reducing the amount of time you spend typing on your phone, and give your poor thumbs a rest!


What's new with me ...

I am excited to announce my husband's YouTube channel, New York City Streets & Books, where Jesse reviews his books, one box shelf at a time (there are about 150 total!), and also takes us on New York City tours, where he shares his favorite streets and hidden NYC gems. If you share Jesse's love of books and NYC, you will definitely want to check this out!

Sienna had a great 8th birthday! She had a party at school with all her closest friends, and was showered with gifts.

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