When you find yourself feeling stressed; when you perceive that everyone around you are in a state of false sense of busyness and that causes you stress; when you find yourself in a state of ennui (or when you fear being bored); when you need a bulwark against the constant barrage of things that pull at your attention, there is an opportunity of applying a bit of niksen in your life.

Niksen is a Dutch word for to do nothing. It is having nothing to do and not finding something new to do. It is the absence of any other activity.

In recent years, the Scandinavians have inundated the world with their lifestyle trends, including the quest for lykke (happiness), hygge (coziness), and lagom (literally β€œjust the right amount,” meaning being content with what you have). This is all wonderful, of course, but it has little to do with doing nothing. Remember: Niksen serves no purpose whatsoever.

What niksen advocates is to relax and lose yourself in doing nothing, absolutely nothing at all. Take a chill pill, in short. πŸ™‚

Applying niksen in everyday life helps us be creative by forcing the brain to switch to the default mode network and find connections. The simple mindfulness exercise of focusing on your breath promotes calmness for a while. That oasis of calm is sometimes what we need to get up and carry on with our daily life.

I loved the illustrations by Lona Aalders. I picked up this book because of the cover. πŸ™‚

The Lost Art of Doing Nothing: How the Dutch Unwind with Niksen by Maartje Willems, Lona Aalders (Illustrator). Translated from the Dutch by Laura Vroomen. Published in March 2021 by The Experiment.

The Lost Art of Doing Nothing

Don’t you think it’s time for a break? Plaguedβ€”as we are!β€”by nonstop pings and notifications, we have lost the knack of zoning out. Kicking back. Slacking off. Even when pandemic-induced lockdowns forcibly cleared our calendars, many who thought I’m free! filled their days with Netflix and doomscrolling. How can we reclaim our free time (planned or not) to truly rest and reset?

πŸ“š The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Book 11 of #booksof2021
Started Reading πŸ“– – February 10, 2021
Finished Reading πŸ“˜ – February 10, 2021
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I listened to this in a post-prandial stupor. It was a short book.
Steven Pressfield tackles the problem that people face when they are struggling to create something. He calls it Resistance with a capital R. It’s a combination of self-doubt, deception, fear of change and success. Resistance is a negative force that opposes any creativity and keeps us from fulfilling our dreams.

πŸ“š Heroes by Stephen Fry

Book 10 of #booksof2021
Started Reading πŸ“– – January 18, 2021
Finished Reading πŸ“˜ – February 7, 2021
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
As always Stephen Fry is a joy to hear. Though I have come across all of these heroes and stories, hearing them again brought back memories of reading them as comics or books. I would have liked to hear a bit more about other heroes also in addition to the famous ones that we all know about.

πŸ“š Nemesis Games

Book 7 of #booksof2021
Started Reading πŸ“– – January 17, 2021
Finished Reading πŸ“˜ – January 31, 2021
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I started this after watching a few episodes of The Expanse Season 5.
Compared to the previous stories, this is more of an exploration of the crew’s individual forays into a world they’ve left behind when they wound up together on the Rocinante.
Hoping to catch up on the rest of Season 5 and also see where the story heads to in the next book.

πŸ“š The Last God

Book 6 of #booksof2021
Started Reading πŸ“– – January 29, 2021
Finished Reading πŸ“˜ – January 30, 2021
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Last God was an amazing piece of high #fantasy storytelling by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Riccardo Federici‘s artwork is simply out of this world. I spent a lot of time on each panel marvelling at the drawings.
I read these as individual comics: (The Last God: 1-12 and Specials: The Last God: Tales from the Book of Ages and
The Last God: Songs of the Lost Children).
Now I’m looking forward to read more stories set in the Cain Anuun universe.