I have always been a daydreamer from a young age. If I sat by the window during class, I would stare out of it. I loved to stare out of the window as the car flew down the highway. I would sit on my bed before getting dressed for school. After I snap out of my stupor, I would feel much more relaxed. There has been plenty of research emphasizing the benefits of meditation. Although there is evidence of a decrease in stress levels and increased mood, I think simply not focusing on anything, even your inner mind has its own set of benefits.
I'm sure anyone could relate to my story of zoning out. It happens to all of us. Nowadays, I feel that the world bombards us with the requirement that we should constantly be kept busy. If you are not studying, go out to run an errand. Or "actively" relax by treating yourself to watching an episode of your favorite show. Personally, I feel bad if I haven't filled my schedule with something to do for each hour of the day. By all means, I am not advocating for wasting time. Rather, I think we forget to give ourselves unstructured time to take a break from the day.
Taking a break from the day is different than taking a break from doing work. When you stop and simply let yourself breathe without thinking about anything - not even allowing yourself to notice your breathing, it can be rejuvenating. Doing nothing charges your batteries. Your wandering mind might find a boost in creativity. Your mind will help you create when you aren't preoccupied with all the tasks you must do or all the meetings you need to attend. I also find that I feel like I am only beginning a task after I sat without doing anything for a bit, even if I didn't move from my spot.
After forming the habit of constantly doing, it is hard to break away for only a few minutes to do nothing. We are pulled from event to event, we keep neverending to-do lists, and we are told doing something - anything - is better than nothing. I am arguing that we should try teaching ourselves to not feel guilty for not running from place to place or not keeping busy every hour of the day. It is overwhelming to manage everything, but letting go for ten minutes will not cause it all to come crashing down. Granting yourself a short moment to do absolutely nothing is the gift you give yourself every day. It could even be deemed the cheapest form of self-care.
Those 15 minutes just sitting quietly are just as important as keeping busy. Don't rob yourself of the small portion of time that should be solely for you. Even if you are the busiest person in the world, when you have the chance, take that break. You won't regret it.