The Value of Doing Nothing this Summer

It’s the time of year where days are long, kids are out of school, and it feels great being outdoors in the sunshine.

It’s also the time of year where it’s easy to feel emotionally and physically drained with all the activities: BBQ’s, vacations, sport camps and swim parties.

Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough time to get everything done. When work and kids and relationships and school and sports and family are all so busy that it doesn’t feel like there’s time in the day to fit everything in, let alone time for you or your wishes.

I get nostalgic thinking about how slow and relaxing summer felt when I was a kid. It felt like time was endless. I would spend hours doing nothing, lying by the pool, reading, watching movies, or just sitting with friends at a park in the shade.

Summers don’t feel that way to me anymore.  And honestly I wish they did.

Yesterday was the official start of summer and this year I’m going to take a different approach.

I’m going to pick and choose where I spend my energy.

Instead of scheduling every spare minute, I’m going to prioritize my time.

I’m going to invest in and place a value in down time.  Time where I can lie by the pool, read a book for hours on end, or sit with friends at a park in the shade.

I’m going to say no to extra commitments that I’m not 100% passionate about.

Some of my hang-up around taking time for doing nothing is it feels like a waste of time. I know I’m not alone in this. In my work with many amazing (and slightly over committed individuals) when your “to-do” list is a mile long and it’s hard to justify spending two hours doing nothing.

For me, this summer will be different.

I will value down time.  I will value doing nothing. I will value long leisurely naps in the sunshine or sitting with friends talking for hours on end, without pressure to ‘do’ something.

What about you?

Are you willing to watch another summer fly by without having a moment to relax, unwind, calm down and enjoy?

What can you (and what will you) prioritize today so you feel more balance with your time?

As an adult there are some things that won’t go away, like the responsibilities that keep your life and family running. What can change is your mindset; the over commitment and devaluing the importance of doing nothing can disappear.

Here’s to a relaxing summer!


(One way I'm shifting my time is by taking the next few weeks off from blogging. I'll see you all in August!)


Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, support for individuals exploring their gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email