The Value of Doing Nothing in Retirement


The Value of Doing Nothing in Retirement Barnett Financial & Tax

For many, retirement can be a struggle to find new ways to stay busy. If you’re approaching retirement, figuring out how to replace the sense of fulfillment you may have had with your work can be difficult. If you’re in retirement, you may already feel restless without your daily occupation. While it’s crucial for your health and happiness to stay active mentally and physically, it can also be equally important to recognize the value of doing nothing with the new time you have. In fact, research shows that there are mental benefits associated with doing “nothing.”[1]

What is “Nothing”?

The type of “nothing” we’re referring to is when you just sit and think with no real task at hand. “Nothing” means not scrolling social media, watching TV, listening to music, or doing chores. There are seemingly endless amounts of distractions these days with social media, TV shows, and all the activities your smartphone has to offer at your fingertips. So, doing nothing and receiving its benefits can be harder these days than ever.

Mental Benefits

It’s common for retirees to consider exercising their brains and maintaining brain health in their later years. Alongside finding ways to stay active and occupied, spending the time to do truly nothing can be part of maintaining your brain health.[2]

Turning off all distractions and letting your mind wander allows your subconscious activity to expand, ultimately boosting your creativity and overall brain health. When our minds are occupied, we tend to be satisfied with the most immediate answers to things. Doing nothing can allow time for your brain to dig deeper into whatever it wants to think about, uncovering the reasons for why you feel certain ways about something or coming up with a new way of doing something. For this reason, doing nothing can be a highly effective way to practice mindfulness.

Health benefits

In a world filled with to-do lists, unread notifications, and endless stressors, doing nothing is highly difficult. We’ve been trained our whole lives to seek out work and check tasks off our list. While the feeling of checking off our to-do lists is satisfying, constant activity can be just as stress-inducing, especially if that to-do list is never-ending. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that stress can take a physical toll on your body, especially over long periods of time. The effects of stress include headaches, chest pain, muscle tension, and sleep problems.[3] So, what better time than retirement to forget about that to-do list and prioritize your mental and physical health?

Speaking of stressors, staying on track with your retirement goals and managing every aspect of your finances so that you can afford the retirement you deserve can cause plenty of stress. So, why do it alone? Take some of the burdens of managing your retirement out of your life and Click HERE to talk to us at Barnett Financial and Tax today, and we’ll work with you to plan for a retirement that caters to your unique financial situation and goals.


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