Forget colouring books and yoga. What happened to the practice of good old-fashioned daydreaming?
We all remember times at school when the teacher’s voice became no more than background noise to our own imaginings and wonderings, when we doodled idly or gazed out of windows and thought of anything and nothing.
Lately, I’ve been re-finding that long lost art of daydreaming. Instead of grabbing a book or phone or switching on the television, there is always the option of just sitting and letting your mind wander, even if just for a minute or two.
In a cafe, hold your mug with both hands, sip your coffee, smell it, really taste it. Look around, let snippets of other people’s conversation drift in and out of your attention. Be aware of the music that is playing.
On a train, notice the rain on the window, take in the weathered trees, notice the steepness of the fields, the shape of the house windows. Let memories come back to you, stay with them for a while, reflect.
Have ideas. Let your brain follow them through, mull them over. Make plans and dream.
We think that watching television, reading and scrolling through social media are restful. Maybe they are, to a point. But endless consuming can tire us out. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: sometimes we need to allow ourselves just to be.