How is idling good for your physical and mental health?

Don’t be pushed around by FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media – or rushed by absurd modern demands on our time.


Dawdling, day dreaming and walking without a clear destination is wonderfully liberating.

I is for idle
I is for idle ©©Lynn Hatzius

Giving a bit of time to ourselves to mooch and peruse is proven to reduce stress and improve self esteem as you take control of your time. Try not to set a time limit or a hard target on your next walk; linger over that second cup of tea in the café; gaze into a stream for that extra hour; and simply sit in the garden rather than fussing over weeds and watering.

Senior man sleeping under tree in garden
Take some time to sit under tree in your garden ©Getty

Idling – being less demanding on yourself and blocking out the endless voices telling you to be active and more productive – takes a bit of practice but is an act of gentle rebellion.

Go on: slack off, drift a little, be idle.

Herterton House Gardens

Main image ©Getty


Fergus CollinsEditor, BBC Countryfile Magazine