Home > Blogs > Why doing nothing is so important to prevent burn-out and reduce stress

Olga Mecking

We live fast and work hard. That is, we did until the coronavirus came and turned out world outside down. And maybe that’s a good thing. Let me explain.

Before the pandemic, we spent hours at the office, came back home only to have to clean and organize it (did that spark joy?), went shopping for the most exotic ingredients promising us immortality before heading to the gym to get it some workout.

What is really important

All of this is important, of course: we all want to feel fulfilled in our jobs, live in a nice and clean house, raise perfect kids and be fit and healthy.  But the modern expectation that we have to give 200% in every area of life is simply unsustainable. We can’t go faster and faster forever. At some point, we’ll crush. And the numbers prove it: cases of depression and burnout as well as work-related stress and anxiety have been going up. People increasingly feel overwhelmed and confused.

But the pandemic made us realize that there was something missing from our lives: these moments to be still and quiet… and do absolutely nothing.


or the Dutch art of doing nothing can help us achieve just that. And it’s important, for several reasons.

First of all, niksen – understood as truly doing nothing, or doing something without a purpose, for example gazing out of the window – can give our bodies and brains a little break, whether at home, at work or out in public.

These breaks are important because they can help us calm down, make us more creative and make us better at making decisions. Niksen might not help you fight burn out once you have it but it might prevent it from happening.


But niksen also has a deeper function. At at time when the world is standing still, niksen can allow us to ponder questions such as “who am I really?” “What do I want out of life?” or “When this is over, what am I going to keep and what am I going to discard from my life?”

We can learn that we don’t always have to fill out every minute of our lives. Sometimes, we can sit down for a minute… and do nothing at all.

By Olga Mecking


We gaan dus massaal niksen, voorkomen is beter dan herstellen. Wij hebben het boek gelezen en het is een duidelijk handboek waardoor je je ook niet meer schuldig voelt als je niks doet.

Bestel hier jouw exemplaar van ”niksen