One summer Sunday, my boyfriend convinced me to be overly ambitious and climb a mountain.
It wasn’t a big mountain (Sleeping Beauty in Fort Ann, which was recommended in these pages last year as an easy, beginner-friendly hike), but by the end of our four-hour journey my heels were blistered, my calves screaming and my left ankle (less than six months removed from a broken fibula and detached ligaments) rather cranky.
And so I resolved to enjoy the rest of the summer by doing nothing, which is actually a little harder than it seems.
Spending a day doing nothing requires preparation. A “quick trip” to the store can easily turn into a journey into the heart of errands, and this is the enemy of laziness.
The night before a day of truly doing nothing, prepare the following:
•An easy brunch: Coffee, blueberry muffins with cream cheese, and fresh peaches on the side for me. Muffins are basically culturally sanctioned cake and in-season peaches are divine. I like to fuss a little over my coffee on do-nothing days, so I bust out my French press.
• A few snacks: Hummus and carrots, cheese and crackers, pretzels and peanut butter, whatever you fancy.
• Plenty of drinks: Fill your largest water bottle, plop in a few slices of cucumber, and store it in the fridge for hydration with an unusual twist. I like to stock up on flavored sparking water, which is great over ice with a few fingers of gin.
• A place in the sun: Backyards, porches, balconies or, in my case, the park down the street, all make great options. I pack a tote with sunscreen, an old queen-size sheet to lie on and my most obnoxiously large sunglasses.
•Entertainment: Fall into an old favorite that will keep your attention but won’t make you think too hard. The Harry Potter novels are my go-to (I can plough through “Prisoner of Azkaban” in an afternoon and love every second of it), but go with what you like.
Some ideas: Catch up on your podcasts (I hear “Serial” is a great listen); go deep with your favorite jams; grab your knitting needles; download a movie to your phone or tablet; call some friends to catch up with, etc.
Stay in bed
Any do-nothing day should start with sleeping in. So before you go to bed, turn off your phone, unplug your alarm clock and close the blinds. And just sleep. Even if I wake with the birds, I stay in bed until at least 10:30 a.m. — there really are few things that are nicer than a drowsy morning between the sheets.
At this point you may be tempted to turn on your phone, but resist! Or, at least, keep it in airplane mode. Nothing is happening on the Internet, trust me.
This is where your prep work starts to pay off: Brunch should be a breeze. Get your coffee going, smear some cream cheese on a muffin and enjoy. Also, turn on some Netflix, because there’s no better way to burn the next two hours than re-runs of “How I Met Your Mother” (just stay out of Season 9, which will ruin your entire day).
Now take a nap. Naps are awesome.
Once you awake (again), take your languorous party outside to your conveniently prepared place in the sun. If you’re traveling, bring along a lunchbox with snacks and water.
PSA: The Australian standard of “slip, slop, slap” would not be remiss here. Sunburn is the opposite of chill.
Now, this is really what you’ve worked for: A whole afternoon on a beautiful sunny day, where all you have to do is nothing. Except enjoy, of course.
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