Niksen – a Dutch wellness trend that means 'doing nothing' – has caught the world's attention as a way to manage stress or recover from exhaustion
Niksen – a Dutch wellness trend that means 'doing nothing' – has caught the world's attention as a way to manage stress or recover from exhaustion.
This trend was first widely learned abroad in 2019. At that time, many people complained of exhaustion and depression caused by overwork and were looking for solutions – that's why concepts like Japanese ikigai or Danish hygge also entered the vocabulary . It is more or less something like ours, “relaxed”, as they say in Thessaloniki.
Scrolling down on Facebook or meditating is not part of niksen. Rather letting one's mind wander where it wants to go is the ultimate definition of the Dutch word. With the pandemic now in the past, it is important to rethink the way one works and spends one's time.
With lives and jobs becoming more and more complex, there is a tendency for people to to be glued to computers for hours. At the same time, the pressure to be the best version of oneself has been amplified by social media.
Of course, some stress can be good, as Leiden University psychology professor Bernet Elzinga points out. “It's not necessarily a bad thing to be in a state of stress for a moment, where you're really focused. The problem is when it gets out of control,” he said.
Paradoxically, niksen can also make anyone who practices it more productive, simply because the breaks allow the brain to rest and return with better focus and sustained attention. This is probably why, while the Dutch don't work long hours, they tend to be very efficient at work.
Elzinga believes it's much better to do some sort of physical activity to distract them. from his daily worries, preferably in nature.
It should be noted that, as in Greece, this free time is possible for the Dutch, because the Netherlands is a country with a welfare system and while people tend to work hard, they also take a lot of paid vacation days, unlike other developed countries where this is not the case.
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