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The Art Of Doing Nothing - A Slow Spring Escape

7th May 2024

It certainly seems like an art to relax these days, with the near constant distraction of our emails, phones and screens, which begs the question, have we forgotten how to enjoy the relaxing things in life? 

The things that were once pastimes and hobbies are now considered doing ‘nothing,’ as though reading is frivolous, walking in the countryside is pointless or giving time to health-boosting sleep is superfluous.


There is a pressure to measure our time and seek accomplishment and if it doesn’t make the grade, it’s not worthwhile. But we can’t measure wellbeing by the ticks on a to do list, which is why we’re rediscovering the art of doing ‘nothing’ at our Hampshire hotel. Because, if these things are nothing, we best start doing more of it. It’s the simple, beautiful things that can bring us the most happiness, and if we’re not careful to master the art, we’ll lose it for good.


So, what is the art to ‘doing nothing’?


It’s getting away for a short spring break and doing just that, having a break. Committing essential time to you; to your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Walking among carpets of bluebells, under ancient canopies, or simply sitting in our garden with a good book.

Gloria Mark, Ph.D., and author of "Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity, says

"doing nothing means giving your mind a rest by not expending your precious and limited cognitive resources and attentional capacity."


She recognises that we need to turn away from media and unplug, not just from the digital world but from other people too at times.

In fact, it’s good for our creative brain to switch off, to be silent and mindful, to recognise how we’re feeling in a given moment. No longer do we stand and allow our mind to wander while we wait in a queue, or sit at a table in a café and simply just people-watch – and it’s during these moments we can nurture creative thought but instead we are constantly being stimulated, or bombarded with information through our screens and devices.  

Short breaks can be hugely rewarding for productivity and creativity, helping our brain to recover and process, like it does during sleep. When you’re on a countryside break in the New Forest, you can certainly master the art of doing nothing:


Sit in the garden and drink tea

When you seek a slow spring escape to the country, simply enjoy admiring our English country garden from the warmth of the conservatory or spend time in the garden, listening to the birds, watching the bees and butterflies, and taking in the scents of the forest. Order a pot of tea or enjoy a full Afternoon Tea, whatever takes your fancy.


Sept Garden Blog 1200


Take a nap

It’s okay if you feel relaxed and sleepy on your weekend break. Enjoy a guilt-free nap knowing that they are believed to help boost memory, lift mood and ease stress. The break away from work and to do lists ought to be everything you want it to be. You are free to completely relax. If lying on the bed on a sunny afternoon and listening to the birds is bliss for you, please, be our guest.  


Rediscover your love of reading  

Our time is so precious that we often neglect the pastimes that bring us joy. Reading for pleasure is in fact considered another mood and self-esteem boosting activity which aids sleep and grounds us. Bring your favourite novel, pick up the newspaper or peruse our library for an interesting read and enjoy making time for something you love.  


Book on bed in room


Simply rest and nurture the hunger to slow down

Most people seek a break from daily life because of an urge to rest and recover, so when you visit our beautiful New Forest National Park, do just that. Slow the pace of life, put your feet up, enjoy slow mornings, gentle woodland walks, and rest the mind and body. Whether you’ve spent the day reading, walking or at the SenSpa spa, sit down and allow the dishes at our hotel restaurants, The Terrace or Monty’s, to nourish your soul. Give time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. A fine wine perfectly paired with your meal or a peaceful morning coffee in the garden before breakfast.


We want nothing more than for you to head back home feeling refreshed and reinvigorated because you mastered the art of doing wonderful ‘nothing’. There are endless activities to discover here in the New Forest, miles of trails to walk or cycle, coast and country to wander, but, it’ll be here next time. For now, follow the feeling and listen to your body when it seeks a break. There’s no better place to practice your new found art, than here in our tranquil ancient woodland.



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