How to Avoid Burnout by Learning the Art of Doing Nothing

The art of doing nothing is the antithesis of the modern schedule. It is a concept that many societies have at some level, with the Italians calling it la dolce far niente. Stepping away is literally “sweetness.”

Working yourself to near exhaustion isn’t healthy. By the time you make it to the weekend, the only thing you want to do is lounge in pajamas and watch television. When you’re ready to be productive, then it is time to go to work.

This habit is more about survival instead of enjoying life.

The art of doing nothing is a decision to participate in an event. You make a physical choice to stop participating in the usual routine. That means putting down the phone, turning off your notifications, and disappearing from the rest of the world.

What Can You Do to Disappear Every Day?

The Italian version of doing nothing means a different lifestyle and routine gets followed than the American option of “work hard, play hard.”

After spending a few hours at work, an Italian practicing la dolce far niente might come home to take a short nap. Then they might wander to a local café for a glass of wine or a quick snack. Some stay home to spend time with their family.

Where would you go if there weren’t any demands placed on your schedule? Do the mountains call your name, or is the gentle waves of the beach that cry out for attention?

Learning the art of doing nothing could mean using your free time to play video games with your kids instead of checking your email one more time. Imagine taking a walk in a park, holding hands with your significant other, with neither one of you checking Facebook or the current balance in your account.

The kind of relaxation that prevents burnout isn’t found on a natural trail or a moment of laugher with a friend. It is something that exists in each one of us. It is there for the taking if you’re willing to put in the work to tap into it.

Now is the perfect time to stop thinking that Saturday and Sunday are the only days you can relax. Take care of your responsibilities at work. Bring home that paycheck, and then find ways to have fun. Everyone has a way to start doing nothing. 

Should Big Tech Companies Track Our Social Circles?

Big Tech companies are going all-in when developing tracking technology. The goal of this effort is to create a system of contact tracing so that it is easier to determine where the COVID-19 clusters form. Although this work may be helpful to open economies and warn people of possible exposure, significant privacy concerns must also get reviewed.

Apple and Google might be working together to create these tracking features, but will the general public trust what they eventually develop?

Owners Must Opt-in to This Service

The aggression toward people who wear masks or choose not to do so, depending on one’s perspective, is creating a political divide where people are already resisting the idea of further life intrusions.

If someone refuses to wear a mask in public, then the likelihood of that person opting in for a tracking program to disrupt future COVID-19 infections is unlikely.

This system wouldn’t account for any positive behaviors, either. Even if you took items from companies like Irwin Naturals, Nutramedix, or Standard Process, the app focuses on infections and proximity only. 

The goal of this collaboration from Big Tech is to have your phone notify you whenever you come close to someone who tested positive for coronavirus. This digitized version of contact tracing happens faster than manual methods, helping healthcare workers to track down an initial patient.

By catching up with the person who tested positive, authorities can get ahead of the disease. It can stop people from passing it on. This outcome also means that our social circles and daily activities get tracked by companies who profit from that information.

What If I Don’t Have a Mobile Device?

Digital contact tracing requires people to have a mobile device on them at all times. It would also require the sharing of medical information that compromises personal privacy for the good of the general population.

Let’s say that you decide to download the contact tracing app. Once you activate the software, your phone or tablet starts broadcasting an encrypted code that identifies your presence. You receive the same information from other devices.

If you test positive for COVID-19, then you’d inform a secure server operated by Big Tech. Then Apple and Google would alert the phones of anyone in your proximity over the past two weeks. Anyone receiving this notification would then report for testing, qualify for quarantine, or receive medical treatment.

Is it worth sacrificing privacy for this benefit? If you don’t have a mobile device, then you don’t get to participate. Past attempts have found cross-platform failures that make it impossible to track enough people to make it useful. If the government doesn’t make this structure mandatory, then it will be up to each person to determine if they are comfortable sharing this information.

Will Movie Theaters Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Studios have more leverage over movie theaters because of the coronavirus pandemic than ever before. Even if the specialty chains or major companies survive an extended shutdown, Hollywood has no urgency to produce anything right now.

That means agents are looking at unread screenplays to find a jewel in the rough for when production restarts. Screenwriters are going back to their pitches for new ideas. Although some movie theaters can remain open because full restrictions aren’t in place, Regal and AMC still enforce a 50% capacity rule to protect patrons. 

Communal escapism is how families got through the Great Depression. That experience is what we must all avoid today.

How Will the Movie Industry Change?

Studios decided to withdraw movies from their distribution windows because of low viewership numbers. Expected blockbusters in No Time to Die, Mulan, and A Quiet Place Part II are all on pause for several months in the hopes that societal movements will get back to normal by the end of the summer.

That means millions of dollars in advertising were potentially wasted because COVID-19 stopped people from going to the movie theaters.

Some movies are available on-demand immediately in the $15 to $20 range to help reduce the potential for losses. That option may become the new normal for consumers, which means the traditional movie theater may not have a marketplace.


Even if people do go back (and they likely will), new spatial restrictions mean most theaters will require new seating arrangements to keep people comfortable. That means fewer seats per screen, increasing the price needed to see a show for most consumers.

If you have a family of six, going to an evening show was already more than $70 in most locations before snacks, beverages, or dinner. Why spend that much when you can pay $20 to enjoy the film at home?

Some theaters could default on their rent. Bankruptcy is a real possibility, even if chains cut staff and compress shows to maximize attendance numbers.

The other side of that argument is that the studios need movie theaters to generate revenues. At-home viewing doesn’t pull the same numbers as those on the big screen. You might see companies like Disney work with the national chains on financing packages that can help to bring them back to life.

Streamers now have an advantage because of the coronavirus pandemic. Exclusive windows will likely drop from 90 days to 75, 60, or even less. We won’t know for sure what the new normal will be until the economy gets a chance to reboot.

For movie theaters, it might be too late already.

Why COVID-19 Came Back to Hong Kong and What It Means for Americans

Hong Kong received plenty of praise in February and early March for keeping its coronavirus infections at low numbers. Then COVID-19 returned with a vengeance in this global pandemic, with Taiwan and Singapore experiencing surges in their figures at the same time.

Although the number of cases is still relatively low compared to the population density of each region, the primary issue for each destination involves travel. 

A majority of the cases that Hong Kong reports come from travel to other countries. Local transmissions have stayed low.


Students from the United States and Europe account for the largest share of the imported cases, with at least 191 confirmed from students who were studying in the United Kingdom.

What Does This Information Mean for Americans?

The new reality of coronavirus is that travel restrictions are going to be in place for a while. Most countries focus on international borders because of their size, but the U.S. is in a unique position.


Different states have varying COVID-19 cases and infection intensity. New York has over 159,000 confirmed cases and over 7,000 deaths as of April 10, 2020. Washington State had the first epicenter of the new coronavirus in February and led the country in total infections and deaths for over a month. Now it isn’t even in the top 10.

Hong Kong had a tour group visit Egypt. Multiple travelers developed COVID-19 symptoms after returning in early March. As virus hotspots migrate around the world, Americans must be prepared to keep shifting travel bans to ensure communities stay protected.

Anyone who goes outside of a restricted area faces the possibility of catching this virus. That’s why the stay-at-home orders are effective at limiting new transmissions.

How Long Is the Pandemic Going to Last?

The reality of COVID-19 is that it is likely here to stay. Its respiratory disease cousins SARS and MERS feature seasonal variables and contact with animal carriers, but this new one is so infectious that it may never entirely disappear.


Most experts believe it will turn into a new seasonal strain that we must work to control in the future.

That means social distancing measures should continue until therapies are in place to control the symptoms that people experience. Anyone who is part of a vulnerable population group should consider remaining at home to protect their health.

That means the 2020 summer travel window for Americans could be a staycation.

Writing Careers List: What is Your Creative Destination?

Writing can be a rewarding career choice. It opens several pathways that aren’t available to other creative options.

If you love to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, then this writing careers list can help you to find your niche is this fantastic profession.

Speechwriter

This job gets associated with government officials and politicians, but it is also an option for celebrities, PR firms, and business executives. The one downfall is that you may need to create persuasive arguments for ideas that you don’t support.

Technical Writer

You take complicated jargon from an industry that you’re passionate about and turn it into something that a layperson can understand. If you love working with technology, then there can be plenty of opportunities to explore.

Novelist

Writers love to create books. This job lets you produce fiction based on your imagination. The traditional process requires you to work with a literary agent, but more self-publishing avenues are opening up for those who excel at marketing.

Journalist

This job lets you report on current events. You can work for a community newspaper or an international broadcasting corporation like CNN or Fox News. These organizations also need columnists, editors, and communications specialists.

Screenwriter

If you love movies, then writing them could be a fun career choice to pursue. You can also create television shows when pursuing this pathway. It comes with a lot of criticism, and you’ll be spending time making numerous revisions, but the career also lets you enjoy the perks of Hollywood when you succeed.

Ghostwriter

Most writers need to market themselves to create sales. If you want to stay home each day, then consider this career. You might write a corporate blog, a children’s book, and an email marketing campaign in a single eight-hour shift.

Content Writer

Most companies need a writer who is familiar with their industry to create personalized content for customers. It requires SEO knowledge and long hours, but the perks are a lot of free samples of products to review.

Writers produce content for food boxes, social media posts, and video games. If you have a passion for something, then this skill will take you where you want to go for a career. It is also one of the few jobs that’s available today that relies on what you can do more than a degree that hangs on your wall. There are colleges that specialize in writing, which we covered in our College for Authors article, but it may not be required as most of your learning will come from experience. 

New Research May Tell Us Why Women Live Longer Than Men

CDC estimates from 2019 show that American men live to an average age of 76. For women, the median lifespan is 81. The extra years for women aren’t unproductive ones that are stuck in a nursing home or an assisted living facility either. 

American men can look forward to 67 healthy years in total, while women get to experience 70 years of full health.


The gap in the median lifespan between men and women isn’t a new phenomenon. It has existed for most countries in the world for decades. A few popular theories have developed over the years, including the idea that men tend to smoke more, consume alcohol excessively, and carry extra weight.

New information from an extensive mammal-based study reveals further information to consider.

How Can Guys Improve Their Median Lifespan?

Guys who want to live life longer should avoid smoking, drink in moderation, and limit the amount of sugar that gets consumed. Using products from Premier Research Labs, Douglas Laboratories, and Integrative Therapeutics could be helpful in many situations.

This information isn’t new data. We’ve known since the 18th century that women still outlive men. It’s such a profound difference that 90% of the people who reach the age of 110 are female.

Recent studies across all mammalian species suggest that the answer may lie in the genetics of gender. When XX and XY systems operate in humans or animals, then the female always lives longer. Some species experience a 20% difference between male and female members.


That means there must be an effect of the sex chromosomes as part of the process.

Even this information has some variability in the research. When both genders have equal access to natural resources, then the differences between male and female lifespan start to equal out with each other. When there are gaps in availability, then the male gender can have a significantly shorter life.

What Can We Learn from Sweden?

The gender gap in Sweden is one of the lowest in the world today. When data from the cause of death gets compared to that of women, diseases of the circulatory system and ischemic heart diseases saw decreases of almost 50% from 1997 to 2014.

Significant reductions of influenza, pneumonia, and diseases of the respiratory system also occurred for men in Sweden during this time.

That means a combination of lifestyle and sex chromosome factors contribute to a person’s lifespan. Although no one will live forever, a combination of exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking is a recipe that guys can follow to catch up with women and enjoy a longer life.

Valid Reasons Why People Don’t Go to College

The total amount of student loan debt in the United States totals over $1.5 trillion. Families are postponing house purchases, having children, and making sacrifices in other areas of life because of this responsibility.

Not attending post-graduate classes because you don’t want to deal with a massive debt right away is a logical decision. Here are some other reasons why people don’t go to college.

List of the Reasons Why People Don’t Go to College

Immediate Income is More Important

Your family might need the income that a full-time job could provide right now. Some students find themselves living on their own immediately after their high school graduation. If you need cash to support yourself and the ones you love, then there’s nothing that says you must go to college.

Too Many Career Options

A lot of students attend college because their family expects them to do so. If you know what you want to do with your life, then that decision makes some sense. When you’re unsure about the future career you wish to pursue, then the expense of attending classes should probably be avoided.

Desire Job Doesn’t Require a Degree.

Plenty of jobs exist in the United States and around the world that don’t require a college degree. There are lots of high-paying opportunities to pursue, including web development and computer systems administration. Artistic careers don’t need any post-graduate work, and there’s always the option to work your way up in the family business. Many unions and trades also offer paid apprenticeships that you could consider.

Need More Time to Process Things 

If high school was more about skipping classes and spending time with friends, then the challenges of college can leave you at a disadvantage. Some homeschooled students find themselves in a similar situation since they aren’t in charge of their schedule any longer. It may be easier to attend a community school first to prepare for the transition.

Debt to Benefit Ration Isn’t Favorable

When you go to college you acquire debt so that your earning potential increases. Attending college makes sense if you can acquire skills that will help with your future earning potential. More more technical degrees, a college degree likely makes sense; but for liberal arts majors, like writing, it might be more worthwhile to look into online courses or a community college. Make sure to look at websites like glassdoor.com, payscale.com, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook to see what people in your field are earning and whether it makes sense to take on a larger or smaller college debt.

Going to college is the right decision for some, but it might not be the best option for you. Evaluate all of your options and then work toward whatever choice makes the most sense.

College for Authors: The Best Schools for Aspiring Writers

If you have a creative mind and love to write, then going to college to be an author can be a rewarding experience. Most institutions provide an English major that allows you to study literature and writing, but you may need more than that to have a successful publishing career.

Attending one of the best colleges for authors can give you the tools that you need to build the life you want. These are the institutions you’ll want to consider.

Emerson College

This institution offers two writing majors that cover all aspects of the process for new authors. You’ll focus on creative works, literature, and publishing with experienced professors who know how to create the success you want. You’ll learn that any piece is salvageable with the correct improvements.

University of Iowa

The history of writing in Iowa City is underrated. Kurt Vonnegut worked on Slaughterhouse-Five in the city when he taught workshops at the university. Although about 1,000 students enroll in the authorship courses at the institution each year, the class sizes are still quite small. You can also specialize in specific writing genres.

New York University

If you take a stroll through Washington Square Park when attending this institution, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your next characters. The creative writing program here is competitive with the best in the world. There are even options to study overseas in Italy or Saudi Arabia. It’s also a great place if you want to get involved in screenwriting.

Columbia University

The Columbia Review is the oldest college literary magazine in the United States. It gets published twice per year, and the institution owns a publishing house that offers paid internships. If you take the creative writing path here, then you can get involved with poetry, fiction, and cross-genre work. There’s even a humor-writing class.

Johns Hopkins University

This institution focuses on group collaborative efforts as you take writing seminars to explore the elements of prose. Advanced workshops take you through poetry, fiction, and screenwriting. Most classes have about a dozen students in them, making it a comfortable learning experience where the lessons stick well.

Do you need to take post-graduate work to become a writer? That’s a question only you can answer. If you decide that a college for authors makes sense for your future career, then these are the first institutions to consider attending.

Religion Counseling: Why Faith Often Intersects with Treatment

A growing connection between religion counseling and psychological wellbeing shows that faith and treatment do go together. 

People who have an active spirituality typically have higher levels of career satisfaction, better coping skills, and a sense of what their life purpose is each day. That structure in their life leads to a higher level of happiness.

Helping people who use faith as their guide can be a challenge for those who focus more on secular treatment options. Imagine a woman caught in a domestic violence situation who refuses to leave her spouse because of her personal belief that divorce is morally wrong.

Can the counselor encourage this woman from a faith-based perspective to be “submissive”? No – because that would promote abuse. That means religion counseling must sometimes place people into a position where a difficult choice gets made.

Religion Counseling Gives People Time

Religious views tend to fall along conservative spectrums. That means there can be some fear in the counseling profession around the thinking that gets encountered when help is necessary.

Religion counseling takes that fear out of the equation. It encourages the therapist to listen to what a patient is saying and ask if it is working. Faith can provide someone with an incredible amount of strength.

Spirituality isn’t as rigid as people think. It is not unusual for people to make future decisions that seem contrary to today’s religious beliefs because counseling gives them time to work through complex issues.

Even if a counselor doesn’t agree with a particular faith, acknowledging that a person’s spirituality is still critical to the process. If a professional prejudges an individual without listening to them, then how can the person seeking help draw connections between thoughts, feelings, and choices?

Religion counseling permits people to share their stories.

Religion Counseling Provides a Complete Picture

Whether someone brings up spirituality or God explicitly when they seek counseling or it’s a concept woven into their story, faith is something that is a part of almost everyone’s life. Society doesn’t form apart from a set of beliefs about our origins.

That’s why, from a treatment standpoint, counselors provide a greater service to their clients when they open their ears to the religious tones in each narrative.

We can disagree on faith and practice different religions. Our need for spirituality is also a tie that binds us together, and there’s a famous Bible verse that says a cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Why Want Cuts to Social Services Provided by the Government?

Social services are a safety net that society pays for through taxpayer funds. Governments often look to these programs when a budget isn’t balancing as a way to create some spending space. 

When you cut funds to social services provided by the government, then the money saved can go elsewhere. It may even be useful in shoring up a budget deficit. The result often places at-risk families and individuals in harm’s way because they don’t receive the same help that they did before.

Shouldn’t People Be Able to Pay Their Own Way?

The idea of capitalism is that one either puts up their talents and skills to pay their own way, or they get left behind by society.

What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of people who receive social services have already paid to receive them.

In the United States, 55% of the money that gets paid out to individuals through social services goes to eldercare needs. That includes programs like Medicare and Social Security. Another 8% goes to active-duty military personnel and veterans, while 5% goes to unemployment insurance.

That means only $0.29 out of every $1 in social services funding goes toward low-income target programs. 

It also shows that most of the money that goes to the average American is something that they’ve already paid for during their lifetime.

Contributions to Social Services Is on the Rise

Although the focus is on making cuts to social services as a way to balance budgets, the contributions to these programs are up significantly over the past 50 years.

Payments into American social insurance programs represented 37% of all federal receipts in 2011, totaling $807 billion annually. In 1981, this figure represented 31% of revenues, and it was only 17% of them in 1961.


When the figures get adjusted for inflation, taxpayers are contributing eight times more money today to social services than they were in the past. That’s why it is challenging to prove that lots of people are trying to live off of the government or that non-disabled adults aren’t trying to work.

Social services provided by the government are a lot like nutritional products from brands like Cardiovascular Research, Kal, or Zhou Nutrition. It’s an affordable way to make life better.

Out of the $0.29 that goes to low-income programs, most of the benefits offered are not paid in cash. Medicaid, food programs, tax breaks, and housing come together to make up 90% of the spending in this area.


That means direct cash assistance represents just $0.029 of every $1 – and that is the figure that most people want to cut.

It may be time to look at other areas of government spending to see if there are ways to balance a budget.