Italian Expressions related to the “Dolce Far Niente”

In a fast-paced world, where the ticking of the clock marks the frantic rhythms of daily life, Italian culture offers us a rich repertoire of expressions that invite relaxation. These phrases remind us of the importance of finding moments of pause and pleasure between everyday commitments.

How to Express Relaxation in Italian

1. STACCARE LA SPINA

What happens when you unplug an appliance? It stops working and “rests”, right? Well, the same thing applies to us human beings, in a figurative sense.

This expression denotes the feeling of relaxation in which you can get away from the outside world and recharge your batteries and energy.

Example:

Ogni volta che ho bisogno di staccare la spina, vado in montagna. [Whenever I need to unwind, I go to the mountains.]

2. RICARICARE LE PILE

This expression means taking a break to recover lost energy. As you do with discharged batteries, which you plug in to give them new energy.

Example:

Questi ultimi mesi sono stati davvero stressanti. Adesso ho bisogno di ricaricare le pile prima di cominciare di nuovo! [These past few months have been really stressful. Now I need to recharge my batteries before starting again!]

3. FARE UNA PENNICHELLA

“Pennichella” is the rest you take in the early afternoon hours (also called “pisolino”), after lunch, usually of short duration.

You can also use the expression “fare una pennichella” for other times of the day, whenever you need a few minutes with your eyes closed to regain strenght.

Example:

Quando mi sento sopraffatta dal lavoro, faccio una pennichella e mi riprendo subito! [When I feel overwhelmed by work, I take a nap and recover quickly!]

4. PRENDERSELA CON COMODA

This expression indicates doing everything very calmly, without rushing, procrastinating as much as possible and minimizing stress.

Example:

– Abbiamo chiuso l’affare con i nuovi clienti e abbiamo guadagnato un bel po’… Adesso possiamo prendercela comoda per qualche settimana. [We closed the deal with the new clients and made quite a bit of money… Now we can take it easy for a few weeks.]

5. RELAX TOTALE!

This expression emphasises a feeling of deep and total relaxation, during which you do not want to do anything at all.

Example:

Finalmente sono arrivate le ferie! Da domani relax totale! Si dorme tutto il giorno e non si pensa al lavoro! [Finally, the holidays have arrived! From tomorrow, total relaxation! Sleep all day and don’t think about work!]

6. PERDERE LA COGNIZIONE DEL TEMPO

This expression indicates being in such a relaxed state that it causes momentary disorientation: you do not realize what time it is and how long it has been since you last did anything.

Example:

L’altro giorno, nel pomeriggio, ho dormito così tanto che quando mi sono svegliata avevo perso proprio la cognizione del tempo. Pensavo che fosse già la mattina dopo! [The other day, in the afternoon, I slept so much that when I woke up, I had completely lost track of time. I thought it was already the next morning!]

7. ESSERE SULLE/TRA LE NUVOLE

Looking at the clouds from close up definitely causes a feeling of relaxation, for example when you are on a plane.

This expression indicates the feeling of deep relaxation in which you are completely removed from the world and are not aware of the reality around you. As if you were no longer living on Earth but, indeed, in the clouds.

Example:

– Sveglia! Ti sto parlando ma sembra che tu sia tra le nuvole [Wake up! I’m talking to you, but you seem to be daydreaming…]

8. MERITATO RIPOSO!

This is an exclamation used when you come out of a heavy and tiring situation and feel you deserve some good relaxation.

Example:

– Aaaah! Finalmente abbiamo finito il video! Meritato riposo! [Aaaah! We finally finished the video! Well-deserved rest!]

9. LASCIARSI ANDARE

This expression indicates “relaxing” in the sense of no longer thinking about anything and falling into a feeling of total abandon.

Example:

Sei troppo tesa: lasciati andare per una volta! Vedrai che le cose si sistemeranno! [You’re too tense: let go for once! You’ll see that things will sort themselves out!]

10. ANDARCI PIANO

This expression means doing everything calmly to avoid becoming stressed or, if you already are, to minimize stress.

“Andarci piano con qualcosa” significa “procedere con moderazione”, “comportarsi con cautela”.

Example:

1) Ti stai preoccupando troppo in questo periodo… Vacci piano! Altrimenti la tua salute ne risente! [You’re worrying too much these days… Take it easy! Otherwise, your health will suffer!]

2) Vacci piano con gli antipasti: se ti sazi ora, non mangerai più niente dopo! [Take it easy with the appetizers: if you fill up now, you won’t eat anything else later!]

11. RITEMPRARSI

This is a formal verb for “regain streght”.

Example:

È importante che la mente, oltre al corpo, si ritempri. Essere nella natura è perfetto per quello! [It’s important that the mind, as well as the body, refreshes itself. Being in nature is perfect for that!]

12. PRENDERE UNA BOCCATA D’ARIA

This expression means taking a break, usually a short one: going out and breathing fresh air before getting back to work.

Example:

Prima di completare il progetto, prendi una boccata d’aria. Al ritorno, vedrai le cose con una prospettiva diversa! [Before completing the project, take a breath of fresh air. When you come back, you’ll see things from a different perspective!]

And here we are, at the end of this article! If you enjoyed this article, you can read our article on Galileo Galilei. See you next time!

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