YES, THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY TIMES IN LIFE WHEN YOU SHOULD SLOW DOWN AND EMBRACE MOMENTS OF LAZINESS.
We’ve been led to believe that being lazy means not pushing hard to chase dreams or build success. That no good can come from laziness. Add on the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve more in a world that barely gives us enough time to do the things we have to do, much less what we want to do.
When do you finally choose to slow down enough to recover from the hustle? When do you let yourself be lazy?
Being lazy has nothing to do with living a lazy lifestyle. In fact, the dictionary defines lazy as “disinclined to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous” or “encouraging inactivity.”
You know what I read that as? Not everyday, all day laziness, but moments of laziness.
And there’s a big difference between consistently avoiding what you need to do because laziness has become a habit, and embracing those moments of laziness you need once in a while.
Those times here and there when you can let your mind and body rest in order to keep going strong (and not run yourself into the ground).
Whether you choose laziness one day every week or 15 minutes every day, don’t feel guilty about taking that time to yourself. Stay in your PJs all day, zone out to Netflix for a few uninterrupted hours, step outside to soak in the sun or skip cleaning your house even though it would be the perfect day for it.
Beyond just needing the rest once in a while, there will always be those times when you should absolutely embrace laziness—no questions asked. Here are a few of those times.
Let yourself be lazy when…
You’ve been pushing too hard for too long
When you’re going non-stop week after week, month after month, there’s a good chance it’s time to slow. your. roll. But when you’re in the thick of it, bouncing from one task to the next errand to another project, it can be difficult to push the pause button long enough to take the breather you need.
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t have time to slow down, or you’ll lose much needed progress reaching a life goal if you do.
But is losing a little traction worth the risk? Because running yourself ragged can cause more harm than good. Sleepless nights, mountains of stress, fatigue, hopelessness—the list goes on.
In times like this, being lazy can be good for your mind and body. Take time to quiet your mind and detach from devices. Journal or pick up that creative hobby again, even if for 30 minutes.
You need to nurture your relationships
Relationships take effort. And if a relationship isn’t being nurtured on a regular, ongoing basis, there’s a greater chance it’ll suffer on some level or another—if not now, somewhere down the road.
When most of your focus goes to the daily tasks you need to scratch off your to-do list, the (what seems like) millions of errands that consume your weekends or a new life goal that’s filling up your free time, it’s oh so important to make time for the loved ones in your life, too.
Step away from what you’re doing for 15 minutes to call up a friend or your mom and reconnect. Schedule an afternoon date with your husband, wife or kiddos to share uninterrupted quality time. Show them you care and that they’re a priority.
Get your pets in on the action, too! Have an impromptu snuggle session or take your dog on an extended neighborhood walk.
It’s a beautiful day
Where I live, I can count on beautiful weather a solid month out of the year—two weeks in the spring, two weeks in the fall. And while there might be extra pleasant days sprinkled throughout the year, it’s usually wet and cold or really hot.
This means I love to soak in as many sunshiny, perfect-temperature days that I can.
Stepping outside can do wonders for your mind and body, especially since a lot of us are cooped up inside working much of the week.
Enjoying a nature walk, bike ride or day trip to your favorite nearby green space are all fabulous ways to spend time outside.
But not everyday allows for those kinds of activities, so on the days your schedule doesn’t give you much wiggle room, find a way to get outside anyway. Even if just for five minutes.
Sit on your patio, do a few laps in your office parking lot, watch some clouds. (This is also a perfect time to practice gratitude!)
You need to beat creative block
There you are. Working away (and making pretty impressive gains) on your hobby, side gig or work project when you suddenly, out of nowhere, feel stuck, uninspired and unable to move forward—no matter how hard you try.
When all of those brilliant ideas you just know are dying to come out say thanks, but no thanks. I’m good right where I am.
Hello, creative block.
Battling a creative block can leave you frustrated, overwhelmed and drained, especially when you’re relying on this creative energy to pay the bills. And just like there are several types of creative blocks, there’s a number of strategies for overcoming them.
One of these ideas? Step away. Get. a little. lazy.
When you choose laziness to beat a creative block, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. (But if that’s what you need in the moment, go for it!)
But what it most definitely can mean is setting a timer for 15 or 30 minutes (or longer) to let your mind rest. Studies show that stepping away from creative work when you’ve hit a wall can work magic in stirring up those creative juices again.
You have a big day ahead of you
One of the last things you want to do is overwork yourself the day before something big when you should be preparing for it instead.
For instance, instead of stretching yourself thin before that big interview or first day at a new job, dedicate some time for relaxation and mental preparation.
Or maybe you have an extra long day ahead complete with business-critical meetings or doctor appointments. Rather than becoming physically and emotionally drained the day prior, keep some of that energy on reserve for when you need it.
In cases like these, plan ahead to allow yourself time to be lazy so that you’re fresh on the day it matters the most.
Clear your mind and practice some self-love with happy thoughts, or take care of yourself with a healthy nighttime routine (and your favorite cup of tea). Whatever will set you up for success the next day!
Do you find it difficult to give yourself permission to be lazy? What are your favorite ways to renew your mind and body?