Sometimes being a slacker can really pay off…
Whether you’re partial to the occasional day-long binge of Stranger Things or love to take a nap from time to time, chances are you’ve recently indulged in a spot of lazy living. Even the most motivated of people enjoy simply doing nothing every now and again – and almost everyone feels a pang of guilt when we do this. Why is that? After all, we’re not robots and we all need to switch off occasionally; to forget the stress of everyday life and focus on just being. Laziness isn’t always a negative thing. In fact, it’s often a very good tool to help you manage your mental wellbeing and avoid burnout.
BURNOUT & YOU
Have you ever experienced burnout? Perhaps you’ve been working too many hours or struggling to meet multiple deadlines. You’re exhausted, both in body and mind, and you feel like you’re chasing your tail and getting nowhere fast. The stress and pressure build until it feels like you might explode… This is burnout.
Burnout is more common than you might think but it can be avoided by being kind to yourself and, yes, that includes being lazy. Give yourself regular breaks and structure your days to make sure you’re not jumping from one stressful task to the next. Build designated ‘downtime’ into your schedule and use this time to take a nap, go for a walk, read a book or chill with your favourite show. Learn to say ‘no’ when your responsibilities are already at maximum capacity – and don’t feel guilty about doing so.
When you allow yourself to relax, you allow yourself time to de-stress. This is beneficial to your overall general wellbeing and helps you manage your anxiety and stress levels. It’s important to embrace your lazy time and to recognise that you deserve this time for rest and restoration. Once rested, you’ll feel much more motivated to do the things you need to do – probably with a lot more energy and enthusiasm than you would have done without a break! Once you embrace this philosophy, you can banish any guilty thoughts or concerns about underachievement or not being ‘busy’. Fast fact: busyness does NOT equal productivity! You’re more likely to achieve your goals when you make your mental wellbeing a priority.
Lazy time can give you the space you need to think – about your life, your choices, your goals and your dreams. Free yourself from the fast-paced and hectic stress of day-to-day life and allow your brain time to think without distractions. This improved focus can help you plan more efficiently. This is exactly why procrastination isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes it ‘buys’ you the time you need to plan and then action your task in a more effective way.
WHEN IS LAZINESS A PROBLEM?
Like most things, it’s about moderation. It’s healthy to practice mindful laziness and to schedule regular downtime, but if you’re feeling unmotivated, lethargic and sad a lot of the time then this can be a sign of depression. It’s important to remember that the symptoms of depression vary from person to person. But some of the most common signs that you have depression include:
- Feeling sad or hopeless regularly
- Changes to your sleep pattern, like sleeping too much or not being able to sleep
- Changes to your appetite
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Wanting to be alone more often
- Feeling lonely or isolated
- Feeling sick or getting stomach aches
- Not enjoying things that used to make you happy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety or worry
- Suicidal thoughts
If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from depression, please don’t suffer in silence. Make an appointment with your doctor to talk over your symptoms. They will be able to offer advice and let you know about the different treatment options available to you. They might prescribe medication or counselling. Or a combination of the two might be a good option for your needs. Talking to your doctor about these things can be tricky but they are there to help you and they’ve heard from many people in a similar situation. So, they will understand.
Get more support for depression here.