In today’s society, activities like taking a nap, reading a book, taking a long bath, or simply lazing around are considered useless tasks that waste time. People are often ashamed to say that they simply enjoyed a day off by just relaxing or sleeping in. But no need to worry because we have discovered that taking a lazy day ever week is actually quite beneficial for you. Who knew that turning your brain off sometimes could actually help your body and your mind?
It is high time that we address just how important relaxation is for us. Let’s look at some of these benefits of having a lazy day.
“Psychological research suggests that doing nothing is essential for creativity and innovation, and a person’s seeming inactivity might actually cultivate new insights, inventions or melodies.”Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Clinical Professor of Leadership Development
Less Likely to Burnout
“We should go for slow work as we go for slow food: quality over quantity, with spare time left to rest and think, not just to produce. Boredom and laziness should be used as a means to regain control over one’s own body and one’s own time.”Dr. Isabelle Moreau
We immerse ourselves in work so much that we lose sight of who we are outside of our work. If you think about it, a majority of people build down to mere production machines and nothing more. You overwork yourself so much that by the end of each day you are exhausted, mentally and physically. This is one of the reasons why people overwhelmed by work have no energy or time for hobbies, relaxation, or even family. Relaxation seems like such a devilish activity in this fast paced world. Everyone is constantly on the go. Constantly working and producing without paying any attention to themselves. And if by chance they do end up giving some time to themselves, they later work extra as punishment for relaxing.
When you allot a day or even a few hours every week to yourself, you actually increase your productivity levels. You give your mind and body a chance to recharge and so you are less likely to burnout. Mentally and physically you are more active because you were able to recharge during your relaxation period.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Researchers at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania found that napping for 45 minutes to an hour helps to decrease your blood pressure, especially after stressful activities. And no you cannot achieve the same benefit of you sleep an extra 45 minutes at night. This research was specifically focused on dat time naps. So the next time someone calls you out for taking naps and being unproductive, you let them know that you are actively working on your health and they should too.
Increases Emotional Intelligence
Most people think that spending hours watching Netflix shows is a complete waste of time. But we are here to tell you otherwise. University of Oklahoma conducted a study that concluded that people who watch shows and movies, specifically dramas, are more likely to pick up social cues and emotions than those who don’t watch television at all.
“The researchers deduced that paying attention to a narrative can help you understand what’s going on in another person’s head. It’s called the “theory of mind,” what humans do when they try to pick up social cues and predict what another person will do or say next.”Megan Friedman, Esquire
You Will Be More Well-Rested
Getting sufficient sleep and rest does wonders for your overall well being. It improves your memory, increases your attention span, decreases stress levels, reduces inflammation, etc. When you do not allow your body to get the rest it needs to function optimally, it impacts everything you do. Lack of rest can cause or even trigger health conditions and mental illnesses. It is best to ignore people who call you lazy or look down on you for sleeping in here and there. You are only looking after your health, there’s no harm in that.
More Focused on Long-Term Goals
During your lazy days, your mind has time to wonder and think about long-term goals. The future can often be a daunting thing to think about and many of us even avoid it in the midst of our chaotic schedules. But when we take time off from the stresses of work and everyday life, we have more time to calmly introspect. When you have a blank mind devoid of any responsibilities and tasks, you are able to easily focus on bigger things like your future.
Better at Handling Stress and Pressure
Whether you are dealing with professional, social, relational, or even personal stress, you need time to contemplate and analyze the situation before deciding on a plan of action. On your day off, take some time to think through these issues with patience. Don’t make it more complicated than it already is. Go to your safe space, gather your favorite blanket/pillow, a notepad maybe, or even a partner or friend. With a clear mind analyze your problem. And if you feel too overwhelmed by this tactic, just keep your situation in the back of your mind and go through your day. Who knows, maybe the solution will arise while you are taking a nap or watching television or even while gardening.
Opportunity to Improve on Yourself
Days where you are not preoccupied with work and menial chores, you can use to work on yourself. And this can look different for different people. You can use this day to fall back in love with an old hobby, pick up a new hobby, learn a new language, spend time journaling, workout, do yoga, travel, practice meditation, garden, create arts and crafts, etc. the possibilities are endless. When you are engrossed in your day to day life, you often forget to take time off for yourself by engaging in activities that bring you peace and clarity. This time is an opportunity to have fun and occupy yourself with things that make you feel alive again.
You have a chance to fall back in love with living, so don’t let it go to waste.
You work for hours every week and it is time that you stop feeling guilty about your lazy days. It is not a crime to take care of your mind and body. So the next time you feel like laying around in your pjs all day and just chilling, do it shamelessly.
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