The Art Of Being Lazy
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Health and Wellness

The Art Of Being Lazy

Why It's Important to Take a Break

The Art Of Being Lazy

When I was younger, I was in a constant state of stress. I had to be perfect all the time. I had to have straight A's. I had to participate in as many extra-curricular activities as possible. I always had to be thinking about my future, and everything that wasn't geared towards getting into the perfect college or grad school wasn't worth my time.

Needless to say, that got old very quickly. And by "got old," I mean "turned me into a neurotic mess."

I wish I could say that this experience taught me a lesson--that I figured it all out right away and discovered the secret to being the perfect student without going crazy. But I can't say that.

It took me a long time to recover from the ailment of perfectionism, and to this day, I still feel a slight twinge of regret whenever I don't do as well as I should have, or don't perform to my best abilities. But eventually, I discovered something that is as close to a solution as I am ever going to get: Laziness.

I don't mean laziness in the sense of sitting in bed all day every day, eating nothing but junk food, never doing any work, and reveling in the joys of Netflix 24/7, though, to be honest, that is quite fun as a rare indulgence. I am more talking about what I like to call strategic laziness.

Strategic laziness is a skill that took me years to learn. At first, after I burned out on perfectionism, I succumbed to the type of laziness so severe that moving felt like a chore. This, obviously, did not work out very well either.

But, bit by bit, I learned that there is a way to balance the deliciousness of binge-watching TV shows for hours on end and the satisfaction of functioning like a mentally healthy human being.

This balance is, of course, different for everyone. For some people, simply a few minutes of reading before bed provides enough relaxation to last an entire day. Sadly, that is not the case for me. In order to protect myself from utter exhaustion, I try to shut off my brain for at least an hour every day.

I know that, to some people, that might seem pathetic or strange or, heaven-forbid, lazy, but that is what works for me. Two episodes of The West Wing back to back is a better cure for stress than any kind of soothing tea or deep-breathing exercise.

The key is to let yourself be completely unproductive. If stress gets to be too much, decide to let yourself off the hook for an hour or so. Read a stupid book, watch a good TV show, watch a bad TV show, sit and stare at a wall for a while if you must.

The only rule is that you can't punish yourself for doing it. Don't sit there listening to music and thinking about all of the other, more productive things you could be doing. Just listen to the music and let go of any guilt you may have about what you should or shouldn't be doing.

Obviously, this might not work for everyone. It might not be the healthiest way of doing things. But sometimes, you just have to give yourself a break. Sometimes, you have to do whatever works to quiet your mind. And, if you're like me, you might just find that laziness leads to some of the most productive hours of your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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