How to be lazy

Since having a full time job and leaving my student days behind, I’ve become horrifyingly productive. Weekends don’t feel enough if I’ve spent them whiling away the hours with naps and box sets. Instead, I like to fill every corner of my days off with meeting up with friends, taking trips to the gym and doing household chores. In the last few years, I’ve even become a bit anxious around mess. Turns out that unless my living room is hoovered, uncluttered and has the lingering smell of a scented candle on the go, I find it very hard to chill out.

I’m not the only one. I know plenty of people juggling full-time jobs with freelance work or those choosing to cram as much as possible into their weekend in order to make the time count. Being ‘busy’ has become a bit of a status symbol and having your diary booked up is supposed to establish what a productive, organised and worthy person you are.

Alongside clocking up the miles on my Nike run app and showing everyone my latest baking creation on Instagram (this never happens. I just don’t bake), I like how productivity makes me feel. I like the buzz of knowing I’ve achieved something – whether that means cooking a meal from scratch or cleaning out the spare room. The thought of a heavy night’s drinking and spending the next day on sofa makes me feel a bit wasteful, but maybe I’m just getting old.

I guess what we all need to think about is whether being a bit lazy is good for us. Despite thriving on the buzz of being productive, I happen to think that laziness is necessary.If you can spare five minutes, or three hours, or an entire day to dedicate to yourself with no commitments or plans, it is good for your mental health. It might feel frivolous or indulgent but what is life if you can’t take a moment to look after yourself?

So what’s the best way to unwind? Here’s my ultimate list on how to be lazy, whatever time you’ve got.

If you’ve got five minutes… 

Grab a hot drink and get online. Keep a selection of Teapigs herbal tea in your desk drawer/cupboard at home and take the time out to read a blog post or magazine article. The Pool is my ultimate favourite online magazine, with daily news stories summarised for busy people.

If you’ve got fifteen minutes…

Paint your nails the boldest colour you can find, stick a deep conditioner on your hair or just go all out and have a Kit Kat. Seriously.

If you’ve got half an hour…

Go for a walk. Ok, so this one is still quite productive (you’re getting a fair bit of exercise) but you’re still setting aside time for yourself. I’m lucky enough to work in the middle of a forest and nothing beats the afternoon slump more than a brisk walk in my lunch hour.

If you’ve got an hour…

Bake a banana bread. Although I’m not exactly Mary Berry, baking something delicious makes me feel productive as well as fairly relaxed (as long as I don’t have to do the washing up) Also, you get to use up your bananas AND eat something delicious.

If you’ve got three hours…

Have a full-on pamper afternoon. There’s nothing more relaxing than having a hot bubble bath with a book. Sometimes I’ll take my Kindle in there too and catch up on digital versions of my favourite magazines. I love Stylist and it’s free to download.

If you’ve got an entire day…

Plan a day out on your own to somewhere you’ve never been before. Grab your camera and take a jaunt to the seaside or countryside.You know when your Nan told you that fresh air will do you good? She was actually completely right.

 

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