A Restless Girl's Guide to Being Lazy

This seems like one of the more ridiculous posts I've written, because in our society laziness is generally not seen as a good thing. But a little rest, a little bit of doing nothing, and a little bit of relaxed head space is so necessary! 
Sometime around the beginning of college I forgot how to relax. I was constantly doing, moving, and working, and when time came to be lazy I had to fight hard to let myself chill. Now that summer break has arrived I feel like I am finally learning to embrace rest and relaxation. Whether you have an entire summer to rest, just an afternoon, or a week's vacation, here's some tips and steps that have helped this restless girl learn to slow down and enjoy being lazy. 

1. Acknowledge and let go of your own expectations. I've realized that I have extremely high expectations for myself. While this is usually a good thing, it also means that when I have unscheduled time I feel a need to be productive with it. I seem to think that my rest must be found in enjoyable activities that are productive, like cooking or crafting. It's been really helpful to acknowledge those expectations, let go of them by reminding myself I have time to complete those tasks later, and tell myself it is okay to just rest and not have anything to show for it.

2. Let the laziness set in. When I first realize I am resting, I feel an urge to get up, get moving, and do something useful. I have to actively fight through that in order to reach a level of deeper rest. When I successfully battle through that urge, I am able to let go and fully embrace laziness without fighting the anxiety that I should be doing something. I've learned that I need to expect this internal battle, and when I consistently shush those voices and remind myself that rest is good for me, they go away.

3. Have a variety of relaxing activities and settings. I love reading, but unless I'm totally enthralled in a book I can't read for more than an hour at a time. Having a few other relaxing activities in mind such as playing music, watching a movie, or playing a game can help sustain the laziness. I also need a change in setting, so having a few rooms at home to chill in, a nice place to lounge outdoors, or enjoying a coffee shop can help too. Keeping things fresh can help me stay engaged in relaxing and not want to quickly move on to productive activities.

4. Arrange an engaging activity for the morning. My mood has a big impact on my success at resting. I need to start the day with an activity that gets me moving and happy in order to be content with a chill day. Spending the morning attending a fitness class, going for a walk, or even something like grocery shopping can help me start the day in a good mood. If I don't get some of that energy out in the first few hours of the day, it is going to be pent up and drive me crazy.

5. Observe the professional relaxers around you. My husband and my dad are both extremely good at relaxing. My dad practically invented the afternoon "nod off on the couch", and Daniel can camp out with a good book for the entire day with no worries. They both adopt a "work hard, play hard" attitude. I work hard, so I need to acknowledge that I can play (and rest) hard too! Learning how to rest from those who are good at it can help me see what to let go and how to embrace rest.

Are you a natural rester, or do you struggle to relax like me? I hope you are able to enjoy some rich, invigorating rest this summer.


  1. #3 & 4 are my favorite! I’m currently doing them right now :) Reading local blogs, getting ready to do my daily crossword puzzle, and hopefully finish the Tao of Pooh! I’ve also made the morning run to my favorite coffee cart on PSU and turned on my favorite jazz Pandora station. Thanks for the reminder that rest is so important too!

  2. This is totally me!!! I have always struggled with doing nothing, like reading a book by the pool. I looked back at some photos of last summer and I had taken pics the ONE time I did it!
    Great tips and good for you for focusing on slowing down!!

  3. I think your dad's ability to "nod off on the couch" is genetic. Grandpa once feel asleep while getting out of a chair and Dan is doing it right now!

  4. #5 is a really good one! I've never thought about that one before. I agree that it's so important to slow down and relax. For me, it starts with putting away my phone!

  5. I love these tips. I always have a hard time relaxing and not just being go, go go! Printing this out to bring on our trip to Hawaii!

  6. I used to be SOOOO good at relaxing. These days, nope! It's impossible for me to settle!!! These are great tips.

  7. "Professional relaxers"—haha! I used to be much better at simply relaxing, but these days I'm very action-oriented. I find that simply engrossing myself in whatever my kids are doing, from playing with Play-Doh to building a block castle, helps me simply e in the moment.

  8. I'm also one of those people that can read all day! Changing settings does help too.


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