Hustling and working so hard seems to be a trend in these recent times. Pushing yourself over the limits is a common misconception that we need to question. This has tricked us into believing that to succeed, we shouldn’t take a break!
I’m not saying that you don’t need to work hard in pursuit of your dreams; I’m just saying that you need to give yourself a break every once in a while. You need to take the day off without feeling like you’ve betrayed your goals and dreams.
I used to be this person; I never took the day off and I ended up being burnt out at the young age of 25. Yes, you read that correctly.
I even went to work when I was extremely sick; I never missed a day of work in my previous job even when I was in huge pain. There was always this voice in my head telling me that I’m doing a great job and I’m well enough to go to work.
And that once in a blue moon time that I didn’t go to work, I would spend the day cleaning or doing other errands. It made me feel so guilty for staying at home and it made me feel like this is an “opportunity” to get ahead of things.
I felt lazy for not being productive, and it felt like all my hard work would go in vain if I took the day off. And on weekends, I used to come up with all the activities that I needed to do to take advantage of this so-called break.
It wasn’t until I crashed and burnt that I realized that I was doing it all wrong. I later realized that ALL of this is related to my lack of self-worth! I found out that I wasn’t in love with myself during that time of my life; I wasn’t putting myself first and I wasn’t taking care of myself.
This is the ugly truth that you need to realize as well; the sooner you acknowledge that, the sooner you will change.
So how to not feel guilty about having a lazy day?
1- Find Out The Root Of This Belief
Did you grow up in an environment where you were told that “easy come easy go”? Were you taught that you have to work hard to earn an honest living?
Most often our past experiences and environments dictate this aspect of our beliefs. If you were taught that nothing good comes easy and that laziness is the root of all evil, then you will struggle to take the day off and genuinely believe that you’re lazy and worthless if you ever take a break.
When did it become okay to take your laptop to the bathroom because you don’t have the time to “go”?
2- Plan A Date With Yourself
Dedicate one day of the week for yourself. Yes, you heard me. Dedicate one day each week to be lazy and commit to that day. Celebrate this day, soon you will find that you enjoy this and that you actually need the time to be lazy.
In fact, science has proven that having a lazy day per week will actually improve your productivity.
You can take this time to draw a bubble bath, eat comfort food, binge on Netflix, or reconnect with loved ones.
Try to be as “unproductive” as much as humanly possible. Soon you will start to love your dates with yourself and you will actually count the days to your lazy day.
My idea of a lazy day includes waking up without an alarm, slowly drinking my cup of coffee to savor every sip, scrolling through Instagram memes, and re-watching “Friends” on Netflix while eating junk food. I give myself this day off and nothing can get in the way of that.
3- Do The Activities You Enjoy
Doing something you actually love in your time off will make you see that there is more to the world than being perfectly productive. You will start falling in love with life all over again.
You will start seeing that other activities are enjoyable and that work doesn’t dictate your level of productivity. You will come to realize that there’s more to life than having a perfectly cleaned house, perfectly folded laundry, and a perfectly satisfied boss!
4- Fall In Love With Yourself
Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve done; forgive yourself for every time you said you would take the time off but you didn’t. Forgive yourself for not giving your body a break.
Forgive yourself for forcing your soul to do activities it doesn’t enjoy. Forgive yourself every time you push yourself to do something while you are tired.
Loving yourself starts by forgiving yourself. Start again with a clean slate and learn to put yourself first; put yourself before anyone or anything!
5- Remind Yourself That You Need This Break
Remind yourself that your body deserves the rest; remind yourself that your soul needs to unwind.
A kind reminder, you can always chase after your dream job, you can always buy that car and you can always run after anything. But the one thing that can’t come back if you ever lose is your health. Read that again and again.
I worked myself so hard over the past years that my health was the only thing that suffered. Four years later, I’m still working on my health and I know that I haven’t fully recovered.
It was much easier for me to get another job and much easier to do everything else I wanted to do. The only thing that never fully recovered is my body; I wish I realized sooner that being “lazy” is important and that I needed that break.