Are you feeling burnt out? Maybe you need some rest, but aren't sure where/how to start? Here are my top 10 tips for embracing the lazy.
1. Try not to feel too guilty
I know it’s easier said than done, but if you’re feeling guilty about being “lazy” then you’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself and feel rested. We grew up in an era, or country, where hustle culture was deeply ingrained in us, but the truth is a short break can make you more productive when you ARE doing work. Start by making a list of things you might want to do to relax. It could be anything you’d enjoy, here are some examples: take a bath, read a book, watch a movie, paint or draw, bake something yummy or just lay in the sun and watch the clouds float by. Once you’ve got that list made, you’ve got a “menu” to choose from when you need to relax.
2. Focus on staying present
Being lazy or taking the time to relax isn’t all the different from meditation. It’s really hard to just be there and not think of the other things you need to be doing. Here is one mindfulness technique I’ve found for when your mind is racing:
- Name 5 things you can see.
- Name 4 things you can hear.
- Name 3 things you can smell.
- Name 2 things you can touch.
- Name 1 thing you can taste.
3. Step away from the phone
I’ll be the first to admit, I spend way more time on my phone than I’d like or should. But do you ever notice how even though it feels relaxing, it never feels restful? A hour or even 15 minutes into a mindless scroll and you come out feeling more zombie than new baby deer. Try hiding it in your bedroom or somewhere that you can’t see for a bit. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s crazy how hard it will feel at first, but it does get easier, I promise!
4. Follow the music.
Make a playlist of songs that help you relax or even just to find yourself in the present moment. I’m not a big playlist person (who has the time?) but I do have a shuffle option in my Apple Music that I love to use. Call me lazy!
5. Put in on the calendar
Don’t wait until you are at peak burnout to take the time to rest! You’ll find yourself with more energy and getting more done if you schedule downtime regularly. I’m not a big fan of schedules myself so I’m not going to advocate you go out and buy a fancy planner or even put it in your phone, but think of a casual way you can integrate it into your life. Maybe 10 minutes a day right after the kiddos bedtime is your time to read? Or you could be goofy like me and have a bath ritual everything Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday that you follow no matter what. The key is to figure out what method, and amount of time, works for you and after a week or two you’ll find yourself with a healthy new habit.
6. Cook something
One way to really find yourself in the present that is surprisingly restful is cooking or baking something. How I managed to make protein bites when just a few weeks postpartum (for myself and friends nonetheless!) I’ll never quite know, but it was indeed calming and rejuvenating. Speaking of protein bites, here’s my favorite recipe.
7. Take a Walk
Get outside for a short walk. Even if it’s winter! There were times that my husband and I would feel so lethargic from breathing in nothing by indoor air, watching tv, and living dark winter day after day, especially in those first sleep-deprived months with a newborn. Getting outside for even 15 minutes seemed to literally re-spark our souls!
8. Get Physical
Take the time to give your physical body some self-love. You could get a shoulder or foot massage from something you love, but realistically it’s easier to do it yourself most days. You can do some simple stretches (my favorite short yoga video here) or foam roll out any knots you have. If you don’t have a foam roller you can even use a simple tennis ball to work out some knots. This is a great one for when you only have 10 minutes or less!
This one is simple yet something most of us haven’t done since we were children. Just stare out the window at a tree, at the cars passing by, or lay outside and watch the clouds float slowly past. It’s so simple and restful, yet most of us discount this as a waste of time. Try it and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
10. Breathe intentionally
Be intentional with your breath. This is great for when you’re stuck at work or traffic and need some instant stress relief and can’t exactly read a book, watch the clouds or take a bath. There are many techniques, but my favorite is box breathing. It’s so simple. Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts and repeat until calmness washes over you.
There you have it! I hope some of these techniques help you find your own calm in the chaos of everyday life.
Let me know if you try any and how it works for you! Comment below ⬇️