Reframing Your Thoughts About Laziness
I want to pose a situation to you and invite you to consider the thoughts and feelings it brings up within you. We talk a lot about self-care giving yourself the leeway to relax when your body and mind require relaxation. However, when we are faced with situations where we must extend this courtesy to ourselves, we often fall short.
It’s often obstacles like obligations, our own image of our self, negative self-talk, the toxic pursuit of perfectionism, and the general sense that we are not doing, being, or giving enough.
Thoughts About Laziness: Our Approach
In this example, I have chosen challenges that are considered invisible illnesses. My reasoning for choosing these two challenges is complex.
First, these challenges don’t present in a physical way like a broken leg. Without this physical symbol of the challenge, it can be more difficult to convince ourselves and others that we truly need to give ourselves time to heal.
Secondly, when we struggle with one challenge we often experience comorbidity or additional challenges that relate. This can quietly form a complex web where we feel we are bouncing between one challenge and another unable to function optimally.
As we follow this day in the life, I invite you to open your mind and heart to the possibility that your concept a functioning optimally is incorrect. Functioning optimally includes harmony, balance, and self-nurturing.
These concepts are inextricably linked to a truly successful life.
Thoughts About Laziness: Accepting Our Challenges & Those Others Face
￼The challenges I am using in this example are chronic pain and anxiety. Maybe you relate to these things directly. If not, as you read this article replace these challenges with something that you face and try to put yourself in the role of the person who’s day we are walking through.
Perhaps this exercise will also help you cultivate empathy and compassion for people in your life that do experience anxiety and chronic pain. That’s a huge bonus if that happens.
One more thing: I believe you should eliminate the concept of laziness from your life even if you aren’t overcoming any challenges at all. All too often, we fail to listen to the natural rhythm of our bodies. We push ourselves beyond our comfort point in ways that don’t foster growth.
Learning the difference is extremely helpful.
Let’s begin this journey of awareness together. As we begin I wish you love, understanding, and the openness to truly reflect on the meaning behind these words.
Thoughts About Laziness: A Less Than Perfect Morning
You wake up sluggish and foggy and without honoring the possibility that your body is going through something, you begin negative self-talk. Why are you always so tired? Why can’t you go to bed earlier? Where are your priorities and why can’t you function at the level everyone around you does?
In reality, there may be many valid reasons you’re tired! Your anxious mind may have worked overtime as you tried to fall asleep. This is something you only have limited control over, especially if you beat yourself up and struggle instead of engaging healthy coping mechanisms.
Perhaps you overdid things the day before, or have pain that made it difficult to sleep. Instead of focusing on how you did something wrong, why not approach the situation with the spirit of problem-solving and stay neutral?
Here’s a radical thought: this is just another day and it doesn’t matter how tired you are. You will face the day to the best of your ability and continue to try to live a healthy life. What’s the benefit of being unkind and judgmental to yourself about the situation?
We don’t win bonus points in life for being hard on ourselves. It doesn’t even improve productivity.
If you must critique yourself in order to make positive changes, why not focus on how great you feel when you do turn in early and wake up rested? It’s the same thought, but it isn’t critical and colored by internalized judgment.
Thoughts About Laziness: Facing The Day
You struggle all day. Your focus is poor, you’re still sluggish, and now your body aches. You have so much to do, so you push yourself to the very limit. While your body and mind protest, you react with cold, negative self-talk.
You feel the effects of anxiety in your body. You’re on edge and your motivation is low. You just want to hide and let these feelings pass, but you can’t or won’t allow yourself that relief.
You reject ‘doing the bare minimum’ as self-indulgent. You refuse to accept that it’s just an off day in a string of days where you achieve so many goals.
As a result, you make several mistakes and set yourself up for a worse day tomorrow.
What if you accepted that some days are better than others, and sometimes we do the best we can? Who says we all have to be leaping tall buildings in a single bound every day?
Why do we feel so inadequate?
What if you were gentle with yourself and took it as easy as possible? Would that truly put you that far behind?
Thoughts About Laziness: Paying The Price In The Evening
After a stressful and emotionally draining day, you go to bed early. Maybe you made yourself clean the house first because your anxiety was whispering that you’re lazy and can’t do anything. It’s messy in here. You’re a failure.
Now your pain level is high but your mind is still racing. Although you needed some self-care today, you withheld that. Now you are frazzled, exhausted, but overwound.
Sleep does not come easy even though you turned in early.
What would happen if you just took things easy? Sandwiches and cereal for dinner aren’t always the worst thing in the world. Maybe you make a mental note to keep a few healthy dinner options in the freezer for days when you don’t feel your best.
Maybe house cleaning can wait. Not forever, but for today. Instead, you could take a gentle walk followed by a nice bath. Would an evening meditation help you relax before sleep? What about a natural sleep aid like CBD, valerian, or a calming tea with lavender?
The Moral Of The Tale
Sometimes, we are hard on ourselves because we think others would be. We feel fear surrounding radical self-love.
Other times, we push ourselves because our jobs or our lives require it.
I encourage everyone reading this to truly think about the truth of this statement: there are no struggle points awarded in life. The path of least resistance is absolutely fine, provided you still get where you need to be. Consider abandoning the social programming that’s causing you to judge yourself.
There will be days when you do the best you can – the bare minimum- and that doesn’t make you a bad person. These days can actually help our body find its natural rhythm again.
And if you are living a life that truly doesn’t allow you to go easy on yourself when you need it… maybe it’s time to make a change. What could you do to feel happier, more flexible, and less stressed to push yourself beyond your limits?
We all have different strengths and most people do their best by default. If you struggle with self-sabotage or don’t feel you act in your own interests regularly, it’s a great idea to seek some professional help to gain insight into that.
Most people, however, are really doing the best they can and deserve to give themselves a break.
Waking Up To The Myth And Living Authentically
What if laziness is a myth?
What if laziness is simply your body needing a break or, even, just wanting one? So what if your mind wants a little time off?
What would happen in your life if you never used the word lazy again? Would it feel more authentic to honor your body and adjust to what your physical and mental states asks for?
If you choose authenticity at every turn, your life may look quite different. It may not feel like the ‘productive’ life others are living. You will, however, find your own path toward your contribution to society and the world.
When we live authentically and listen to our bodies, balance work, play, and relaxation time, and reduce our negative self-talk, we become free.
A free man or woman is truly unstoppable.