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One ‘Lazy Day’ Per Week Can Reduce Stress and High Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that, contrary to popular societal perceptions, giving yourself one ‘lazy day’ a week can actually benefit your health.

Image: fizkes/Shutterstock

Don’t feel bad about designating yourself a well-deserved ‘lazy day’ to chill any longer.

Having one ‘lazy day’ per week has been found to improve joyousness, output and welfare. And it’s also been proven to reduce high blood pressure and anxiety!

What is a ‘lazy day’?

Societal norms discredit the ‘lazy day’ as a means of unproductiveness and idleness. But first of all, we must ask what such a day consists of. Well, it’s not a proper lazy day if you’re ticking off tasks on your to-do list, finishing some essay work, or browsing your study or work-related emails. 

Instead of simply staying in your comfy clothing, take a few extra hours to binge-watch your favorite Netflix show. Or better yet, combining all of the above while indulging in a pint of cookie dough ice cream is really what a lazy day is all about!

Productive laziness

Music listening can better mental health on a lazy day
Music listening can improve mental health. Credit: Firmbee from Pixabay

But productivity can still be accomplished on such a day. Relaxing hobbies such as gardening are proven to benefit both your physical and mental health. Listening to your go-to Spotify playlist can boost your well-being and positively impact your mood.

Tim Gray, a leading UK health boost-promoting biohacker and innovator, is one of the most prominent figures highlighting the benefits of enjoying a lazy day. 

Clarifying the elements of productivity within a lazy day, Gray states,

“Productivity means making intentional choices towards a goal. And sometimes, that choice could be to have a lazy day and replenish. After all, we’re called human beings, not human doings.”

Gray goes on to explain how the practice of sustainable human functioning can be utilized by having a day off,

“You can optimize your sleep, your food, your gut, your energy – but unless you have some real time off, to sit around and do nothing and reflect and appreciate where you’re at, you’ll never repair or operate properly.”

How a lazy day betters your health

Overall wellness benefits from a lazy day. Credit: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Sure, general wellness can be boosted through the undertaking of a lazy day. But there are also direct health benefits that come from having a day off.

Lowered risk of chronic conditions

A recent study found that an overwhelming 80% of US students find themselves getting stressed, while 34% are additionally dealing with depression. 

It’s thus evident that, for Gen Z, mental health needs to be addressed directly if we are to combat the debilitating impact that studying and social media have on one’s mindset.

If you feel off-balance over a long period, you are likely dealing with built-up stress that has not yet been dealt with. 

As Gray states, “Stress actually kills and taking days off can save you from a lifetime of unexplained physical and mental problems and chronic disease.”

Ongoing symptoms of deteriorating mental health, however, need to be addressed by a professional. Wellness sometimes requires a GP’s expertise!

Higher success rate

Don’t ponder over your impending deadlines or the dreaded Monday morning alarm. Letting your mind escape for twenty-four hours can actually be what drives you to progress. Gray states: “Taking time off to recharge and replenish will actually allow you to perform far-far better and more efficiently in the long run.” 

Getting your creative juices flowing can become a reachable goal through the relaxation of a lazy day. Gray stresses: “That means improved cognitive ability, creativity and willpower. As well as less stress, better mood and overall better outcomes.”

How to resist the urge to work

A lazy, chill day often equals productivity. Credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay

There’s a constant flow of assignments and classes. So it’s easy to see how distant the hopes of having a truly lazy day actually are nowadays. 

However, it’s advised that we find some time for self-love. Gray states: “Get away, even if it’s just for a day. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.”

Don’t take these sentiments too literally, though. Getting into a routine of procrastination will have the opposite effect on productivity. Gray warns: “Be mission-led, but know when you need time to focus on you.” 

You don’t even have to stay bedridden. Dance to your heart’s content via Just Dance during your chosen lazy day! Studies have shown that heart disease can be prevented by regular exercise. 

Allowing yourself just one day to relieve yourself of the stresses of society can be vital to your physical and mental health.

Written By

I am an MLitt Digital Journalism Masters student at Strathclyde University, and a 2.1 graduate of English Literature (MA Hons) at the University of Edinburgh. Engaging for a decade with journalistic writing and reporting, I have been involved with a broad range of media work; from sports journalism and features, to news writing and disability awareness.

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