The Line Between Laziness and Self-Care: Permission to Take a Break

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One of the significant barriers to effective self-care is an individual’s feeling that they are somehow being lazy if they take time for themselves. However, there are several key differences between taking time for self-care and laziness. 

Understanding the crucial differences that make up this fine line can help an individual embrace essential self-care strategies without hindering feelings of guilt or doubt. While the line between the two can seem challenging to navigate at first, much of the difference comes down to the intent behind one’s actions. 

What Is Self-Care? 

Self-care is best defined as any action that can help individuals manage their energy level and mental resources available. Coping with stress at work, dealing with urges or cravings during addiction recovery, navigating stressors from one’s trauma, and much more require a great deal of energy and resilience. 

Even managing positive relationships can be taxing on one’s mind. Self-care is a way to ensure that an individual maintains adequate levels of energy to balance their own needs with their responsibilities. All of this is crucial in maintaining a healthy mindset and outlook on one’s life. 

Precisely how each individual engages in self-care can be wholly unique. For many, self-care begins with ensuring that an individual has ample time for rest and sleep while incorporating a healthy diet, regular mealtimes, and personal hygiene into their routine. However, while tending to these physical needs is incredibly important for managing stress of all kinds, this is not where self-care practices end. 

Self-care is also the ability to engage in one’s interests outside of other responsibilities. Setting time aside to read a book, engage in a creative hobby, play video games, or even watch a movie can all be effective means of caring for oneself. There is nothing wrong with scheduling time each day to engage in these activities if they can actively help an individual detach from stresses and provide their minds respite from daily stresses. 

No person is designed to actively cope with stress around the clock and forgo their interests and needs. However, the confusion regarding the line between self-care and laziness can blur this perspective, making it more difficult to engage in these healthy practices. 

The Blight of Laziness

Laziness may masquerade closely as self-care on the surface, but it carries a very different connotation. While laziness and self-care can both result in similar activities — watching television, playing video games, or tending to one’s interests — the key difference is that self-care helps to rejuvenate one from tending to responsibilities and providing the mind a break from actively coping with stresses. Laziness instead uses these activities to avoid stresses altogether. 

The latter often leads to engaging in self-centered activities outside of an established schedule. One can even become indifferent to the responsibilities of the day ahead, often to one’s detriment. 

Creating a Schedule

Self-care needs to be tended to, and scheduling in time for oneself can be the gateway to a positive relationship with relaxing activities and personalized hobbies outside of the demands of others. Scheduling a couple of hours in the evening to do one’s own thing is very important. 

Even if such a thing is taking time to relax alone in a quiet area, doing so can ensure that an individual can take this time without feeling guilty. It can do this while also avoiding being disturbed during this time with additional stresses. This approach also provides an individual with a method to practice time management while reframing self-care as an equally important part of one’s day. 

Overcoming Guilt

Commonly, one may feel bad about taking time to themselves — feeling that if they are not actively addressing stresses, they are somehow being lazy for not correctly engaging in their recovery. While untrue, such a mentality can be challenging to overcome. However, self-care is also its own form of accomplishment. Maintaining self-care routines and personal interests can be reframed as an essential exercise in creation and success. 

Taking pride in one’s ability to tend to themselves is essential. Personal hobbies like writing, keeping a healthy diet, and taking pride in overcoming a difficult level in a video game can all be objective successes worthy of celebration. These accomplishments can reinforce the importance of self-care activities and help individuals view themselves with a sense of accomplishment.  

Taking a break from time to time is essential to maintain the energy and motivation needed to deal with stress. As long as you engage in such activities in response to tending to responsibilities and not as a method of avoiding or sidestepping such obligations, guilt has little place.

There is a fine line between laziness and effective self-care practices. At Avalon Malibu, we are ready to help you begin incorporating effective self-care strategies and techniques into your daily life to help you manage your stress and energy healthily and productively. Located in Malibu, California, our comprehensive facility is equipped with many therapeutic avenues for you to explore, from residential to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care. We can also help you explore new therapeutic hobbies, such as art, music, physical activity, yoga, mindfulness practices, writing, and much more to understand your needs better and create a healthy balance in your life. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about the opportunities available to you to begin exploring what a healthy balance can look like in your life, call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.

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