On Pause: Why Sometimes It’s Good to Allow Yourself Idleness

The brain gets tired from the endless processing of incoming data — information from TV, the Internet, advertisements on the streets, the radio in the car, work and household tasks, and conversations.

If during the holidays you just want to lie on the couch without extra thoughts and movements and you don’t have the energy even to read your favorite books or play at, this is a signal that the brain needs a “reboot” catastrophically.

Here is one scientific fact: the human brain has a genetic predisposition to laziness — our ancestors saved energy to survive. During idleness, neural connections are strengthened.

Laziness contributes to further efficiency and better and faster performance of tasks. Also, doing nothing improves concentration and focus. So rest is as necessary for us as air. People are programmed to be lazy, and there is no shame in it. It’s nature, and you can’t argue with it.

Consequences of Not Having Rest Days

Woman Having Eyes Fatigue And Headache Massaging Nosebridge Working At Laptop Sitting In Modern Office

Working without a day off can have serious consequences for your body and performance. Lack of rest increases the risk of stress, which can lead to poor physical and mental health. Lack of time to rest and recover from work can lead to chronic fatigue, lowered immunity and increased risk of disease.

Lack of days off also has a negative impact on work performance. Constant stress and lack of time to rest leads to decreased concentration, memory and productivity.

Without days off, it’s difficult to maintain motivation and a positive attitude, which negatively affects work performance and the quality of tasks completed. Working without days off can lead to a decrease in creativity and innovation, as the body doesn’t get the necessary rest and distraction from routine.

Weekends are necessary to recuperate, renew energy and maintain a work-life balance. Lack of rest can lead to long-term consequences, including a decrease in overall life satisfaction and the development of mental health problems.

Bad News for “Achievers”

fatigue of Achievers

The constant race for productivity and achievement neurotizes people. We live with the attitude “today we have to be faster, higher, stronger than yesterday.”

In the end we stop appreciating what we have achieved and become hamsters in a wheel. But no hamster will spin until it loses its pulse, and people often drive themselves to complete exhaustion.

Rest isn’t just for “I deserve it.” Rest is as much a meaningful part of life as work, chores, and parenting. If you are an “achiever” and want to conquer many peaks, you should start planning tasks with periods of rest.

Approve vacations first, and then fill the remaining time with things to do. Make plans for the month by designating weekends, for the day — from the hours of idleness.

If you live in a non-stop intensive mode, sooner or later burnout will catch up with you. Instead of increased productivity, you will get apathy and decreased results on all fronts. If your brain is “burned out” from stress, don’t aggravate the problem and take a break.

Proper Idleness

a person enjoying their idle time

Not all idleness is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Focusing too long on just one type of vacation is also a bad idea. You can watch all the seasons of your favorite shows in a row 24/7, but that won’t give your brain a proper rest.

Constantly focusing on one thing takes a lot of energy, especially without the reward of desired results. Switch things up, go for a walk in the park, read a book, listen to your favorite music.

Another typical mistake in doing nothing is endless scrolling of social networks and news feeds. In this case, the brain continues to strain because it has to process a stream of information and other people’s emotions, not always positive.

And the third important point is that you should never shame yourself for “worthless” holidays. Yes, while you are sitting at home, someone is skiing and skating, going to bars and theaters, or even more. But you don’t have to be equal to others — have a rest the way you want.

Let yourself just lie down, meditate, take a bath with fragrant foam, read light stories, the main thing is to enjoy the process.

Drive away from yourself thoughts about the untidy apartment, about unfinished reports. And remember that online games, where you need to achieve goals, is not a vacation, it is the same race.


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