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  • Writer's pictureAvery Parker

The Problem With Laziness

Updated: May 7

Laziness is a problem.

It's not uncommon to struggle with laziness or face an accusation of such every now and again.

You may feel lazy for not having the energy to get everything you want accomplished or for taking time for yourself.

However, this isn't the problem with laziness- the problem is in its definition, which has been misconstrued over time to shame people who are simply worn down and in need of rest. 

Laziness is thought to describe people who cannot accomplish everything which needs to be done, are uneager to work, or choose to take time away from their responsibilities.

Lazy people may prioritize their comfort and enjoyment over productivity- but this lumps together those who struggle to complete their tasks with those who choose to ignore them!

The big difference between struggling and laziness is that laziness occurs when someone continually, actively, and happily chooses to engage in these irresponsible behaviors.

Otherwise, what's called "laziness" is actually the manifestation of exhaustion, burnout, overwhelm, or other struggles like executive dysfunction. 

Moments, days, or periods of underperformance from exhaustion are normal. This is a way the body signals that rest and self-care are needed.

Normal bodily processes do not deserve to be misinterpreted as laziness, as this misidentification is false and harmful.

Despite their negative connotations, “lazy” behaviors can be very useful.

These warning signs can help identify early signs of burnout and signal when rest is needed.

Getting to the point where you cannot bring yourself to complete another task, get off the couch, or text another person back are the body’s way of asking for help.

They are signs that you need a break. Ignoring these signs can lead to burnout or further exhaustion.

Additionally, self compassion can be useful for reducing the guilt that comes with “laziness."

This guilt is often harmful and unnecessary. In these cases, self compassion is necessary along with rest and self care.

Self compassion can include being mindful of your body’s needs, understanding that everyone struggles with fatigue, and practicing self-kindness if self-berating thoughts occur.

Because of the ways laziness has been misused, people overwork themselves to avoid the label.

This inevitably leads to exhaustion, because rest is a necessity- not a luxury reserved only for those who can check everything off of their to-do lists.

When struggling with fatigue and getting things done, take time for yourself, practice self-care, and remember that it is normal to get tired. 

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