woman napping on couch
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 14, 2024 ·  5 min read

Feel Lazy Sometimes? Don’t Worry it May Help Reduce Stress, High Blood Pressure, and Improve Mental Health

In today’s fast-paced and busy world, finding time to relax and recharge often takes a backseat to our numerous responsibilities. However, research indicates that incorporating a ‘lazy day’ into our weekly routine can have significant positive impacts on our mental and physical well-being. Taking a down day, in fact, can actually help you get ahead in the long run. This is what the research is saying.

The Importance of Lazy Day

If there’s one thing that is ever present in North American culture, it is the vilification of rest. Many of us grew up hearing some variation of the saying “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, essentially telling us that we must be constantly in motion, moving towards one goal or another. Our collective society has made it so that we believe we must constantly be productive, and that guilts us for even just taking a couple of hours to relax. While it may seem counterintuitive, taking a day to relax, or a ‘lazy day’, is crucial for our bodies and minds to recover from the demands of our busy lives. According to a paper published by Yale University counseling and support services, scheduling times for relaxation is just as important as any other item on our weekly agenda. Engaging in activities such as watching TV, reading a book, or practicing meditation allows our bodies to regenerate, reducing stress levels and muscle tension while promoting heart health and overall well-being. Essentially, doing things for no other purpose but because we enjoy them is actually really good for us. (1)

“Whether it’s having a cup of coffee with a friend, sitting still in a quiet session of meditation, or working on a long-neglected art project, be sure to schedule your relaxation times,” the researchers said. “They are every bit as important as the other to-do’s on your weekly calendar. View them as appointments that you won’t cancel unless an emergency arises.” (2)

Reducing Stress

Stress has become a prevalent issue in modern society, negatively impacting both our physical and mental health. We have work stress, family stress, and are constantly weighted down by the feeling that we aren’t doing enough. This causes us to push ourselves to go, go, go, until we’ve run ourselves completely ragged. By incorporating a lazy day into our routine, we provide ourselves with an opportunity to unwind and disconnect from the pressures of work, relationships, and daily responsibilities. Engaging in leisure activities, such as taking a leisurely walk or indulging in a hobby, activates the relaxation response in our bodies. This reduces stress hormones and promotes a sense of calm and balance.

Read More: Top 10 Subtle Signs of Anxiety Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Lowering High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common health concern that can lead to serious cardiovascular issues if left unmanaged. Studies have shown that chronic stress and a fast-paced lifestyle directly contribute to elevated blood pressure levels. Taking a day off each week allows us to engage in activities that promote relaxation and lower blood pressure. Whether it’s enjoying a bubble bath, listening to soothing music, or simply spending time in nature, these activities have been proven to decrease blood pressure and support heart health. While something that gets you out, away from screens, and disconnected from the world for a bit is your best option, really anything that helps you unwind can be beneficial. Yes – even taking an evening to binge-watch your favorite series from time to time can contribute to this.

Improving Mental Health

In addition to reducing stress and blood pressure, incorporating a lazy day also has numerous benefits for mental health. Engaging in activities like reading, painting, or practicing yoga on our designated lazy day can help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being. These activities provide an outlet for creativity, self-expression, and self-care, allowing us to recharge and enhance our overall quality of life.

“Taking a break to do something you find pleasurable can trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which are associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness,” said Sanam Hafeez, a licensed psychologist. (3)

Tips for Making the Most of Your Lazy Day

To fully reap the benefits of a lazy day, it’s essential to prioritize activities that promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and self-care. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Disconnect from technology: Taking a break from screens and digital devices can help you fully immerse yourself in relaxation and recharge your mental and emotional batteries.
  2. Engage in leisurely activities: Whether it’s reading a book, exploring a new hobby, or spending time in nature, choose activities that bring you joy and provide a sense of calm.
  3. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing: Incorporate breathing exercises and moments of mindfulness throughout your lazy day to help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  4. Prioritize self-care: Use this day to engage in activities that nourish your body and mind, such as taking a warm bath, practicing gentle stretches, or indulging in a massage or spa treatment.

Of course, it is understandable that many of you reading this might be thinking that it will be impossible for you to incorporate a lazy day into your weekly routine. Perhaps you have a demanding job or are a parent juggling multiple schedules at once. Even if you can only manage to squeeze in an hour or two of this down time per week, I highly encourage you to prioritize it. You will perform better at your job, be a better parent, and, in general, feel more relaxed if you do this. For the parents, you will also be inadvertently teaching your children about the importance of setting boundaries and creating space for yourself to rejuvenate in a world that is only becoming more demanding by the day.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating a lazy day into our weekly routine is not a sign of laziness but an essential practice for reducing stress, lowering high blood pressure, and improving our mental health. Taking time for relaxation and self-care allows us to recharge, rejuvenate, and maintain a healthy balance in our lives. By prioritizing our well-being and incorporating regular moments of rest, we can lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. So, give yourself permission to take a well-deserved lazy day each week and experience the incredible benefits it can bring to your overall health and well-being.

Read More: This Common Daily Habit May be a Symptom of Dementia


  1. Love A Lazy Day? You Should Be Having Them More Often Than You Think.” Huffington Post.  Sarah-Louise Kelly 2023
  2. The importance of relaxingMomentum Yale
  3. Don’t feel guilty about being lazy. Experts say there are some health benefits..” Yahoo. Maressa Brown. August 24, 2023