I don't know if it's the weather or what, but lately I don't wanna do nuthin'.
I want to lie around, drink sparkling wine and watch British soap operas.
Oh my god, have you seen Footballers' Wives? It's like Coronation Street on cocaine and covered in sequins. I watched 12 episodes in two days. I think I need help. Or do I? A lot of people, myself included, have a real problem with doing nothing. We feel guilty whenever we spend time goofing off, like we're wasting precious potentially productive moments.
But what's really so wrong with doing nothing?
Maybe we need to get over this self-flagellation.
On the other hand, we can't spend the rest of our lives lolling about, can we?
What the experts say
"You want to make sure there's not something more serious than plain lethargy. It could be a mood disorder like depression. And you want to make sure it's not a blood sugar problem. High stress can also cause laziness. When the weather is warmer, you should change to a lighter diet . You may need more nutrients such as the B vitamins from raw fruits and vegetables. You want to make sure you're well hydrated . Dehydration can really wipe a person out. Laziness may mean your immune system is rundown. Antioxidants may help. If you're highly stressed, licorice root can be taken for a short period. Siberian ginseng and astragalus root can help."
EEVON LING , naturopath, Toronto
"What passes for laziness is often disguised fatigue caused by the demands of North American living. In France, Britain and Germany, where there are extended vacation times, worker productivity is actually higher. In some cultures, notoriously in Italy and France, visible hard work is frowned upon and seen as an incapacity to live well. North Americans would do well to give themselves less to do. Worker hours, both white- and blue-collar, have increased in the last 15 years. Part of the answer is to rest more and reflect upon activities before plunging into them.'
STEPHEN VAN BEEK , psychotherapist and founder of the Toronto Therapy Network
"[So-called laziness] is largely an issue of attitude and tends to respond to counselling. But sometimes it has a biological basis. If it's due to anxiety or depression, we use St. Johns wort, lavender, ginkgo, rosemary, motherwort, hyssop and spearmint. Exercise helps, as does meditation, yoga, tai chi, spending time in nature and Asian, North American or Siberian ginseng , astragalus and reishi mushroom." MICHAEL VERTOLLI , herbalist, Toronto
"Any time you push yourself to do something, there is a cost, in that the next time you try to push yourself it will be even harder to make yourself do it. You may eventually end up in a situation where you are 'lazy.' A situation in which you are doing nothing but also stressing about it will not refresh you. The best kind of motivation is not to push yourself, make yourself do things or use force of will. The best way is to ask, What would be great for me if I did it? How would this action improve me as a person? If you can't come up with any great reasons, maybe you need to rethink things! Motivating yourself in this way will keep you excited, creative and effective. But sometimes you may just want to do nothing. If you don't chastise yourself about it, you can refresh yourself and be ready to get excited about your next action.' MICHELE CARON , life/ career coach, Toronto
"If we're not creating the life we want, sometimes procrastination or laziness is the result. Feeling overwhelmed can also make us shut down. If procrastination is the problem, sometimes it's just a matter of reframing. The problem is all the energy you waste beating yourself up for [putting the task off], because you know, come the last minute, it will get done. Laziness also comes from burnout. We work too hard and play too hard. We have this idea that we should be out playing tennis, kayaking, rock climbing, having a social life, dancing. That's not sustainable for those working regular hours.
KALEB MONTGOMERY , Chinese medicine practitioner, Toronto