By Louise Cheung, Second Year, English
The Croft Magazine // Whilst the word 'lazy' often carries negative connotations, Louise Cheung argues that we need to redefine this term and slowdown in order to protect our own wellbeing.
I think we can all agree that stress is a universal feeling, whether you’re a first-year university student, balancing both the freedom that independence carries and the unfamiliarity of lectures, or in your final year of your studies, worrying about career prospects in the dreaded near-future.
The most common meaning of ‘lazy’, and the one that we typically think of, is best described by Cambridge Dictionary’s definition - ‘not willing to work or use any effort’. However, this usage has predominantly negative connotations and being described as lazy can often shatter one’s morale indefinitely. To be on the receiving end of this branding can be extremely disheartening and tends to render you feeling entirely useless. Although you may ‘get over it’ shortly afterwards, the negative undertones and implications of this word may subconsciously leave a lasting imprint in the back of your mind.
This mainstream definition of ‘lazy’ is, ironically, lazy as we never stop to think about the other meaning associated with this word, which in effect, has a much more positive outlook. Waiting as the understudy is the less frowned upon meaning, which associates itself with a slow idleness. By ‘encouraging inactivity’ (as Merriam-Webster describes), only then are we able to press pause on the hectic lives we lead and become consciously aware of our present selves.
Allowing time for yourself to do the things you enjoy; this can alleviate much of your stress and built-up anxiety. I myself have been a victim of being entirely burnout, and it is, without a doubt, an exhausting feeling. Yes, the right amount of stress and pressure can motivate productivity; however, lines can quickly become blurred, leaving no room for your own happiness.
It is easier said than done to prioritise self-care, particularly when your mind is determined to be on a never-ending sprint, but by doing so, and simply slowing down, this can increase your work ethic in the long run. So, hopefully this solution will set your mind at ease in no longer feeling guilty for relaxing and will also simultaneously give your mind a chance to rewire the meaning of ‘lazy’. From indulging in watching your guilty pleasure tv shows to partaking in calming mindfulness, self-care is subjective and will look different for everyone.
Stress consumes, and so, recharging from time to time may be the key to efficiency and overall better mental health. Do what you love, especially at times when you feel the overwhelming sensation of pressure creeping in.
Featured image: Daniel Newell- Price
Remember: It's necessary to slow down and take breaks whenever you need them!