Why you shouldn’t feel guilty for having a lazy day

One thing I’m trying to do away with as part of my Maine experience is feeling guilty. Maybe it’s partly because I went to a Catholic school for 12 years, but I’m usually feeling guilty about something. I feel guilty for being so far away from my friends and family, for having a good job I’m not passionate about, and for not being able to adopt all the puppies at the animal shelter. On any given day I’m usually racked with guilt for at least a handful of things, but one thing I won’t feel guilty about is having a lazy day.

Guilty

When I was living in Chicago most of my weekend days were Lazy Days. Sure I would write, read, and maybe work out but for the most part I was cooped up in my apartment doing my own thing. I wouldn’t stay in there all day, of course. I still had to take the dog out from time to time. But for the most part that’s how my weekends were spent.

Since this past weekend was Labor Day weekend I had extra time. Extra time to write, read, hike, or check out a new lighthouse— whatever my heart desired. I was determined to make the most of it. On Saturday I woke up early and headed to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. There I hiked the Welch and Dickey Mountains—the views were just incredible. Since it was cooler out I was able to push myself harder, and did a lot of running UP the trail—something I never really had the strength for before. Afterwards my legs were burning and shaking, but I didn’t care. I did it!

Welch and Dickey Mountains

Later that night I went to the last concert of the season at L.L. Bean. They put on a free, outdoor concert almost every weekend for the duration of the summer. Since it was Labor Day weekend this was going to be the last one, so obviously I had to go. Ben Rector was playing that night, and the place was packed.

L.L. Bean summer concert

When I got home later that night I was thoroughly exhausted. By Sunday morning my muscles were sore, and I was still so tired. I planned to go up to see a lighthouse or go on a photography walk, but I pushed myself too hard the day before. What I needed was a lazy day. So that’s what I had.

At first I felt guilty for not leaving my apartment all day (other than to take the dog out, of course). After all I hadn’t spent a whole day in my apartment since I moved to Maine. Was I reverting back to my old habits?

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Then I remembered all that I did the day before—the mountains, the concert, and all that driving. It was a lot for one day! So I decided to revel in it. I read, did a little yoga, and watched some Netflix. It was glorious. I didn’t feel guilty because that’s what my body needed.

It’s all about the balance. If I spend a whole day running around then I’m entitled to a day of relaxation as long as that doesn’t become the norm. After all I have to make the most out of this Maine experience.

Do you feel guilty for having a lazy day? What do you do to combat the feelings of guilt?

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3 Comments

      • I grew up in the south suburb of Oak Forest. After college I bounced around from apartment to apartment (rising rent/bad neighborhoods, etc.) I lived near Loyola University, then in Rogers Park near the boarder with Evanston, then finally in Old Irving Park (Waveland & Pulaski) until moving to Southern Illinois near St. Louis. I’ve been here for 17 years, but the Chicago area will always be “home”!

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