The big day is here—Memorial Day, that is.
And aside from being a day of remembrance for those who’ve sacrificed their lives for our freedom, Memorial Day is the perfect opportunity to do what you’ve secretly been dying to do for a long time: nothing. Nothing at all.
Think about it: when was the last time you did nothing—like actually nothing? My guess is, probably a while. In a world that glorifies ‘the grind’ above all else, it’s tough not to feel guilty about doing nothing at all. In reality, trying to be overly productive results in getting less done.
Taking a day to let your laziness get the best of you can actually benefit your overall productivity in the long run, according to psychologist Chris Bailey. And what better day to indulge in doing nothing than the last Monday of May?
Considering it’s been a while since you truly let go of all obligations, here are 9 easy ways to make sure this Memorial Day is your most “unproductive” day yet:
1. Drink a beer (or several).
Nothing says “I’m tapped out for the day” like a tall, cold pint of hops, barely, yeast and water.
In fact, cracking a cold one might just lower overall stress levels, according to researchers in Holland. In a study involving 24 adult males, researchers concluded that, “a moderate dose of beer after a mental stress test may facilitate recovery of the physical stress response.” In other words, having a beer or two will help get your mind off of whatever’s stressing you out.
Grab your favorite pint glass, pour up an oat soda, and relax. Just make sure you don’t over-do it 😉
2. Eat chips.
Or any junk food, for that matter.
Want some pizza? Eat some pizza. Been craving for a donut? Eat the damn donut—it’s OK, I promise.
It seems like there’s a new healthy diet to follow every other day. Stop any random person on the street, and I promise you they’re either intermittent fasting, or eating vegan, paleo, keto, or a combination of sorts, like pegan (yes, that’s a thing).
Eating healthy is a great, but it’s also difficult to stay disciplined, which can cause a lot of stress in the long-run. That’s why you should take Memorial Day to indulge a bit—it can actually be good for you.
3. Get some vitamin D.
Yes—I’m talking about laying outside and frying in the rays of our beautiful sun.
If you have no plans yet for Memorial Day—which hopefully, you don’t—take some time to go outside and lay out in the sun. Absorption of the sun’s rays through the skin promotes increased vitamin D production in the body. Some benefits of vitamin D include lowering high blood pressure, decreased risk of certain types of cancers, and an overall immune system boost.
If sun isn’t in the forecast wherever you live, I’m sorry to hear that—but cloudy days are the perfect opportunity to throw on that Oscar-winning movie you haven’t gotten around to watching 😉
4. Take a nap.
When was the last time you got in a good nap? And no—I don’t mean a scientifically-timed 20-minute cat nap. I mean I full-fledged, knock out with no alarm and wake up not knowing what year it is kind of nap.
If you’re like me, it’s been long—too long. That’s because it’s hard to lay your head down without feeling guilty in a day-and-age where your value seems to be a direct reflection of how busy you are. I’ve experienced it, and I’m sure you have too.
Let go of the guilt for a bit and take Memorial Day do more of what you’ve undoubtedly been craving for: sleep.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, take a bit of time this Memorial Day to reflect.
Reflecting goes right along with our theme of this piece: it’s effortless, enjoyable, and probably something you haven’t taken the time to do in a while. Plus, it’s incredibly beneficial to overall mental health. According to the Harvard Business Review, taking a couple of minutes to reflect on the past day, week, month can decrease stress levels, increase overall happiness, and promote productivity in the long-term.
If you haven’t reflected in awhile (or ever), here are a couple of questions to help get you started:
- When am I most happy?
- When do I feel most stressed out?
- What am I grateful for?
- Is there anything I take for granted? If so, what?
- Am I happy with my relationships with family, friends, and colleagues? What about with myself?
- What is one thing I want to change about my life? What is one thing I want to stay the same?
Take this Memorial Day to sit back, relax, and do nothing. Try to let go of the guilt of being unproductive. It just might be exactly what you need.