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Tips for a Guilt-Free Lazy Day (While Protecting Your Mental Health)

For some of us, taking a personal day can come with a lot of guilt and negative feelings. If you're used to always being busy, taking a day to yourself can feel weird. No matter what job you have, taking a lazy day is imperative for protecting your mental health. Once you master the art of taking a day to unwind and detach, you'll feel better about taking care of yourself! Here's a few tips on how to have a guilt-free lazy day.

1. Add a Personal Day into Your Schedule.

This is the most fundamental step of having a personal day. Even if it is not a weekly thing, incorporating some time for yourself a couple times a month is a great start to better mental health. On this day, put yourself first. Plan events around this time, making this event the priority. You're more likely to stick to this event if you write it down in a calendar. Remember that nothing is more important than you!

2. Date Yourself.

Has there been something you really wanted to do with a friend or significant other? If you work or attend somewhere where you’re constantly around others, it may be a good idea to date yourself. By this, I literally mean take yourself on a date. Go to the movies, a museum, or just take a walk alone (safely). I personally become super cranky if I’m around too many people for too long, so alone time is a great remedy if you’re the same. Do something you’ve always wanted to do.

3. Reflect on the Positives of Your Week/Month/Day.

Thinking about the good things doesn’t require any extra work. If you’ve had a bad month but a less-bad week, think about the things that made this week better than the rest. It doesn’t hurt to brag about yourself from time to time! Whether your good thing is finally not missing a deadline, eating three meals a day, or just getting out of bed in the morning, appreciate yourself! This is something that can be done at any time during your personal day. You can either just think about it or write it down to remind yourself how amazing you are.

4. Talk to a Loved One or Distant Friend.

If you are someone who finds comfort in talking to others, reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Being an adult is busy, so there probably will be lots of catching up to do. This can benefit by giving you an escape and also by giving you a chance to let loose. And I know there’s probably something you’ve been dying to rant about.

5. Avoid Doing Work.

This is a VERY rare thing to ever hear in a place where working is the thing that is expected of every single person. This is your day, turn your ringer off, turn on an autoreply for your emails, and relax. Again, this is the day where taking care of yourself is your ONLY assignment, no deadlines. If there’s something that’s been stressing you out, try meditating to practice pushing away that thought and centering it back to yourself.

6. Get Caught Up on Bills and Errands (Not Pertaining to Work).

I know that this is supposed to be a no-stress day, but as long as you’re planning multiple, a few errands on this one day won't hurt. Having long work hours can make you miss personal deadlines AND work ones. You can always find a new job (or beg your boss for forgiveness), but credit card companies are not as lenient. Pay your upcoming dues! If you’ve got some type of medical concern, make that doctor's appointment (plus that means another day without work). Seriously, though, your health and life comes before any company’s (even if you’re the boss). After getting everything caught up, you can enjoy the rest of your day!

7. Sleep in.

There’s nothing easier than this. Turn off all your alarms the night before and sleep until the middle of the day (or even the evening). You’ve got no responsibilities on this day (unless you have those non-work related errands). After all, this is your day.

Don’t know what to do exactly? Here’s some ideas on what to do for your at-home lazy day. If you prefer going out, here’s a list of things to do:

With Friends

  1. Go see a movie

  2. Visit a museum

  3. Cook and/or bake with a friend (decorating is the best part!)

  4. Spend time doing a "paint 'n sip"

  5. Stream a show or movie together. (Distant? Use Scener)

  6. Go hiking. (Here's how to go hiking safely)


Once you master the art of putting yourself first, you'll be able to do it more and more often! A happier you means a happier work life and a healthier work-life balance.

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