Leisure is Necessary


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This last few weeks have been really rough for me. I’ve been struggling a lot with my health. I went from a stomach bug to a UTI to a nasty cold to an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I took for the UTI, which left me with full body hives and a nine day course of steroids, (which then triggered my anxiety in a very big way - FUN). Some of this was just plain bad luck, but some of it was also that I really haven’t been taking care of myself lately. I’ve been working so hard, running so fast, that I haven’t been taking time to stop and check in with myself and give my body what it needs, whether that’s rest or more nourishing foods or a good long yoga class. It’s so easy to set leisure to the side, because it feels indulgent somehow, doesn’t it? Sort of like an extra thing, fun but not necessary. Like adding avocado.

There’s something that feels somehow unethical about leisure. Sleep, of course, we need, but just plain lazing around the house? Just spending a whole entire weekend watching Netflix or taking baths or pursuing your own hobbies at your own leisure? That feels, horror of horrors, inefficient. Wasteful.

But I am here to tell you that leisure and rest are ends to pursue in their own right. Leisure and rest are valuable not simply because they will make you more efficient or productive once they’ve been checked off your list of things to do (although they certainly will do that), but purely because they are enjoyable and fun and make you feel good. Your happiness and well-being are actually more important than the amount of labor you can produce, and you are worth more than whatever value you can make for a company. Who knew? This week I encourage you to take a little time to check in with your body and your mind and see what they need. Maybe it’s been a while since you last checked in. That means it’s even more important. And when you know what you need, let yourself have it. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Photo by Yanko Peyankov on Unsplash