In many ways “procrastination” is a bad word. To some it implies laziness, being unmotivated, distracted, unfocused and countless other trigger words. It means that we aren’t getting the things done we’re supposed to and we are failing as contributing adults.* Maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s not. The point is we heap a bunch of responsibilities and pressure on ourselves. There is always a deadline and there is always the next thing to complete.
But where is the real procrastination?
More often than not we are procrastinating on our self-care and the things that really matter. This National Procrastination Week (March 5-11), let’s focus on the holiday that is devoted to putting things off and delaying those oh-so-important tasks.
The focus for this holiday isn’t inactivity, but in being active in getting a mental and emotional break which will lead to decreased stress and anxiety. As a massage therapist, I am all about that.
Here are a few ways you can indulge in procrastination. (Don’t worry, all that other stuff will still be there when you’re done.)
Ahhh, a good book – there’s nothing like it. No matter the genre, reading is the quickest escape route into another land. Once you pass through that portal there’s no turning back. And if business or finance books are more your speed, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the escape is in learning something new. Grab your library card or pay your local bookstore a visit. Many great reads await you.
Is there a hobby or enjoyable activity you’ve been putting off? Now is a good time to pick it up. Bake your favorite cookies. Cook a meal that reminds you of someone special. Knit a scarf. Write in a journal. Paint a canvas, an end table, or a masterpiece. Whatever your “thing” is, lose yourself in it.
Raise your hand if you procrastinate on doing dishes and laundry. (*raises hand*) While some find household chores relaxing,** others can’t stand them or just never seem to have the time for them. Cleaning has become a “hurry up and get it over with” activity. Slow down a little and do the dishes by hand. Even if you don’t find it relaxing, you’ll walk away with a little more gratitude for the modern-day luxuries.
In some instances, exercise has become another chore. We do it because we know we need to and it will keep us fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t see the benefit until it’s over and working out becomes another task we must complete. Try approaching exercise in a new way. Find something you enjoy doing. Something you can look forward to. Try yoga or meditation (for those with busy minds, keep a notebook nearby to jot down fleeting thoughts) or go for a walk on a new trail or in a different neighborhood. Just get out there and move.
Coffee, tea, water…margaritas–your choice. Get dressed up for a night on the town or dress down for a night in. Fly solo or invite a friend. For some, socializing recharges their batteries while others find energy in solitude. Do what suits you and I promise you’ll feel refreshed.
Find the nearest hammock, couch or shade. Sleep is essential and we don’t get nearly enough. The benefits of sleep range from improved memory, sparked creativity, improved athletic performance and weight loss to lower anxiety and depression levels. Granted, getting a good night’s sleep won’t prevent you from all disease, but quality sleep is a key factor in a healthy lifestyle.
It’s no surprise that one of my favorite ways to indulge in procrastination is through massage. I would get one everyday if I could. The mental and physical break in a treatment room cannot be beat. And if you’re still feeling the need to be productive, multitask by scheduling a massage and nap on the table/mat!
In case you didn’t pick up on it, procrastination week is also about changing habits. It’s about incorporating enjoyable activities in our busy, stressed out lives. It’s about finding some peace while being productive and keeping things in balance. Being riddled with daily stress and anxiety serves no one. Especially you.
*I’m a vocabulary nerd, and I took Latin in high school–the word is a combination of “pro” (meaning “forward) and “cras” (meaning “tomorrow”)
**Personally, I love vacuuming, and I partook in that activity while I was putting off editing this post.