Last Sunday I watched 5 movies (yes, five!) on the couch. At the end of the day, I was a tad square-eyed but… satisfied. Calm. Rested. I slept great that night and had a buzzingly productive Monday. And I know it was largely due to my Lifetime movie marathon.
A couple of years ago I would have been plagued with guilt if I’d spent a day horizontally in front of the TV. I’d think, I should be writing, out walking, going for brunch… or taking advantage of the 1,000 other options New York City has to offer. It would be all should, should, should. Now, I still feel a twinge of guilt, especially during a sunny weekend, but overall, I let myself take a full, unapologetic rest day when I need to.
Here’s why you can lose the guilt you have over your #netflixandchill (in)action:
1. You probably spent $0 (or very little dough).
If you’re paying for cable or any TV subscription service, it’s there to be used! My dad used to say (when he wanted my sister and me to avoid shoe stores and steer clear of his bank account), “Stay in and read the classics.” Much as it might be nice to reach for some Emily Brontë or Charles Dickens on a Sunday morning (and by all means, do!), we’re much more likely to reach for the remote. And the best thing about that? Both are free! Can’t argue with that.
2. The “should” is in only in your head.
Who said you should be at a museum on a Sunday just because your city has one? And what’s it to anyone else how you spend your downtime? I guarantee you that almost everyone takes rest days at home (besides new parents, perhaps). Just because it’s not Insta-worthy doesn’t mean it’s not worthy in other ways. In this case, the only thing preventing you from enjoying a day off from the outside world is your own judgment.
3. It makes you more adventurous.
After a proper rest, we are far more likely to be energized and open to doing new things when the following weekend rolls around. Because rest is the most underrated activity on the planet. You work hard, man. Enjoy some stillness and some cheap entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with switching off those busy brain cells when it feels necessary. They like naps too!
4. “Time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted time.”
This is an old saying that provides me such relief whenever I’m rosé-ing all day or talking nonsense with my sister on the phone for two hours when I “should” be working. These are some of life’s purest pleasures. It’s not all about the climb, the full calendar, the productivity. Rested moments, relaxation, and relationships are a large part of what we cherish most as we look back on our lives at a later age. Ask your grandparents.
The next time you feel even an ounce of self-reproach as you recline on that comfy couch of yours, remember this—it’s a damn fine idea. Your hangover (if you have one) will be gone the next morning. Your credit card will have a 24-hour cool-off. And your bounciness will be back. Now relax already!
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!