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The art of idleness

The word ‘lazy’ might not have particularly positive connotations, but on the flip side of the pro-busyness coin, there is an alternative school of thought which actually acknowledges (and advocates) the benefits of a little idleness.

Contrary to popular belief, laziness can actually perpetuate productivity AND creativity, and this is a phenomenon backed up by science AND history, with 19th century aristocratic literary types (known as flâneurs) known to walk their pet tortoises through the streets of Paris as means to deliberately slow their pace of life. Today, in a world filled with constant distraction, it’s actually fairly uncommon to be lazy in the truest sense of the word. Reality is, most of us are always distracted by something, at some point! The ability to truly switch off and achieve an idle mind takes some practice, but once mastered, this kind of strategic laziness can pay dividends to our health and wellbeing. When our attention is at rest and in exile from the digital sphere — like during a particularly long shower, a relaxing bath, or when gazing out of the window or making a cup of tea — our mind is in energy-restorative mode, and free to zone out and wander as it pleases. Chris Bailey wrote an article for Time Magazine calling this state of mind “scatterfocus’, which we think sums it up. Among the benefits of ‘scatterfocus’ are: Creativity When in auto pilot mode, an area of the brain called the 'default mode network' — required for creativity — is activated, so says Professor Gail Kinman, director of the Research Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. Focus Letting the mind rest brings our goals and ambitions to the fore, since we think about the future 14 times more often when our attention is scattered. Problem solving Having a lazy day helps us to connect the dots between problems and solutions, by allowing thoughts to bounce more freely between the three mental destinations: the past, the present and the future. This is why epiphanies and solutions always happen to come by in our most idle moments. Appreciation Taking time out for nothingness gives a greater appreciation for how engagement in activity can make our lives more meaningful. What this goes to show is that idleness is less of an obstacle to productivity, and more an essential ingredient in a healthy life. In terms of how to embrace ‘positive laziness’ in our lives, the approaches are many, but we are particularly fond of the following; Lazy Hair Days We often spend many hours a week styling our hair, so there’s something to be said for forgoing the faff in favour of a simpler haircare routine. The best lazy hair is scruched, bunched or bunned, and there’s no better way to support this freestlye approach than with The Olew haircare collection. The range is designed to make you fall in love with your natural locks, and is made from a blend of ethically sourced and naturally derived ingredients, including avocado, almond and argan oil. It helps nourish and moisturise your hair, keeping your hair hydrated and healthy and making it easier to achieve a range of styles, without any particular styling.

Lazy Breakfast Breakfast in bed, has to be the best kind of breakfast, and the epitome of a lazy Sunday if ever there was one. Lazy clothes Dressing down can bring great comfort, and staying in your PJs takes this one step further, catalysing the ultimate chill out mode! Make up free Ditching the make up can be one of the most liberating daily decisions, and that’s before you even get on to the time you’ll save by forgoing a lengthy beauty regime.

Sponsored by Olew Haicare

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