By Dr. Amber Merrick, N.D.

Lazy Days – Never Feel Guilty Again!

The rare occasion this doc gets a whole weekday off is of course the day she gets sick! But there is still so much to accomplish today! Laundry, groceries, a family outing, writing, research…on and on it goes! Rest to me always fills me with guilt about not accomplishing my to-do list.  I feel lazy, unmotivated, a non-contributing member of society!  I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Most of my patients lead busy lives and are expected to perform until they crash at the end of the day.  Even then, they inevitably wake between 2-4 am, as their cortisol (stress hormone) is unnaturally high.  Why do we find it so difficult to take a time out?

A patient (you know who you are my dear) recently said to me:

“REST IS A VERB.  It is not the act of doing nothing, but doing something! Rest is the act of allowing the body to heal.”


This notion applies to those days of acute viral illness (me, today), chronic disease, chronic stress, or overwork! Take time for yourself, to ACTIVELY REST and recover.  If you find it difficult to settle down, re-frame the act of rest in your mind from doing nothing, to doing SOMETHING, actively allowing the body to heal.  Rest is just as important as exercise and eating well to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to prevent age or stress related illnesses like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, IBS, depression or anxiety.

Try 20 minutes of “Yin Building” each day…make it a priority! This time can be used for:

  • Doing NOTHING
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Restorative yoga
  • Deep Breathing
  • Meditation
  • Going for a GENTLE walk

Remember, taking time to do nothing is not lazy or over-indulgent, but a vital part of your healthy lifestyle.  Listen to your body, and give yourself a little TLC.

Today I will be enjoying a tea, a bowl of soup, and a Netflix marathon.  I may even take a nap! No guilt Dr. Amber, you get better!