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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

You’re Just Being Lazy

Hannah Barnes

When I started this blog I had a lot of angles in mind. I wanted to show people that it’s okay to slow down and live a lazier life, I wanted my readers to know that, in a society which pressures us daily to do more and be more and live more: you can always flip a finger to the world and stick Netflix on. Basically, I wanted to scream and shout at each and every reader who came along that it was OKAY TO CHILL THE FUCK OUT.

Being labelled as lazy can be aggravating; when you're trying your very best in life it’s disheartening to hear people disregard your efforts. And when you’re only just holding on to some small semblance of normality due to depression or anxiety, it’s nigh on heart breaking.

That’s partly why I decided to claim back the word, to own my laziness in the face of a world which eschews it. Whilst studying at university I developed some mild mental health issues; finding myself away from home, away from the majority of my friends and far away from life as I knew it. Looking back, I had a serious case of impostor syndrome, to cap off my depression, insomnia and what was eventually diagnosed as social anxiety. 

The way I dealt with all of this, before receiving the proper medical advice, was to completely shut myself down. I closed myself off from the world and focused only on the simplest of things; the things that made me feel comfortable and relaxed like long baths and tuna sandwiches. Everything I was able to muster the effort for was minimal and as such I quickly gained my label as ‘the lazy one’ -  but I wasn’t being lazy, I was being a fucking soldier. I battled my own mind every day and if I managed to get out of bed I was winning (and using every ounce of my energy to do so).

For me, whilst battling with the grey skies of depression and the constant current of anxiety, everything I achieved; from popping to the shop across the road, to changing out of my PJs took momentous effort. I saw no point in life, and thus no reason to get dressed in the morning, or care for myself, or eat anything but tuna sandwiches. The few times I made it into university, I became so overwhelmed that I’d find myself unable to enter the class room, and after being thrown out of a seminar for not being present at the last and thus having no idea what the reading had been, my impostor syndrome was ‘confirmed’, and I was unable to return.

Instead, I spent my days asleep and my nights roaming the flat I shared with three university pals. People in my seminars and lectures began to worry about me, but others simply saw me as ‘the lazy girl’ who couldn’t be bothered to attend classes or make social connections. It took me a long time to be able to own the word, to put aside the negative feelings that had built up around it and shrug them off, but I did it and I eventually beat my mental health issues too.

I have a friend going through a similar thing at the moment. She has undiagnosed anxiety issues but unlike my experience as a student, she is also a mum, a full time employee and in charge of a whole household. She mentioned a few weeks ago that someone had referred to her as lazy and how heartbroken this made her. She was doing the best she could, far more than I could have ever achieved, and doing it all against the constant tide of her own anxiety. She is a queen, a hero and absolute goddess. She’d be the first to tell you, she goes out less, spends more time in her PJs with the kids snuggled up watching films, and takes refuge in her home after work but this isn’t a choice made out of an unwillingness to do more, rather it’s a coping mechanism for when your brain will not allow you to do anything.

Monday was #MentalHealthAwarenessDay so whilst I’m a little late on the uptake, I still believe understanding mental health needs to go beyond the illnesses themselves. When more people are aware of how these illnesses effect friends, family and co-workers they stand a much better chance in properly identifying them and far less chance of disregarding someone as ‘lazy’ who is actually doing all that they can to carry on.

Let me know about your experiences with anxiety and laziness in the comments section. I am always here to listen!

Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.


  1. I'm in love with this post, part of my anxiety stems from the thought of producing bad work so I just leave it and procrastinate till the very last second - I didn't feel happy with what I was producing. When I took the time to focus on my self (despite taking a massive pay cut) I was so much happier in my creativity and life in general.

    Not Copper Armour // Bloglovin'

    1. I couldn't agree more Emma! I can procrastinate like a pro whenever things start to overwhelm me! It's great to hear you've found a way around it though! I've found a very similar solution and wouldn't go back for all the money in the world!

  2. I think people are so quick to judge, impart blame and call someone names, without knowing what the EFF is going on. I do hate it! I havesometimes cancelled on events or simply seeing friends because my anxiety has got the better of me and I don't know enough about who will be there or where I'll be going, and I'm sure people assume it's cause i just can't be bothered. Screw em. Loved this❤
    Izzy |

    1. Thanks Izzy! I'm a serial bailer when it comes to anxiety, but then i find the worry of having bailed would get me even more worked up. I'm working on valuing my own time as much as anyone else and being more assertive with my own needs now. I'd highly recommend it (currently taking a day off to sit in my PJ's and eat ice cream) xx

  3. This post is everything. I'm a fellow lazy girl, with fibro IBS depression and anxiety sometimes my bed is my safe sanctuary and I'm not going to feel guilty for that! Xx

    1. *safe sanctuary* this is the perfect term for how I view my bed/bedroom. I hope you've got a beautiful space to relax in - I just finished doing my up (lots of light, neutral colours and NO clutter) and it's made a world of difference!



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