I think one of the most relaxing things in the world is vegging out. Sitting on the couch, binge watching Netflix, eating junk food, not having care in the world. I vegged out the entire weekend, and after a week of more midterms (they call every test a midterm here), I needed a break. And we all do after stressful periods of time, which is why vegging out shouldn’t be looked at as a negative activity. It is actually beneficial to your mental and physical health.
The term “vegging out” basically means to be lazy and inactive; we veg out when we sit on the couch and watch TV for long periods of time, barely moving except to get more snacks or to go to the bathroom. But why does vegging out mean what it does? It comes from “the association between vegetables and mental incapacity”. A fun fact is that the term “couch potato” actually stems from the “vegging out” phrase. Interestingly enough, vegging out originated in the 1990’s, with some people saying the film Pretty Woman coined the phrase.
Vegging out can be something people see as a negative activity.
But really, if you’ve worked all week to meet a deadline, your brain is exhausted. You’re tired and overworked. You’re burned out and can’t be productive anymore. What do you need? A break. You time.
Vegging out, when you let yourself enjoy it, is a rejuvenating activity.
First and foremost, it alleviates stress. Unless you still have work to do, it is one of the best ways to turn off your brain and relax. Your brain can only process so much information at a time, and after it hits its limit, it becomes less productive. Your brain, like the other muscles in your body, can be alleviated of the effects of stress by vegging out.
Vegging out is a time for you to completely relax your brain and body, but it’s the most effective at extreme moments of physical, mental, or emotional (maybe all three) stress. Yes, there are brain and body benefits to vegging out, but there are still people who refuse to do it. Most of the time, those who are the closest to burning out are the least likely to take a break and the most likely to feel guilty if they do. It’s these people who risk physical ailments like pain from stress, as well as decreases in productivity and motivation.
Being kind to yourself is actually key to getting yourself to be productive.
When you veg out, you’re obviously not doing anything important, so don’t guilt yourself for being lazy, it will just cause you to feel worse. People who vegged out and didn’t guilt themselves had the best experiences, coming back to work or school more refreshed and ready to take on more challenges.
So next time you have a stressful week and have some time open to do literally nothing on the weekend, take time to veg out. Relax your brain. Start that TV series you’ve been hearing so much about. Play that video game you haven’t played in months. Eat that food you save for cheat days. Do whatever it is that relaxes you. Don’t guilt yourself for being lazy, you deserve it…literally your brain deserves and needs it.1
Also published on Medium.