Idioms About Rest & Relaxation

Idioms About Rest & Relaxation

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

Mark Black, an inspirational speaker

What can be better than hours of rest after a long working day? What do you do to recharge your batteries (1)? Do you let your hair down (2)? Do you indulge in (3) a treat? Read on to learn useful vocabulary related to rest and relaxation. Put your feet up (4) and enjoy!

  1. to rest after being very busy, so that you will be ready to start working again (A cup of coffee helped me recharge my batteries.)
  2. to relax and enjoy yourself because you are in a comfortable environment (I think you should let your hair down every once in a while.)
  3. to allow yourself to have or do something that you enjoy (On the weekend I indulge (myself) in some pleasure reading.)
  4. to relax, especially by sitting with your feet supported above the ground (On a Saturday night I love to just put my feet up and watch a movie.)

Rest Idioms & Phrasal Verbs

  • To take it easy – to relax, to be calm: Take it easy, OK? Don’t get angry!
  • To take a breather – to stop what you are doing for a short time and have a rest: You’ve been working for 4 hours. Take a breather!
  • To take a breath – to pause and rest: You’ve been working for 4 hours. Take a breath. 
  • To take five – to have a short break: Alright, everybody, let’s take five.
  • To loosen up – to relax (especially after being nervous): The test is over. Loosen up!
  • To lighten up – to get more relaxed and less serious: Just relax and enjoy yourself. Lighten up!
  • To chill out – to relax completely, to not let anything upset you: Chill out! It’s not that important. 
  • To kick back – to relax: Summer has come, let’s kick back!
  • To lie in (British English) – to stay in bed later than usual in the morning: It’s Sunday, so I’d like to lie in. (= have a lie-in: I’d like to have a lie-in.)
  • To sleep in – to sleep until later in the morning than you usually do: Tomorrow is Sunday and I’m going to sleep in. (Check out “Sleep Vocabulary” for more sleep-related idioms.)
  • To rest up – to rest: You need to rest up, you are not ready for the challenge now.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I think you can call me a culture vulture (1). I often go to the theater and I love to spend a day in an art gallery. My brother is totally different though. He’s what I call a couch potato (2). He spends hours watching TV. My sister is a dabbler (3). She takes up lots of hobbies but gets bored and gives up those hobbies very fast. My best friend is a true a shopaholic (4). But now she understands it’s a problem and she’s trying to cut down (5) on impulsive spending. My boyfriend is hooked up (6) on motor racing these days. He’s always had a full diary (7) but now he’s busier than ever. And what do you get up to (8) on weekends?

  1. a bit fan of everything cultural
  2. someone who is physically inactive and watches a lot of TV
  3. someone who doesn’t keep doing one activity for long
  4. someone who is addicted to shopping (more shopping-related vocabulary is here)
  5. do less of the activity
  6. addicted to
  7. lots of activities
  8. do

Attitudes to work & leisure

Most adults aspire to (1) more leisure but, in fact, not many people have the necessary initiative to use the free time they already have very constructively. The sad fact is that we need to work because it imposes the discipline we need. Life seems aimless and we secretly look forward to our work again. We dream about personal fulfillment but probably find it more in our work than in our leisure time. This depends on age. The young are free from work and responsibility, and freedom comes naturally (2) to them. However, after they begin jobs, they become conditioned to (3) work. They find they need it, however much they complain about its routine and regimentation (4). Obviously, this again depends on the kind of work. Those with rewarding jobs or jobs which require creativity receive genuine satisfaction from their work, but most of us are in conventional 9 to 5 jobs, which offer little scope for imagination (5). We leave our work only to face a leisure that we find difficult to cope with. Our mistake is in regarding leisure as a chance to do nothing, whereas in fact it should be looked on as a challenge.

  1. want to have
  2. (freedom) is innate, intuitive
  3. accustomed to
  4. strict control
  5. freedom to use your imagination

Do you agree with the author of the passage above? Do you love your job? Do you see your leisure time as a chance to do nothing or as a challenge?

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