Summer is in full swing. There’s so much to do outdoors; the beach, national parks, sitting by a pool. The last thing most of want to do is work, right? Well, that may be a perfectly normal feeling.

Author Regina Brett wrote, “Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. ”

Research suggest that indeed summer may make us feel lazy.  In 2012, researchers from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina studied a group of Japanese bank workers and they discovered an interesting trend: when the weather was good, their productivity fell. During bad weather, it improved.

Other studies have indicated that heat has an effect on our brainpower, causing a diminishing of critical thinking skills.

Perhaps that’s why in Italy, pretty much the entire country is on vacation from August 15 to September 1. It marks the observance of a holiday called Ferragosto, where kids are off from school and families, business owners and most Italians pack up and head for the coast. Most shops and businesses are closed the entire time.

It is somewhat of a similar experience when we are going through the grief process. We encounter many of the same feelings of laziness and lethargy. And that’s ok. Our bodies are telling us to slow down, and we do well to listen.