The 7 types of rest you need to restore and replenish

Young woman at home sitting on modern chair in front of window relaxing in her lliving room reading book and drinking coffee or tea

With our adrenals taking a bashing these days, we need to prioritise our rest and relaxation. But what does rest mean to you? Lying on the sofa watching Netflix?

Maybe a lie-in at the weekend? And a spa day once in a blue moon?

Well according to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, “many of us are suffering from a rest deficit, because we do not understand the power of rest….The result is a culture of high achieving, high producing, chronically tired, burned out individuals”.

According to Saundra, sleep alone doesn't cut it. We need other types of rest to feel fully restored. These are physical, mental, social, creative, emotional, spiritual and sensory rest.

You can watch the video below or listen to the podcast (episode 77).

The 7 Types of Rest

  1. Physical

Your body needs to shut down every day/night to recharge. Sleep is essentially your main passive physical rest time. And it's when the body repairs, regenerates and detoxes.

So prioritise your sleep but if you don't get enough sleep during the night, then day time naps can also help. Other things to add in here would be some active physical relaxation, like restorative yoga, deep breathing or massage.

2. Mental

Feel like you've been hit by a sledge hammer? Mental fatigue is as real as physical tiredness. When your brain is lacking energy, we can get brain fog, lack of focus, poor concentration, memory loss, anxiety and overwhelm as well as mood issues.

Disconnecting, taking breaks from screens or technology are essential ways to revitalise your head. Doing a mindfulness meditation can get you back to the present.

3. Sensory

Our senses are bombarded on a daily basis; noise, light, technology are hard to avoid. This can frazzle our neurons!

Time to unplug and lie in a dark room? Absolutely! Do it if you can. If not, then at least take a break from your phone and gadgets at least once a week.

4. Creative

When fatigue is set in, it's really hard to be creative on demand. But actually taking a break from forcing creativity can bring your natural creative streak back again.

Take a walk in nature (without your phone!), listen to some upbeat music, dance it out, read a book. Get inspired by the arts, nature or beautiful things. You'd be surprised how inspired you can get.

5. Emotional

If you're a giver, you need a break more than others. If you're a teacher, healer, social worker, therapist, parent or any kind of profession where you help others, this is even more important.

Share your thoughts and emotions with a loved one or a therapist. And start saying ‘no' if you're a natural people pleaser.

6. Social

Socialising can be exhausting, especially online (we're all Zoomed out!) and especially if you're an introvert. Or someone that everyone else relies on. Sometimes you just need to be alone for a while.

Get some alone time or spend time with people that uplift you. Find your cheer-leaders. And make sure you ditch the people in your life that drain you (not always easy if they're in your family but just limit your exposure where you can!).

7. Spiritual

Feeling disconnected from the world or your purpose can be draining. Sometimes just re-connecting with our passion, purpose or just love of life is all we need to recalibrate.

Try and find some quiet time to meditate or reflect (or pray if you have a religion). Start a journal, or talk to someone close to you. Volunteer for a local cause, or start your own movement if you want to have a purpose and make a difference.

What type of rest do you need?

Working out what type of rest you personally need is a good place to start.

If you're not getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night, start there. If you're snapping at everyone around you, perhaps it's emotional rest you need to prioritise. If you're brain is foggy and you can't think straight, you're in need of some mental rest.

You get the gist. Work out where your rest deficit is, where you're spending most of your energy and prioritise that area.

It's time for a ‘rest revolution'. Couldn't agree more Saundra!

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