You may think all rest falls into the same bucket. You feel tired – you sleep or rest, then rinse and repeat forever. But if you’ve ever woken up exhausted you’ve probably guessed that not all rest is created equal, and sleep is only part of the equation. If you don’t balance the right types of rest, you’re likely to end up feeling worn out and unfocused most of the time.
Read on to discover the power of rest…
1. Physical Rest
You know when your body is physically exhausted. Your limbs feel heavy, your eyes may start to close, and your body is telling you that you need to switch off for a while. Sleep is the most effective way to get physical rest but restorative, slow physical activities like yoga or stretching can also help you to recharge.
2. Mental Rest
Ever feel like your brain is crammed full to bursting? You may feel like you’ve tried to write the same email ten times or that you have been staring at a spreadsheet trying to understand it forever. This is a sign you need a mental break, time away from your screen or workspace to just be. A few minutes walking outside or sitting quietly are great ways to mentally recharge. And beware of stimulants like coffee that may allow you to push mental rest to one side for a little while but will only see you crash harder in the end.
3. Sensory Rest
Computer screens. Bright lights. Background noise. Traffic. We live in a world where we are often overwhelmed by sensations, and it can be exhausting for our brains. Tackle sensory rest during the day by simply closing your eyes for a while and make sure to have an hour or two away from digital devices in the evening to fully recharge.
4. Creative Rest
If you are someone who solves problems or creates anything in your day job, then creative rest is vital. Creativity can’t work as a production line and often you need a break to recharge your creative batteries. Nature is one of the best ways to reset your creativity, whether that’s a walk around your backyard or a more ambitious hike. Art, literature, and other creative activities can also awaken your inspiration.
5. Emotional Rest
Are you a natural people pleaser? Someone who goes out of their way to make sure others have everything they need. While kindness and empathy are important values, it’s crucial that you have space to express your feelings and be your authentic self. Emotional rest may just mean some alone time, but it might also be choosing to be more honest in your interactions and more upfront about your needs.
6. Social Rest
Emotional rest is often linked to social rest. Think about the people you choose to spend time with and try to figure out whether they drain or energise you. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can help to recharge your social energy levels and increase your happiness.
7. Spiritual Rest
What’s your purpose? Spiritual rest is all about looking beyond the physical and mental to find a deep sense of belonging or purpose. Some get this from religion, others from supporting their community or meditation. There is no one path to spiritual rest, but a sense of self-acceptance and self-worth are vital to feeling fully rested and content.
Sleep is important. But it’s not the only type of rest you need. Think about the different types of rest that could improve your life. Which type of rest is most important to you?