The 7 Types of Rest We All Need to Thrive
Did you know the average adult’s brain in a resting state consumes about 20% of the body’s energy? Imagine how much it needs during a demanding working day!
The constant transmission of signals is a high-energy business and, to function optimally, it is vital our minds have proper rest.
However, sleep alone cannot restore us to the point we feel recharged and it’s important to focus on getting the right type of rest. And by giving our brains a break in a variety of ways, we can help to build resilience and prevent overwhelm. Here are the types of rest we all need to flourish:
1. PHYSICAL REST
Physical rest is when we restore energy levels, release tension, and relieve our muscles, and there are two types of physical rest. Passive rest is sleeping and napping, and you will reap the rewards of going to bed an hour earlier. Active rest helps to revive us by boosting circulation and promoting wellness, and it is achieved through restorative movement, such as stretching, massage, and yoga.
2. EMOTIONAL REST
Emotional rest is necessary for mental health, happiness, and satisfaction in life. Unfortunately, most of us do not willingly express how we are feeling - for example, when was the last time you honestly answered the question: “How are you?” Not being true to ourselves can lead to emotional overload and to combat this, it’s helpful to become comfortable unloading your feelings – the good, the bad and the ugly. This can be with someone you trust, or you could freely write your thoughts in a journal (no self-censoring). Emotional rest also means reducing our tendency to people please and keeping clear of individuals who incite negative emotions such as anger, envy, or guilt.
3. MENTAL REST
Signs that we have a mental rest ‘deficit’ are overthinking and struggling to make decisions. We also feel restless, forgetful, and irritable, and we are more likely to make mistakes. It can become a stressful and vicious cycle. Try scheduling regular short breaks every two hours throughout your day and do a short meditation or deep breathing exercises. Get outside at lunchtime and let go of any tension to be fully present in your surroundings, this can help quieten the hum of your thoughts. At night, an overloaded brain can be hard to switch off. I ‘download my brain’ by writing what ever is on my mind at least an hour before bed so by the time it’s time to sleep my mind knows it’s not time to chat..
4. SENSORY REST
We are surrounded by 24/7 information and technology, and our senses are bombarded by blue light screens, social media feeds, multiple phone calls, and Zoom conversations. And when we do have time off, so many of usspend our downtime staring at yet more devices! I often have this discussion with my clients about watching TV whilst scrolling on your phone. This is NOT rest! It is crucial we give our sensory systems time to recover from the overstimulation, so make a deliberate effort every day to unplug any electronics and mute any noise and soak up the restful quiet.
5. SOCIAL REST
You would think that catching up with friends and / or work colleagues is a great way to unwind. However, for some, socialising requires effort because they never truly relax, and there can be the need to ‘perform’ in social situations. Introverts may find this particularly challenging. To manage social rest, seek out solitude and reconnect with yourself. This will refresh your mindset and help to process the day. If you do want to spend time with others, make sure you see people with whom you feel authentic, supported, and encouraged.
6. CREATIVE REST
This is particularly relevant to those of us who use imaginative thinking and problem solving at work, as our minds can become fatigued from the demands for new ideas. And, I know many people are like me and have a busy creative mind that loves to think and create. Take ‘creative breaks’ by leaving your phone behind and heading outside for a walk. I always feel refreshed by being in nature, and I love walking by the sea and in the South Downs National Park near where I live. Alternatively, immerse yourself in reading a book or listening to moving music. Create an inspiring environment around your work or home space by displaying images of places and art, and quotes from others you feel a connection to.
7. SPIRITUAL REST
Having a purpose is fundamental to our wellbeing. Without it, we can feel lost and disengaged in our own lives. Spiritual rest helps us to stay grounded to our intentions, to understand our relationship with the world around us, and our place in it, while appreciating a sense of belonging and acceptance. To practice spiritual rest, open your mind to finding meaning in your daily life and discuss your philosophies and ideas with others. Practicing gratitude can be powerful and keeping a journal of what you feel thankful for allows you to recognise contentment in your own existence.
PS If any of the above resonates with you, and you would like further support, get in touch by CLICKING HERE to book a FREE discovery call with me.