Life gets busy and it can be hard to catch a break. Let's look at the 7 ways of rest that can help the body to regain strength and recharge to prefent running out of energy.
I am writing this blog post out of the perspective of a mom of two (with the third one on its way) and as the founder of the mama method, which is the business I run while being the default parent to my kids. Your busy or stressful life might look very different, but you will equally benefit from learning more about properly recover your body, mind and soul sufficiently to prevent running out of energy.
Burnout has sever health risks and even getting close to burning out and constantly over extending oneself can have a negative impact on your health and well-being.
As you read this article, reflect on how you enjoy recharging your batteries for each of these categories. Perhaps you are already implementing many 'restful' activities in your daily life that you were unaware are helping yourself to unwind and relax. Often even becoming aware of certain health benefits can already bring a bigger impact and benefit, even though the activity itself has not changed.
This blog is written after Dalton-Smith, Saundra, 2017. Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. New York: Hachette Book Group
If I tell my husband 'I am tired' - I often don't mean that I am physically tired. Most of the time I am exhausted, because my mind is constantly remembering everybody's appointments, events and daily duties as well as running my business and supporting my clients.
Naps might sounds good on some days, but would not fix the root cause of my exhaustion, simple because sleep and physical rest only covers one component of the seven types of rest Dr. Dalton-Smith addresses as important for sustainable rest. Let's have a look at all areas of rest:
1. Physical Rest
Lack of physical rest can lead to lack of energy, aches and pains as well as worse causes.
Passive component includes high-quality sleep, which for most of us means 7+ hours of nightly sleep in a comfortable environment. The active component involves yoga, relaxing stretches, sitting down to rest and relax without falling asleep or massage therapy.
2. Mental Rest
Lack of mental rest can cause forgetfulness, racing thoughts and trouble slowing or shutting down the mind.
Helpful techniques to practice mental rest are: purposefully making time to slow down and do simple tasks during the day, meditation and mindfulness practices, like breathing exercises, writing down to-do lists or journalling can support the mental rest deficit.
3. Social Rest
This might be a little misleading - social rest means evaluating your relationship with others, rather than 'resting' any social interactions.
To prevent a social rest deficit, individuals should consider each relationship to ensure it is of positive, supportive, and meaningful nature, rather than depleting or overwhelming.
4. Spiritual Rest
Without spiritual rest we might feel alone or without purpose in life.
Spiritual rest means following the fundamental need for belonging. In order to find spiritual rest one may volunteer, get involved in the community in some way, find a career that feels inline with once beliefs and values or participate in spiritual rituals whether that is faith-based group gatherings, meditation or other social gatherings with belief driven purpose.
5. Emotional Rest
Lack of emotional rest occurs when you feel unable to be truly yourself around others and having to suppress your feelings or authentic self.
Some jobs may require you to stay calm or professional even when tempers run high. This can also happen in friend or family settings. It helps to look into #3. Social Rest and evaluate relationships as well as schedule time with people that allow you to be exactly who you are, make you feel grounded and authentically yourself.
6. Sensory Rest
If you have young children - you know what it means to be overstimulated. Yet most of us these days are overstimulated by fast pace information flow and being 'on' and 'available' all the time.
With technological comes constant sensory stimulation and that is not even the only source of stimulation in our lives. Lack of sensory rest can lead to irritation and overreacting in seemingly harmless situations. To take the edge off, it help to take a break from your phone and social media, or any screens and devices. Turning off notifications and limited the intake of any unnecessary information can help. Going out in nature and finding grounding in the real world is the next step to truly calm your nervous system. Even relaxing music or a calming scent can help in this process.
7. Creative Rest
Creative rest means celebrating beauty in any shape or form.
You can elevate that area of rest by creating calming and inviting spaces in your home or work environment, going out in nature or enjoying art in a museum or festival or actively participating in creating art or memories. It can have many different outlets and is very individual to each person.