7 types of rest

7 Types of Rest

In today’s fast-paced world, most people would describe themselves as “exhausted”. No matter how many naps we take or changes we make to our sleep routine, we wake up feeling even more run down than before. You may be wondering why this is the case and the answer lies in the types of rest most of us are getting.

Many believe sleep and rest are the same thing, however there are key differences. Whilst sleep is critical for survival, conscious relaxation or ‘rest’ involves your whole being, not just your body. Through resting, we are able to induce relaxation whilst our brain is still able to function actively allowing us to be more productive and less stressed throughout the day.

There are seven areas of rest which we should aim to achieve in order to restore our mind and body:

1. Physical rest: Includes both passive physical rest such as sleeping and active restoration activities which include stretching, yoga and massage. Good quality sleep is critical in healthy functioning, and engaging in active restoration activities is important to improve the body’s circulation and range of motion.

2. Social rest: Involves investing in positive and supportive relationships which revive us and distancing ourselves from toxic relationships that drain us. Surround yourself with relationships and interactions which leave you feeling fulfilled and encouraged.

3. Mental rest: Involves taking the time to process information around us and cement memories. Switching off and taking short breaks throughout the day can help reduce mental fatigue. If you are experiencing a deficit in this type of rest you may struggle with concentration, memory and shutting off your thoughts at night.

4. Emotional rest: To be emotionally rested means being able to freely express our feelings to others whether this be with people we are fully comfortable around or with a therapist.

5. Spiritual rest: Investing time into activities that provide a sense of belonging, love, and acceptance is crucial in helping us feel less alone. For some, this may involve practicing their religion and for others, it may mean engaging with their community or partaking in an activity that provides them with a purpose.

6. Sensory rest: We live in a very overstimulated world so it is crucial to give your senses a break from time to time. Simply closing your eyes, taking time away from electronic devices, or setting up a quiet space at home where you can relax with minimal sensory input can help reduce sensory fatigue.

7. Creative rest: Even if you do not work in a creative profession, you would be surprised how many plans and problem-solving tasks involve creativity. It is important to ensure we take time to allow ourselves to feel inspired and appreciate our surroundings.

At first, it may seem overwhelming trying to incorporate more types of rest into your current lifestyle. A good starting point may be to evaluate which types of rest you are experiencing the most deficits in and aim to focus on those areas first.

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