The 7 Types of Rest You Need


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types of rest you need

Rest is more than just sleep! Whenever we think of rest, we think of passivity. Everything must come to a halt and we should preferably be ‘static’. But that is just one type of rest you are thinking of. The other 6 types you miss out on would be keeping you away from fully expressing your potential at work or at your household chores.

Physician and author Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Renew Your Sanity, {1} explains that when it comes to taking rest, most of us tend to take a highly one-sided approach. We think rest is about doing nothing or simply lounging around. She adds that when we try that and yet feel rest-deprived, we start believing that it doesn’t work.

For the most part of my life, I have been in the illusion that resting only meant, stopping all activities, lying down on the bed, and relaxing. I believed that having a short span of a power nap is all I needed to reset my brain. But wait, sometimes taking naps made me feel more exhausted than ever.

I wondered, why? Now I know, resting does not always mean lying down. According to Dr. Dalton-Smith, people often complain about how tired or exhausted they are all the time. But if you still feel exhausted after waking up from sleep, then the problem is not the quality or quantity of sleep. It is probably a rest deficit. {2}

Read 14 Proven Ways To Stop Working Around The Clock

What Is Rest And Why Do We Need It?

Rest is the time period in which one replenishes one’s energy resources, both mentally and physically, to prepare one’s body to perform the next set of activities with the desired fervor. It is not only about restoring the energy in our body but also about being able to get back to work with the same intensity. We do get drained mentally and physically when we have been working for long hours and actively using our energies. 

To your surprise, there are 6 other types of rest besides physical rest. Experts are of the opinion that one can make use of the appropriate type of rest, based on the deficit.

Staying busy is easy. But resting has become a challenge. 

According to physician Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Renew Your Sanity, humans need are physical, emotional, mental, sensory, social, creative, and spiritual. 

Here are the 7 types of rest you need to know about:

1. Physical Rest 

physical rest

It’s quite simple to understand when we are physically exhausted. When it becomes difficult for you to keep your eyes open anymore, it’s a signal that your body is overworked and in need of rest.

People need rest to recover from strains and illness to maintain health,” explains a 2015 study. {2} Physical rest is typically meant for releasing tension and soothing your body which helps to restore the essential energy required for physical activities that we have to expend energy on. When the body is denied physical rest for too long, it will significantly lose its functional efficiency. Through the natural process of aging our need for physical rest gets more noticeable. 

Whether you are working out or sitting too long at the desk, your body requires physical rest in the form of body stretching, deep breathing, and power naps. Do not underestimate the power of physical rest. Go hit the bed an hour earlier than usual, sans electronic gadgets, and get a good night’s sleep.

Read The Importance of Rest In Our Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Health

2. Emotional Rest

emotional rest

Emotional overload, be it in your personal or professional sphere can deteriorate your brain’s functional efficiency. Emotional rest is a vital component in promoting your mental health, happiness, contentment, and holiness.

For most of our lives, we are in our defensive mode. We are so used to suppressing our emotions that currently, emotional rest is all we need. 

Switch off your defensive mode and express everything you’re feeling to someone you can completely trust. Make it a point to unburden your emotional load at the end of each day either by writing a journal, by self-talking or sharing difficult emotions with someone. 

Emotional rest also includes taking care to stay disconnected from people who provoke negative emotions in you like anger, envy, shame, guilt, jealousy, or even frustration. . In fact, studies have found that our body posture while resting can affect our emotional responses. {3}

3. Mental Rest

mental rest

Do you feel mentally exhausted? Then you definitely need some mental rest. Recently, are you overthinking too much, keeping yourself stuck in the past, and being unable to look forward? 

Is your brain even bursting with thoughts? A lack of mental rest will lead to mental stagnation which is in no way good for you. Studies have observed that chronic sleep loss can lead to severe impairments in cognitive performance. {4}. The major signs that you need a mental rest are indecisiveness, restlessness, lack of attentiveness, an increased number of errors in work. 

Mental rest is best to sort by including meditation in your daily routine or by chanting some calming mantra. Spending some time in nature, doodling can also replenish your overtaxed brain. 

Read The Healing Power of Music: How Music Therapy Improves Mental Health

4. Sensory Rest

sensory rest

Due to the growing use of technology and an increasing amount of screen time, sensory exhaustion has become highly prevalent and is now one of the most common reasons for feeling drained. Such behaviors can not only lead to adverse physical effects, like neck pain and strained eyes, it can also cause broken relationships and relationship dissolution due to lack of intimacy. Researchers have found that higher levels of screen time is associated with an unhealthy diet, depression and poor quality of life. (5} “A growing body of literature is associating excessive and addictive use of digital media with physical, psychological, social and neurological adverse consequences,” states a 2018 study. {6}

We often have a habit of taking breaks in between work and all we do in that spare time is not take restorative rest. Rather we stare at the screen and call it relaxing. 

Give your sensory system some time to restore it by unplugging all electronic devices like smartphones, televisions, and other electronic gadgets & devices. Make it a point to remain away from the cacophony of the busy life for at least 30 minutes a day. Cut out loud noises and lie down closing your eyes in a room having the least connections to electrical appliances.

5. Social Rest

social rest

Some of us feel that socializing is a way of decluttering our minds after a hard day. On the contrary, socializing takes an extra dose of energy which further exhausts us.

Public figures and celebrities are in need of this sIn this era of social media, all of us need this social rest, not just celebrities and public figures. We often think socializing happens as a reflex, but it takes our conscious effort.

Social rest entails catching up with someone with whom you can unwind your day and talk your heart out, without apprehension. Another way to rest socially is by disconnecting from social media for a while and incorporating solitude in your day to reconnect with yourself. “Solitude could lead to relaxation and reduced stress when individuals actively chose to be alone,” reveals a 2018 study.{7}

6. Creative Rest

creativel rest

When was the last time you flexed your creative muscles? Think about the time you brainstormed ideas at work or planned a surprise party for your bestie? 

You use your creative flair more often than you think you do. So it’s not unusual to run out of creative ideas. To keep getting more innovative at the ideas you implement in work, you should take small ‘creative breaks’. 

Go for a walk (without any electrical gadgets), take inspiration from nature, read an engrossing yet simple book, listen to soothing music. This will help you revive the much-needed lost creative resources.

7. Spiritual Rest 

spiritual rest

Feel unhinged, purposeless, and empty? 

You might be in need of spiritual rest. We seldom get the chance to discuss philosophical ideas, diving deeper into ourselves. 

Introspection is an efficient means to delve beyond the surface. If you are a religious person, practice your religious routines. Go for spiritual discussions with your close people about the meaning of one’s life. You could go for practicing gratitude{8} by writing every day on a piece of paper about why you feel thankful that day and stick it somewhere you can see.  

The hubbub of our busy life will often choke us off the holy grail of life. You need to find yourself the peace, your mind and body seek.


The 7 Types of Rest Your Soul and Body Needs, besides Sleeping
The 7 Types of Rest Your Soul and Body Needs, besides Sleeping
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