There are more ways to rest than sleep alone, but our chronically “on” and high-achieving lifestyle would have us believe otherwise. For optimal health and wellness, we want to embrace ALL the ways we can rest our mind, body and soul.
The first type of rest we need is physical, which can be passive or active. Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping, while active physical rest refers to activities like yin yoga and massage therapy that help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility.
The second type of rest is mental. Most all of us moderns are suffering mental unrest. Thankfully, you don’t have to quit your job or go on vacation to fix it. Just remember to slow down throughout the day. It can also be helpful to keep a notepad by the bed to jot down thoughts that would keep you awake at night.
The third type of rest sensory rest. Despite great advancements, our wiring is still quite primitive. Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed. Intentional moments of sensory deprivation can help soften the impact of our hyper-stimulating world.
The fourth type of rest is creative. This type of rest is important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas – which is one way to describe parenting. Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us. Keep fresh flowers around, hang art in your office, and turn your screen saver into something that inspires you.
The fifth type of rest we need is emotional. This requires having the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on people pleasing. Emotional rest requires the courage to be authentic. An emotionally rested person can answer the question “How are you today?” with a truthful “I’m not okay.”
The sixth type of rest is social. We are the sum total of those closest to us. We must differentiate between those relationships that revive us from those that exhaust us. To experience more social rest, surround yourself with positive and supportive people – even if your interactions have to occur virtually.
The final type of rest is spiritual. This is the ability to feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To receive this, connect with something greater than yourself and try adding it to your daily routine. Think gardening, volunteering or meditation.