“If you have no time to rest, it’s exactly the right time.” – Mark Twain
You’ve had the prescribed 7-9 hours of sleep. And yet you’ve been waking up most mornings feeling rest-deprived and in need of that extra cup of coffee. Is it extra sleep you require? More coffee? More supplements? Not necessarily… According to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, people feel chronically tired and burned out because they likely have a rest deficit in one or more of seven areas of life. The SEVEN types of rest we, therefore, require as proposed by Dr Dalton-Smith are: 1. Physical Rest Physical rest can either be passive or active. Sleeping and napping are the most common examples of passive rest, while active rest focuses on activities such as yoga, massage therapy, and stretching, which all work to restore the body. 2. Mental Rest Mental fatigue – which reflects in those repeated breaks in concentration and struggle to complete basic tasks – signals the need for some mental rest. So, if you’ve been feeling as if you’re going about your day in a “mental fog” and spending the night caught up in recurring thoughts, you can ease the mental load by:
  • Scheduling a ten-minute work break every 2 hours (which you can use to take a quick walk or practice some breathing exercises)
  • Keeping a notebook by your bedside to jot down thoughts that prevent you from sleeping at night.
3. Sensory Rest Our senses can feel overwhelmed by bright lighting, the blue light from electronic devices, and background noise created by things like ringing phones, outside traffic, and multiple conversations being carried out. You can give your senses a break by engaging in intentional moments of sensory deprivation, best done by:
  • Closing your eyes for a few minutes during the day
  • Unplugging/turning off electronic devices at the end of the day
4. Creative Rest Creativity relates to the ability to generate novel ideas, concepts, and solutions to problems. When we feel uninspired or unable to draw the creative energy required for the tasks at hand, creative rest is precisely what we need. Refill your creative cup by connecting with things that inspire or evoke in you a sense of awe and wonder. Things like:
  • Exploring nature – whether it is a visit to the park or stroll around your garden
  • Enjoying art
  • Decorating your home environment with images you love
  • Dancing
  • Listening to your favourite music
  • Reading an inspirational book
  • Watching an inspirational movie
5. Emotional Rest It is wise to schedule time for emotional rest if you:
  • Often have a hard time saying “No” to others even when you really want to
  • Tend to go with an “I’m okay” even when you’re not feeling okay
  • Regularly engage in lots of emotional work through a job (social worker) or family role (caretaker or parent)
Emotional rest is about allowing yourself to be open about how you are feeling. You can address your emotional rest deficit by:
  • Writing about your feelings or speaking about them to a therapist or willing listener you trust
  • Establishing some boundaries around saying “Yes” to everything
  • Refraining from comparing yourself to others
6. Social Rest If you are feeling alone and detached, isolating yourself, and finding it difficult to maintain relationships with those close to you, chances are you have a social rest deficit. A social rest deficit occurs when you pursue social relationships that drain rather than energize and nourish you and when you engage in either too much or too little socialization. Getting adequate social rest involves surrounding yourself with the people you enjoy engaging with and who boost your energy levels as well as fulfilling your unique socialization needs. For example, a more introverted person will typically require a lot more alone time than those who thrive on social interactions. 7. Spiritual Rest Spirituality means different things to different people. It can thus include religious practices or simply be about connecting with a purpose, vision, or mission that gives your life meaning. You can have spiritual rest by engaging in more prayer or religious practices (if you are a person of faith), becoming more involved in community initiatives or volunteer work, or meditating. So, which type(s) of rest do you think you need more of? Would you like some guidance in identifying and addressing the rest deficit(s) you may have? Drop me an email at ilze@ilzealberts.com or send me a WhatsApp if you are ready to take on 2022 with a more rested (and balanced) body and mind. I will connect with you on an obligation-free discovery call (at no cost to you) to walk you through the key action steps you can take. From my heart to yours, Ilze

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