Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Thalia
Before you start pouring the prosecco and digging into the choccies, I just wanted to take this moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
We are so close to the end of the year and I can’t wait (slash slightly nervous) to see what 2023 has in store for us.
Regardless of your plans or whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this is the season of giving. So make sure you give yourself the best gift of all… rest!
Here’s everything you need to know about the 7 types of rest and how to practice them.
Table of Contents
- ‘Tis the season to be jolly stressed
- The benefits of rest
- The 7 types of rest and how to practice them
- Plan rest with The Daily Wellness Planner
- Final thoughts
‘Tis the season to be
As the year winds to a close, many of us will feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
We tend to overestimate how much we can get done in the lead up to Christmas and end up pushing ourselves to burnout.
Whether you work a 9 to 5 or have your own business, workloads always seem to triple in size at this time of year, as well as social events.
You’re trying to finish up your workload for the year while also buying presents, socialising, decorating the house and making sure everyone around you is happy. We also tend to purposely overwork ourselves in order to complete tasks and reach our Q4 goals before the end of the year.
Things can get stressful AF.
And we often end up forgetting about ourselves and our needs.
So I’m here to gently remind you that your mental health and well-being need to continue to be your number 1 priority this month.
Forget about putting everyone else first and put yourself first.
I can’t stress enough how important it is that you spend these last few days of the year unwinding and recharging so you can show up to 2023 feeling your healthiest, balanced self.
So along with health and wellness, give yourself the best gift of all this year… and rest.
The benefits of rest
Rest is essential.
But unfortunately, it is something that often gets overlooked. Especially in a society that sees “exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.” (Brené Brown)
Many follow a hustle culture where working 18-hour days is seen as the norm and rest is seen as lazy.
But the truth is you can’t continue to show up for yourself with zero rest as you will hit burnout.
And that’s not all, rest is also vital for your mental health and overall well-being.
Benefits of rest include:
- Increases concentration and productivity
- Helps with a healthier immune system
- Improves mental clarity
- Boosts mood and emotions
- Reduces stress
- Prevents burnout and exhaustion
- Renews energy and motivation
According to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Sacred Rest, rest can come in many shapes and forms and there are seven types to choose from.
The 7 types of rest and how to practice them
Ever wondered why you still feel exhausted even after you’ve had optimum sleep?
Chances are, you’re probably in need of a different type of rest. And lucky for you, there are 7 types to choose from.
From basic physical rest to sensory rest, it’s important to understand the different types of rest and experiment with what works for you.
Being able to pinpoint what you and your body need in terms of rest will allow you to go straight to the right area and choose a restful activity that fits your needs rather than indulging in a random activity that you won’t benefit from.
I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.
1. Physical rest
Sleep is what most of us think of when we think about rest.
But the truth is, resting goes far beyond getting enough sleep a night.
Sleeping and napping are considered passive physical rest, but physical rest can also be active. Active physical rest is any activity that improves your physical well-being and restores the body. Think about setting time aside for relaxation activities like yoga or stretching and indulging in self-care.
And trust me, your body will let you know when you are in need of some physical rest so you know when to slow down.
Don’t just ignore those low energy levels or achy muscles and instead indulge in these below activities.
Physical rest includes:
- Taking part in restorative practices like meditation and breathwork
- Having a nap or making sure you get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Doing some gentle movement like stretching or yoga
- Going for a deep tissue massage or other spa treatment like acupuncture
- Indulging in nourishing self-care rituals
2. Mental rest
Brain fog and overwhelm are signs that you are in serious need of some mental rest.
When you’re mentally drained you might find it harder to focus, make decisions or struggle to complete even the simplest of tasks.
Mental rest allows you to detach from cognitive demands and allow your brain to repair. Think about taking a break, separating yourself from your phone or computer and going for a walk instead. Being out in nature is one of the best ways to clear away the cobwebs and allows your mind to truly disconnect.
So take a much-needed mental break with these activities!
Mental rest includes:
- Taking plenty of breaks throughout the day
- Going for a walk in nature with zero distractions
- Scheduling in a “worry period”
- Journaling or brain-dumping your thoughts onto paper
- Making less pointless daily decisions
3. Social rest
If you’re an introvert like me, then you’ll know how exhausting it is to spend time with people.
Spending time with friends and family drains my energy and so after a social event, it takes me a couple of days to feel like myself again. I will then take a step back from anything too demanding and instead indulge in quiet self-care.
This is called social rest.
Just as it says on the tin, social rest gives you a break from socialising or being around people in general so you can recuperate and wait for your energy to come back.
Social rest includes:
- Having “me-time”
- Sitting with your own company for a while
- Taking yourself out on a solo date
- Limiting time with negative people or ending toxic friendships
- Saying NO and setting better boundaries with people
4. Sensory rest
Whether you are aware of it or not, our minds and senses can get overloaded daily.
This can come in the form of multiple notifications, the news, music, social media ads, podcasts, ambient noises, traffic fluorescent lighting, billboards, etc.
The sensory information that we are bombarded with daily can make it difficult for us to switch off.
And so sensory rest becomes essential in helping us to disconnect from “the noise” and keep our well-being in check.
Sensory rest includes:
- Wearing blue light glasses
- Going screen-free an hour or two before bed
- Unplugging for an entire weekend
- Turning off your notifications and keeping your phone on silent
- Taking a full “media” break and avoiding the news and social media, etc
5. Spiritual rest
Spiritual rest is a state of feeling relaxed, connected, and at peace.
But you don’t need to be religious to practice spiritual rest because this type of rest isn’t just about connecting with a higher entity but with your inner self.
Improving your spiritual health can look like practising self-love and self-acceptance. It’s these feelings that can help to ground us and without them, we can lose our sense of belonging.
Spiritual rest, therefore, provides us with a sense of purpose and meaning which are essential factors for life.
It is important to remember that spiritual rest is different for everyone, so make sure you find a practice that works best for you.
Spiritual rest includes:
- Meditating or breathwork
- Practising gratitude
- Praying or visiting a place of worship
- Dedicating time to self-reflection
- Getting clear on your core values
6. Emotional rest
Thanks to life’s daily struggles and challenges, emotional exhaustion is something we are all too familiar with.
It is therefore so important that you regularly practice emotional rest so you can be mentally and emotionally prepared for whatever comes your way.
Emotional rest is integral to reducing stress, overwhelm and anxious thoughts. But bear in mind that indulging in emotional rest doesn’t mean you’re avoiding all emotions. Emotional rest gives you the space to recognise and process your emotions so you can better understand what triggers them.
Emotional rest includes:
- Honouring your boundaries
- Taking a “yes” break and learning to say “no”
- Connecting with people you trust
- Making time to journal and expressing your feelings
- Trying therapy
7. Creative rest
Creativity takes work.
You’re constantly coming up with new ideas, brainstorming, solving problems and bringing your visions to life. And as a result, it can be easy to fall into a creative rut or “block”.
Feeling creatively drained can look like being uninspired or having trouble coming up with fresh ideas.
It’s therefore so important to protect your creative energy through creative rest.
Creative rest includes:
- Reading a book for fun
- Getting outside and spending time in nature
- Starting a passion project and creating just for fun
- Heading to a museum or art gallery and spending time admiring others’ creativity
- Learning how to play an instrument
Plan rest with The Daily Wellness Planner
I can’t stress enough how important it is to rest.
Not only is it essential for your productivity but it is crucial for your overall health.
Resting may seem like a difficult and inconvenient thing to get into the habit of doing, especially when you’re busy but once you start you’ll never look back.
I suggest keeping it simple and concentrating on your needs first.
Don’t try to find the perfect balance between each type of rest but focus on the area you need most.
And get started with planning in rest today with The Daily Wellness Planner.
This 18-page planner provides you with the accountability and structure you need to plan rest and self-care so you can wave goodbye to burnout.
Use it to:
- Build a morning & evening routine that works for you
- Successfully build better habits
- Track sleep
- Map out your meals & exercise for a healthy week
- Reflect on the day and practice gratitude
- Plan out a week of self-care activities
- Journal your thoughts & feelings
- Plus much much more
I hope you find comfort in these tips and are able to implement them in some way to help you decrease the Christmas overwhelm and any other time when you’re feeling exhausted.
And please, I urge you to take a well-deserved break. Be kind to your mind, body and soul and allow yourself time to rest and reset so you can come back even stronger next year.
And before you get distracted by looking ahead and planning your goals for 2023, make sure you take a moment to celebrate your wins.
Dig deep and reflect on how far you’ve come since December 2021, and what you managed to achieve this year.
Thank yourself for being able to show up and do the work.
Be proud of yourself.
And then do a little dance!
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
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