Have you been, too?
I've been digging up some research on the topic of rest lately, especially now since I've recently started a new full-time job that requires longer hours than I'm used to and far more caffeine consumption than is likely recommended for humans to ingest...
After carefully combing through a multitude of Google searches involving a plethora of articles, reviews, and personal accounts, I've learned that, 1) there is more than one way to rest; and, 2) the ways in which we think or hope that we're resting are, quite frankly, insufficient at actually getting the job done right.
Ideally, healthy humans should be sleeping six and a half to eight hours a night, typically aiming for seven.
But, come on, who actually gets that amount on a regular basis?
Sleep can only do so much. Sometimes, resting requires active, conscious thought.
So, how do we go about achieving this?
Resting in 7 Ways
Here are the seven types of rest I've been able to scrounge up:
- Creative rest: Wash the dishes by hand or take a walk without any sense of direction. Let your mind wander so you can engage your default mode network, which involves a group of regions in your brain that actually become more active when you interact with the world more passively. This can even help with your memory and planning for the future. Journaling can help to channel any free-flowing thoughts onto the page so that they're out of your mind and in your sight at a later time.
- Emotional rest: Learn to say no. Curb your people-pleasing tendencies and honor your time by scheduling something you want to do for yourself, and prioritize it over other commitments. Constantly neglecting this can lead to compassion fatigue and a growing resentment for others.
- Mental rest: Mindfulness. Eat, breathe, and walk mindfully. TikTok won't help you here. Avoid screens and lean into gratitude. Allow yourself to productively do this seemingly unproductive thing, even if it's as ridiculous as staring at a spot on the wall in front of you.
- Physical rest: Take a nap, get a massage, or (my personal favorite) do a self-guided at-home yoga session by stretching your body in the way that you feel it needs to move. There's no wrong answer.
- Sensory rest: Take a break from screens and ground yourself in the environment that you're in by noting all the things you see, hear, smell, touch, and maybe even taste. Unwind from the overload of stimuli that we're constantly bombarded with and reconnect with nature.
- Social rest: Learn to enjoy your own company by doing more of what you love to do guilt-free. Spend more time with the people that energize you and less time with those that deplete you.
- Spiritual rest: Meditate. Connect with yourself and your community. Volunteer or work on passion projects that you consider to be rewarding and meaningful. Fill your cup more so that you can effectively show up and help others.
With all that said and done, which type of rest is right for you?
Listen to what your body needs. It usually knows best. If you feel overwhelmed, try engaging in some mental or sensory rest. If you're feeling low, try working yourself up to some creative or spiritual rest. Doing work that you're passionate about is still resting, even though it may technically be construed as work.
You never know what may help re-energize you unless you try different things.
Binging Netflix in a burrito blanket can only get you so far most nights, so it may be time to step up your game.
There's no formula for how much time you should be resting for and in which ways.
Well then, what are you waiting for? Go rest up properly! And, while you're at it, go check out our self care list for a wealth of ideas and activities to engage in as part of your resting adventures!
Do let me know in the comments which type of rest is your favorite. Mine is undeniably physical rest with yoga!