Seven Types of Rest That Every Person Needs

May 19, 2021 Alexander Health


Just getting rest at night might not be enough.

We recently read an excellent post from Alliance Work Partners (AWP), and wanted to pass it along. AWP boasts a plethora of blog posts, webinars and publications that focus on a variety of topics geared toward helping people better their mental and emotional health. This one addresses “Types of Rest Every Person Needs.”

While many of us likely started this year feeling recharged and ready for 2021, we’d speculate that, 5 months later, not everyone is feeling as well rested as they did immediately following the New Year.

Have you ever tried to fix an ongoing lack of energy by getting more sleep — only to still feel exhausted?

Here’s the secret: sleep and rest are not the same thing. It’s easy to confuse the two and think we’re rested because we have gotten enough sleep. In reality, many of us are missing out on other types of rest we need.

We live in a culture of high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired and chronically burned-out individuals. We’re suffering from a rest deficit. We need to understand the true power of rest in order to feel restored in the seven key areas of your life. 

Learn more about different types of rest and why they’re all important for our wellbeing.

Physical Rest: Physical rest can be passive or active. Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping. Active physical rest means restorative activities such as yoga, stretching and massage therapy. These activities help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility.

Mental Rest: Short breaks every two hours or so can remind you to slow down. Also try keeping a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake. Turning off your brain for short periods helps improve your ability to concentrate.

Sensory Rest: Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations — whether they’re in an office or on video calls — can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed. Intentional moments of sensory deprivation can begin to undo the damage inflicted by the over-stimulating world. This can be done by simply closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day. Also, intentionally unplugging from electronics at the end of every day can be helpful.

Creative Rest: This type of rest is especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas.

Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us, appreciating nature and enjoying the arts.

Turn your workspace into a place of inspiration by displaying images of places you love and works of art that speak to you. You can’t spend 40 hours a week staring at blank or jumbled surroundings and expect to feel passionate about anything, much less come up with innovative ideas.

Emotional Rest: Emotional rest means having the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on pleasing people. Emotional rest also 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” — and then go on to share some hard things that otherwise go unsaid.

Social Rest: If you’re in need of emotional rest, you probably have a social rest deficit too. This occurs when we fail to differentiate between those relationships that revive us from those relationships that exhaust us. To experience more social rest, surround yourself with positive and supportive people.

Spiritual Rest: The final type of rest is spiritual rest, which is the ability to feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To receive this, engage in something greater than yourself and add meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.

Sleep alone can’t restore us to the point we feel rested. So, it’s time for us to begin focusing on getting the right type of rest we need.

Note: Fatigue also can be associated with numerous health problems, so please get checked out by your physician if it persists. 

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And get some rest!

It's time to get a partner that will help relieve stress and give you the rest you deserve

When the daily grind keeps you from getting the right type of rest, you need a partner who can step in–anytime and anywhere–to take some of the work off your plate. Discover a new kind of partner who has the knowledge and expertise to become an extension of your team so you can get the rest you need.

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