Are You Tired Of Being Tired? 7 Types Of Rest That Aren’t Sleep

January 31, 2024

Do you go to bed tired? Wake up tired? Are you count-the-minutes-until-your-coffee-break tired? Confused-because-you-get-8-hours-of-sleep-tired?

You may be getting enough sleep, but you might be missing a whole bunch of rest. Sleep and rest are not the same thing and according to Saundra Dalton-Smith MD, there are 7 types of rest that we need in order to recharge fully and restore our energy levels.

Let Your Body Lead

Your body tells you what it needs, when it needs to stop and when it needs to go. Physical rest incorporates sleep (passive rest) and movements that activate circulation and stretching, such as massage, yoga or walking (active rest).

Busy Is Not a Badge

If you’re the type of person who wears busy as a badge of honour and feels the guilts creep up if your Netflix has to ask “Are you still watching?” then you might need to check your mental load. Give yourself a mental rest by breaking things down to smaller manageable tasks, doing one thing at a time mindfully, rather than multi-tasking, or unburdening yourself from things that can just wait.

Something Is Only Heavy For As Long As You Carry It

Does your mind constantly swirl with comebacks from a discussion you had two weeks ago? Do you become irritable in your personal or professional relationships because you’re too afraid to speak up? Emotional rest can mean being authentic about what you’re feeling and communicating honestly about unmet needs, or writing in a journal to release negative feelings.


Be Socially Selective

Social rest doesn’t mean isolating yourself, staying indoors or saying no to every invitation, but it could mean only saying yes to social interactions with people that reinvigorate you and have a positive effect on your energy levels, and spending less time with people who deplete your energy.

Give Your Senses a Sense Of Calm

Sensory rest comes from limiting overstimulation that can come from too much noise, too much confusion, too much light or too much screen time. If you’re feeling sensory overload, try wearing noise cancelling earphones when you’re concentrating. And you already know scrolling on your phone, while watching TV and having a conversation about tomorrow’s schedule is not the correct way to switch off at night.

All Work And No Play

When was the last time you did something just for enjoyment? Creative rest is about doing something you love outside of the daily grind. It could include nature walks, gallery visits, colouring, gardening or tinkering in the shed. Remembering to make time for your creative pursuits and passions ensures you’re keeping the noggin filled with fresh ideas and new ways of thinking, which can really help you feel refreshed if you’re feeling dull, stagnant and tired.

Be Bigger Than Yourself

Spiritual rest is a very open and individual concept, but it usually translates to an activity that is just not for your own gratification. Often, fulfilment comes from giving to others. This could mean faith or community-based activities like volunteering, or even connecting to the others and the universe through prayer or meditation.

This may look exhausting in itself, like a laundry list of things we need to do in order to feel rested. Seems counter-intuitive, right? But looking at this, you may have already ticked off 3 or 4 of these as a priority in your life and noticed only a couple of areas where you lack the rest that leaves you finishing your day fulfilled and complete. Focusing on these areas of recreation, could help you feel like there’s less on your mind that you’re putting off for another day.

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