physical ∙ mental ∙ sensory ∙ creative ∙ emotional ∙ social ∙ spiritual
Physical rest can be the easiest to identify. Our bodies tend to let us know when we're in pain or need a nap.
It can be passive i.e. sleeping or active i.e. yoga, stretching, massage, exercise.
A mix of active and passive rest is needed to be truly physically replenished.
Do you often feel foggy and struggle to focus? Do you depend on coffee to get you through the working day?
When you're mentally tired you may feel that your brain is working in slow motion but racing at the same time. You may find it difficult to focus on any given task but then also find your mind is wide awake at night, and struggle to switch off.
Daily exercises that give your mind a break are helpful in this instance, such as keeping a notepad to jot down thoughts and empty your mind.
Most of us are bombarded by bright lights and sound on a far too regular basis. From our phone and laptop screens, sounds of traffic and general bustle, a whole cacophony of background noises in our day-to-day lives. This can, in some cases, cause our senses to become overwhelmed.
Ways to counteract this include carving out time in your day that is free of screens, or even simply closing your eyes for a few moments.
Incorporating intentional moments of sensory deprivation can positively impact our sensory fatigue and start to undo the damage inflicted by our commonly over-stimulated lives.
“If you're waking up still feeling exhausted, the issue probably isn’t sleep. It’s likely a rest deficit."
If we are constantly in the same environment, we can start to lose our ability to generate original ideas. We can become uninspired and apathetic.
Creative rest is all about providing your mind with new experiences that inspire us and reawaken our sense of wonder. This replenishes our ability to imagine new ideas and increases our problem-solving capacity.
This is especially important of course if you are a designer, manager, or anyone who is required to work innovatively.
Emotional rest is all about having the time and space in your life to be able to not only listen to how you genuinely feel but also be able to express it.
If you are typically a bit of a people-pleaser, and find yourself saying 'yes' to things when you actually mean 'no', you may be in need of some emotional rest.
It's important to be aware of those who energise us and those who drain us. When we are emotionally rested, we'll find it easier to speak more authentically with people, and begin to voice how we really feel.
“Rest is the most underused, chemical-free, safe and effective alternative therapy available to us”
Spending time with loved ones but feeling drained? You may be in need of some 'me time', or just a different type of socialising.
Some people are energised by spending time in big groups, others from 1-1 time, so best not to compare our needs to those around us.
It's important to identify which connections energise us and which drain us. Managing our social energy is about finding the right balance between relationships that drain us and those that top us up and leave us feeling inspired.
This is all about having meaning and purpose in your life, beyond the physical and mental. Without spiritual rest we can feel alone, lost, uninterested.
Spiritual rest can come from engaging in something greater than yourself. For example community work, volunteering, or group prayer/meditation.
If prayer isn't your thing, simply having a deep, meaningful conversation can help to feel anchored and connected to something beyond yourself.