"Yeah, yeah, I know! I'll take a break any minute now. Just as soon as I -"
We all know rest is important. Yet we leave until after. After the kids, the dishes, the work. After everyone else is tended to and after we're running on empty.
Even if you've been making enough time for sleep you might find you're still run down all the time.
Why is that?
It turns out there are 7 different kinds of rest, and they're all important. Sleep is one thing - an important one, yes! - but we need more.
The 7 Kinds of Rest
1. Physical Rest
This is the most considered type of rest. It's letting your body relax and recover, mostly associated with sleeping at night.
You can bolster your physical rest through short daytime naps. Activities like stretching or building a breathing practice also contribute to physical rest.
2. Mental Rest
You have a million thoughts going at once - things to remember, things to worry about, things to figure out. Your mind needs a rest, too.
A mental rest lets you off the hook from concentrating or solving anything. This might look like intentionally turning off social media or the news. You might spend time walking in nature or watching an old favorite movie. Anything where you're not required to think or worry.
3. Emotional Rest
Our most stressful emotions come from bottling up our feelings. Emotional rest might seem like the least restful item on this list. It's hard to go to therapy, journal about painful emotions, or do deep processing work with a friend.
But, making regular space for the safe release of emotions pays off. It leads to a greater sense of emotional rest over time. You'll build awareness of your emotions and learn boundaries to safeguard them. You'll learn what people, places, and experiences nurture your emotional self.
4. Social Rest
Humans are social creatures. Our social experiences (or the absence of them) can fulfill us or deplete us.
Social rest might mean concentrating on people who make you feel energized. Or it might mean turning down social time with people who make you feel deflated.
For meaningful social rest you can try changing up your typical social interactions. If you tend towards large gatherings, try some one-on-one time. If you've been intensely focused on one person for awhile, try branching out. See what feels good.
If you DO need physical rest, how about the perfect throw pillow to rest your head against? See all the Idylissa pillows to find your favorite.
5. Creative Rest
You don't have to think of yourself as a Creative Person to need infusions of creativity in your life. And you don't have to be a working artist to need a break from creativity sometimes.
Give yourself permission to make time to create OR to take a break from creating, whichever you need.
And don't forget to spend time building up your inner creativity bank. You can listen to music or engaging podcasts or read inspiring books. You can get out into nature. You can see a concert or visit an exhibit. These all provide great material for your inner creative self.
6. Spiritual Rest
What is your purpose? What is the meaning of your life? Where do you fit in the big scheme of things? Spiritual activities can ground you when life feels busy and chaotic.
If you feel adrift in your own life or feel hopeless or extra cynical, those are signs you need a spiritual break. Spirituality looks different for everyone. Do whatever is right for you to reconnect with a greater sense of purpose or inner peace.
7. Sensory Rest
This is a biggie in our modern age and yet it's so hard to achieve. The world is full of never-ending stimulation. People talking, people moving around, people touching us. Loud music, fast music, terrible music. Bright lights, flickering lights. Beeping devices, blinking devices, demanding devices.
Sometimes we need all that stimulation to STOP.
To get sensory rest you need a space for quietness, stillness, low stimulation, and low demands. It could be outside in the fresh air or an inner retreat away from the world.
Are You Getting All 7 Kinds of Rest?
Chances are you're NOT getting all the rest you need. Some of us rock a category or two, but most of us could use much more. Capitalism doesn't make it easy. But we owe it to ourselves to do what we can.
Now that you know the 7 kinds of rest, you can use your available rest time more intentionally. I hope that leads to a greater feeling of restfulness for you.