Rules for living: 7 types of rest your body needs

Are there times you’ve found yourself still feeling exhausted even after getting enough sleep? Here’s why. Sleep and rest are not the same thing, although many of us incorrectly confuse the two.

There are other types of rest we desperately need to thrive. Immigrants who are constantly trying to achieve balance on many fronts should specially take note.  Here are the other 7 types:

1. Physical rest (passive and active)

Physical rest

Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping, while active physical rest means restorative activities such as yoga, stretching and massage therapy that help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility.

2. Mental rest. 

Schedule short breaks to occur every two hours throughout your workday. These breaks can remind you to slow down. You might also keep a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake.

Your brain needs frequent mental rest, not just frequent morning coffee.

3. Sensory rest. 

Sensory rest

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

4. 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. Do you recall the first time you saw the Grand Canyon or Niagara waterfall? Allowing yourself to take in the beauty of the outdoors — even if it’s at a local park or in your backyard — provides you with creative rest.

5. Emotional rest.  

Types of rest

Emotional rest is having the courage to be authentic and “speak the truth in love.” 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.

6. Social rest. 

Types of rest

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. Even if your interactions have to occur virtually, you can choose to engage more fully in them by turning on your camera and focusing on who you’re speaking to.

7. Spiritual rest. 

This is final type of rest. It is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To receive this, engage in something greater than yourself and add prayer, meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.


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