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This week, many of us are getting back to the daily grind after having several days—or even weeks—of time off for the holidays. Kids are back to school, adults are back to work, and life as usual takes over as we enter the new year.
So, for those who have had the luxury of some time off these past weeks, you may be wondering something that I definitely am today: Why don’t I feel more rested?
As I was dropping my kids off at daycare this morning, I sat in my car in the parking lot and wondered just that. Even though I slept well last night, and we got out of the house on time today, why am I feeling completely and utterly exhausted? Why, after a long weekend of doing absolutely nothing, do I feel like I can barely pull myself together?
Then, I found this article online. Could there have been any better timing!?
My exhaustion—which I’m guessing many others are feeling today as well—can be attributed to so much more than my sleep schedule. According to the article, there are 7 types of rest that people need in order to feel refreshed. Read below to see where you sit in regards to getting the rest you need.
1. Physical Rest
Under this first category, there are two types: passive and active. Passive rest is what you’d image—ensuring a good sleep routine and maybe throwing in a nap here and there. Having a healthy sleep routine typically means that you go to bed around the same time each night and get up at around the same time each morning. According to the CDC, adults (age 18-60) need 7 or more hours of sleep per night.
Active rest includes restorative activities like yoga, stretching, or massage. These activities strengthen and sooth the body, improving our circulation and promoting better health.
2. Mental Rest
This one is probably a big issue for most of us. There is just so much to process in today’s world! Between day-to-day needs, work, school, appointments, and meetings…it is amazing that any of us can turn off our brains at night to go to bed.
The article states that people can find mental rest by taking short breaks throughout the day. Maybe a break would be eating your lunch away from your desk, or taking a walk around the block? It doesn’t necessarily need to be an extravagant vacation—although that would be nice! Disengaging a few times a day for short burst can help us recenter and recharge.
3. Sensory Rest
Between smartphones, computers, email reminders, TVs, digital billboards, and the constant whirr of electronics in our homes and at work, it is no wonder that people may be experiencing sensory overload! Try countering these by tuning out for a bit each day. This might look like unplugging from electronics an hour before bedtime or turning off smartphone notifications. It could also be putting on some noise cancelling headphones and working on some deep breathing for 15-30 minutes. Whatever you need to do to turn off the noise for a little while each day.
4. Creative Rest
The article states that creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us. This reawakening can help with things like brainstorming and problem solving, allowing folks to pull from the creative side of their brain.
Creative rest can be earned by spending time in nature or turning to the arts for inspiration. Dance, music, crafting, and drawing can help to achieve creative rest. Perhaps even reading for fun can unlock some wonder for those who do not consider themselves “artsy.”
5. Emotional Rest
Emotional rest is gained when you give yourself the opportunity to be real, to express your true feelings, and to take a break from people pleasing. If you’re the type of person who says “yes” even when you want to say “no,” it may be time for you to take an emotional vacation!
As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that it is no wonder that I am feeling exhausted coming into 2022! If you’re feeling emotionally drained or overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone. As if the day-to-day weren’t enough sometimes, the pandemic has caused many to feel chronically burnt-out.
If you do not have someone to talk to about your feelings, it is important to find an outlet. If you are feeling stressed, angry, sad, numb, afraid, or just worn out, don’t try to manage these feelings alone. If you’re experiencing stress from COVID-19, call or text at 1-833-681-0211.
Know that there are other options available to help you cope. You can call the Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call 1-800-273-8255.
6. Social Rest
We all have (or have had) those relationships that cause more harm than good. To experience more social rest, surround yourself with positive and supportive people. And if you tend to be more introverted, make sure that you’re getting enough social downtime to recharge.
7. Spiritual Rest
We all know that it feels good to do for others—but did you know that it can also help you feel rested!? This last type of rest relies on our ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance, and purpose. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including meditation, prayer, and even community involvement.
So, how did you do? Are you getting the rest you need? If you’re feeling exhausted like me today, now may be a good time to think about areas of your life that could use a bit of improvement. Ask yourself: How can you get more well-rounded rest today?
Start with something small and work your way up. Start by taking a deep breath. You’ll feel better for it, I promise.