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The importance of the 7 types of rest

Thursday March 16th, 2023, 1:58 PM

Rest is an essential component of our physical and mental well-being. However, many people have different ideas about what rest entails, leading to confusion about how to rest effectively. In reality, rest is not just sleeping or taking a break from work. There are actually seven different types of rest that we need to feel refreshed and restored according to physicist Saundra Dalton-Smith

Understanding the 7 types of rest and prioritizing these are the key to avoiding burnout, which can happen at any time in a lifetime, and most notably as an entrepreneur.

1. Physical Rest

Most people think of physical rest when they hear the term "rest". This type of rest refers to rest resulting from physical activity, such as sitting down after a long day of standing or sleeping. Sleep is also a type of physical rest because it allows our muscles and organs to repair and regenerate.

2. Mental rest

Mental rest is essential to clear the mind and reduce stress. This type of rest involves taking breaks from mental activities such as work, school or even social media. Mental rest can be achieved through meditation, mindfulness practices or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes.

3. Sensory rest

Sensory rest is about giving your senses a break. Our five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) are constantly processing information, which can be overwhelming over time. Sensory rest involves reducing or eliminating exposure to sensory stimuli, such as turning off the television or wearing earplugs.

4. Creative rest

Creative rest involves disconnecting from work-related tasks and engaging in creative activities that bring you joy. It allows you to engage in activities that inspire you without worrying about deadlines or expectations.

5. Emotional rest

Emotional rest is essential for managing your emotional energy. It involves taking breaks from emotionally taxing situations, such as arguments or stressful conversations. Emotional rest can be achieved through activities that give you a sense of balance and peace, such as journaling or talking with a loved one.

6. Social rest

Social rest is about taking breaks from social interactions. It is not about being anti-social, but rather recognizing when one needs time alone to recharge. Social rest may involve participating in solitary activities such as reading, watching a movie, or taking a solitary walk in nature.

7. Spiritual rest

Spiritual rest involves taking a break from tasks that require thinking or intellectualizing. It involves practices that promote spiritual growth and connection. Activities that provide spiritual rest may include prayer, mediation, or any other form of religious practice.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of rest is essential to overall well-being. Incorporating each type of rest into our daily routines can help us manage our stress levels, prevent burnout and improve our quality of life. The next time you feel overwhelmed, try to identify the type of rest you need and take steps to give yourself the rest you deserve.

Source: Dalton-Smith, Saundra. 2017. Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. New York: Hachette Book Group.

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