Are You Getting the *Right* Kind of Rest?

wellness Jan 14, 2022

You may be sleeping…but are you actually resting?

I work with a lot of individuals who are somewhat new to the wellness and personal development space — and one of the things that typically comes up in our conversations is the idea of “rest.”

You’re obviously familiar with what physical rest is, and you’ve probably even heard of mental rest. 

But did you know that there are numerous types of rest (outside of sleeping) that you should be prioritizing to maximize your well-being and mental health?  

If you’ve been feeling, well, tired, but can’t figure out why, you’re going to want to pay attention!


Here are 4 types of rest you need, but might not be aware of:

1. Sensory Rest

Do your eyes ever hurt from staring at Zoom for too long? Or perhaps the constant noise of your office gets you down? Whether you're consciously aware of it or not, your senses are constantly bombarded with endless amounts of stimuli all day long. You need to make room for sensory rest by taking a break from sensory input and screens. 

Try this: Turn off the lights, use noise-cancelling headphones, step away from your screen and go for a walk

2. Spiritual Rest

If you feel ungrounded, spending time on something that recharges you spiritually can bring you back to yourself. Spiritual rest can be especially necessary if you've been heavily immersed in a project (personal or professional) that's been taking a lot of your energy. Regardless of what you've been working on, tireless striving towards "goals" can leave us feeling disconnected from ourselves and the rest of the world. 

Try this: Spend time in nature, volunteer, visit a place of worship (if you practice religion).


3. Emotional Rest

When you find yourself keeping in feelings or lacking an emotional release, you’re in need of emotional rest. This might be especially true for caretakers. If you're a teacher, a parent, a doctor or nurse, or an activist, your emotions could probably use a break! 

Try this: Attend regular therapy sessions, spend time with people you can be 100% yourself around, find the courage to admit "I'm not okay."


4. Social Rest

Sometimes, we confuse social interaction with “relaxing” simply because it tends to happen during our free time. If the thought of hanging out with anybody is utterly exhausting, it’s a sign you need to give your “social battery” a break.

Try this: Spend time alone doing your favorite activity, take yourself out on a solo date. 


The reality is that your daily (hopefully) 7-9 hours of sleep is not enough to fully rest and restore. 

Cultivating awareness of the different types of rest allows us to identify and attend to what we actually need, instead of resorting to an endless social pleasantries ping-pong match of, "I'm alright, just tired. How 'bout you?"


What type of rest will you commit to this week?

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