Overcoming Exhaustion: Practice 7 Types of Rest
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
I like this recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine, not because we need 7 more things to think about, but because it highlights how rest is more than just closing your eyes and putting your head on a pillow. We need to rest body, mind and spirit, and the combination can be a powerful way to get some energy back and feel more enthusiastic about the day ahead. I summarize those seven here: #1 Physical Rest The obvious one, but consider are 2 ways to accomplish physical rest - passively with naps & sleep, and actively with meditation, massage, reiki and gentle yoga. #2 Mental Rest The tough one - and there is plenty of data to support just how hard it is. Take mini-breaks throughout the day. Move your body, stretch or take a little walk. You can also keep a notebook to write things down so as to not waste mental energy needing to remember. #3 Sensory Rest We're all on sensory overload - dual monitors, the phone sitting next to the keyboard, music going and everything else. The mini breaks mentioned above help - or just turn in another direction - look out the window for a while, or close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. If you're really stressed, try the breathwork I describe in the margin. A side note - I often suggest in class you turn your senses inward - this is another attempt to help you turn other things off :-) #4 Creative Rest To inspire innovation and new ideas, you need to be a little curious. Suggestions include getting outside (and looking around), enjoying art or music. You can also adapt your workspace, by adding images, memories, and aromas. #5 Emotional Rest Two words: Let Go. Attachment to what is happening or might happen, what people think or how they will react is draining. Say no every once in a while and remember you can't satisfy everyone. A teacher once told me to ask myself - is this really my burden to bear? #6 Social Rest I know - we're finally able to be with other people and it's great! So ask yourself if you're spending time with people who lift you up or pull you down? And then be selfish every now and then and just say no. #7 Spiritual Rest While the first six take a "disconnect" approach, this is more about connecting with something higher, beyond your physical body and mind. Fill your soul. If you're not one to get into "a higher power", whether it's religious or finding your own greater purpose, consider volunteering or helping others. Seeing the world is bigger than what is in your own bubble helps put things into perspective. Researchers have found those who rest are happier and have greater vitality. What can you do today? This week? Pick one or two and see how you feel.
Why Do I Need to Rejuvenate? Taking time to nourish deeply allows your body to repair, regenerate and revitalize all the organs, tissues and systems. Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, emphasizes the need for taking time to fill your tank in the fall. The tradition of rasayana often begins with a cleanse, followed by dietary and herbal rejuvenations as well as rejuvenating yoga practices. Always happy to discuss further with you if interested. The bottom line is that taking time to deeply nourish in what ever way you find practical and helpful will pay off dividends for seasons to come.