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The Different Types of Rest That Everyone Needs

To say that our culture doesn’t value rest is a huge understatement. Instead, we place value on productivity and accomplishments. Now, not to say that there isn’t a time and place for those things, but the “hustle culture” mentality is definitely taking its toll on our health! Today I’m sharing about our critical need for rest and breaking down the 7 different types of rest that everyone needs.

A blue and white striped hammock in nature

Consequences of Not Getting Enough Rest 

Countless studies have proven that a lack of rest and overly high stress levels have negative impacts on our health. They can both lead to chronic health conditions or more acute issues. Our bodies are smart enough to identify when we need to stop and rest, and if we ignore this need, our bodies will sometimes force us to pay attention through acute medical issues. Pushing ourselves to the point of burnout is actually pretty bad for our health!   

The 7 Different Types of Rest 

So, the short answer to this problem is to prioritize rest in our lives and daily routines. But did you know that there are actually 7 different types of rest that we all need? They are:

  1. Physical

  2. Emotional

  3. Mental 

  4. Sensory

  5. Creative

  6. Social

  7. Spiritual 

Physical Rest

Physical rest is exactly what it sounds like. When it feels like your body can no longer keep going with the task at hand, then it is definitely time to stop and rest! Whether that be with a nap, a rest on the couch, or going to bed early/sleeping in later than usual, physical rest is so important. 

Emotional Rest

Emotional rest refers to the need that we all have to put ourselves and our feelings first. So many people struggle with people-pleasing and being there for every important person in their lives, but the fact is that this can lead to burnout just as quickly as overworking ourselves physically. 

Mental Rest 

The mental load of our daily lives - from work to taking care of our families, to keeping up a household -  is extremely draining. Many of us operate with a constant running to-do list in our brains. We also can often be hard on ourselves for not getting everything done, or not doing something the way we had hoped to, so this adds to the stress! Mental rest means turning your brain off from these thoughts. Mindfulness practices can be very helpful with this. 

Mental rest is especially important for cancer patients and survivors. One of the most common symptoms that cancer patients experience during and after treatment is “chemo brain,” and giving yourself mental rest can be very helpful with chemo brain.  

Sensory Rest 

This one is particularly applicable because of the media age that we are in. Sometimes the the outside world can overstimulate our senses. Things such as city noise or construction, media (TV, computer work, social media, etc.), or frequent interaction with the public can be too much! We all need breaks at times, especially considering the amount of screens we look at every day. Taking a break from screens, or heading out into nature can be GREAT forms of sensory rest. 

Creative Rest 

People who do regular creative work - whether for a profession or hobby, need rest from the activity in order to promote more creativity in the brain. Stepping away from the project at hand actually allows our brains to generate creative thoughts and ideas more easily afterward. Doing things like going for a walk, resting in nature, or simply doing nothing, are all great ways to practice creative rest. 

Social Rest 

Social rest does not just refer to the need that introverts have to spend time alone in order to recharge their social battery (though this is really important!). It actually means taking a rest from social situations or people who drain our mental energy, and spending more time with people who invigorate us.

Spiritual Rest 

Whether you are a religious person or not, we can all benefit from spiritual rest! For some that may mean leaning into prayer, and for others it may mean starting a meditation practice or even just spending more time in nature. The idea is to recharge ourselves by connecting with a higher power of some kind - whatever that may mean to you.

Seek Help If You Need It 

Hopefully, you found some helpful tips by learning about the 7 different types of rest! We all need each of these, so it is important to prioritize rest over hustling and our incessant need to be productive. 

This can be easier said than done, however, and sometimes we need a little outside help. Therapy and counseling can be a great way to work through things we are struggling with, especially if you are experiencing burnout in your life.   

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