There’s a lot happening in our world today and in the midst of it all, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves and rest. Resting is more than just taking a break or getting enough sleep. In fact, there are 7 different types of rest that require equal attention for good health and optimal energy levels.
In 2017 Dr. Shaundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, released a book titled Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. In this book she combines scientific research, personal stories, and spiritual insight on why rest is no longer optional. She shares the 7 types of rest that many of us often lack and how this can affect our health, relationships, and more. I’m here to break down these steps and show you how you can practice them today.
Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there’s a challenge.dr. shaundra dalton-smith.
7 Types of Rest
1) Physical Physical rest can be both passive and active. If you’re feeling tired, unable to focus, or have muscle soreness then you need to focus on physical rest. Passive rest is getting a restful night’s sleep or taking naps when needed. Active rest is restorative activities that help with your body’s circulation.
What can you do? Get the recommended amount of sleep and try light exercises such as stretching or massage therapy. These low-impact activities help stimulate blood flow and circulation, which gets our bodies moving and helps with flexibility.
2) Mental We often find ourselves overthinking about daily tasks, deadlines, and life in general. This can take a toll on us mentally and cause irritability, forgetfulness, and make it difficult to concentrate. Try mindful activities that’ll help you redirect your focus and attention.
3) Spiritual We all interpret spirituality differently, which is why Dr. Dalton-Smith encourages you to dive into what feels right for you. When we practice spirituality, we feel a deeper connection to the world around us. It also gives us a sense of purpose and belonging.
What can you do? You may be inspired to connect with a local spiritual community or you can simply start with a morning prayer, practice gratitude, or try meditation.
4) Emotional If you have trouble expressing yourself or hide your emotions around others, then you may need to focus on emotional rest. We all deserve to express ourselves authentically and freely without concealing or suppressing our feelings.
What can you do? Talk to someone that you trust and challenge yourself to speak up in social situations. The more you start putting yourself out there, you’ll start to realize that your voice does matter and you deserve to take up space.
5) Sensory With technology being so prevalent in our lives, it’s hard not to expose ourselves to never ending content. Between checking our emails, watching TikToks, listening to a new album, reading an eBook, it all becomes a sensory overload and it can negatively impact our health and overall mood.
What can you do? Take a moment to unplug and enjoy activities that don’t involve a screen. Go for a walk outside and admire nature’s beauty, read a physical book, or meditate in complete silence.
6) Social Raise your hand if you feel the need to recharge after social situations? *Me* While social rest is normal and beneficial for us all, if you feel exhausted after spending time with certain people, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate those relationships. These relationships tend to be the ones that take and take, which is why you’re left feeling drained.
What can you do? Surround yourself with positive, loving, and supportive people. These individuals don’t focus on what they can gain from you. You are able to enjoy the company and show up as your authentic self.
7) Creative Creative rest is simply enjoying the beauty around us. When we focus our attention to the art that surrounds us, we’re not focused on our problems, tasks, or to-do lists. It’s a great reminder that it requires zero effort to observe, enjoy, and admire.
What can you do? You can practice creative rest by simply listening to your favorite song, reading a book, admiring a painting, or appreciating how green the trees are. By simply observing a melody, color, or a view it can bring peace and even inspire us.
I hope this post inspires you to prioritize your wellbeing and rest. Were you surprised to learn that there are 7 different types of rest? What type of rest do you need to look after this weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments! To learn more about the 7 types of rest, order your copy of Dr. Dalton-Smith’s Sacred Rest on Amazon today. For more posts relating to wellness, visit my tag here.