Before you get tired just thinking about the rest you’re not getting, it might be helpful to understand more about the different types of rest, so you can give yourself permission to “get busy resting.” Even if it’s only a few minutes throughout the day, your body, mind and spirit will thank you for a mini recharge. Good news — it’s easier than you think to get more rest once you recognize how many ways you can.
Before I dive into each type, remember: sleep and rest are not the same. You could be getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights and still feel fatigued. Chronic burn-out is typically a result of over-scheduling, over-committing and over-indulging in projects, work and media stimulation which never gives your mind a chance to relax. Check in with yourself regularly to make sure you’re getting enough rest. XO, Nina
This includes actual sleeping or napping, and a more active version of physical rest involves yoga, stretching and massage/spa services that help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility. Tired, sore or tense muscles can all be indicators you need to take a physical rest.
Difficulty concentrating, slow and groggy upon waking, racing thoughts before falling asleep (even though you’re exhausted)…these are all signals from your brain that you need a mental break. A mental rest is achieved by taking regularly scheduled breaks every few hours and keeping a journal nearby to get your thoughts out on paper.
In an overstimulated world, it’s essential to literally unplug from phone screens, overhead lights, Zoom calls and background noise (including your children’s overheard TikTok videos). If possible, set a screen-time cut off time a few hours before bed for your devices and dim overhead lights in your room. If that seems daunting, set your phone to night mode, try blue light blocking lenses and try closing your eyes for even a few minutes throughout the day to alleviate the sights and sounds of the outside world.
To awaken a sense of wonder and awe and to ignite that “creative spark” people refer to, getting out in nature is a quick way to be inspired. If you’re trying to brainstorm new ideas or put the finishing touches on a creative project, even a quick walk around the block or stepping out in the backyard can help. Making sure your spaces are filled with artwork and objects you love can also help bring about the creative rest your mind needs to mentally transport to another place. A fresh change of scenery does a body good!
The feeling of calm you experience by being authentic and open with someone is true emotional rest. Are you the person friends lean on for moral support and advice? Do you often say “yes” when you should say “no” because you don’t want to let others down? Being dependable is a fantastic trait, but if it leaves you feeling underappreciated and taken advantage of (but you don’t speak up about it!), have the courage to be vulnerable and share with others when you’re in need of advice too. Everyone has days or moments when they need to rely on others and aren’t available to be someone else’s support system.
Counterintuitive to what you might imagine, social rest isn’t necessarily cutting back on social commitments. A sense of connection is important to filling yourself up. Make sure the people you spend time with are supportive, positive, and that you talk about meaningful things with one another. Once you establish these relationships, being fully present when you’re spending time together will leave you feeling rested from your day-to-day obligations. Be attentive and allow yourself to disconnect from other responsibilities while you’re participating in social activities.
Yearning to find your purpose or feeling lackluster about your current job can be exhausting if you fixate on what’s not working. Carving out time to volunteer, become active in a community group, and find greater meaning through prayer or meditation can help. Add an element of something greater than yourself to your daily routine, and the answers can show up unexpectedly.
Wishing you an abundance of restful relief in the busy months to come!