Feeling an ongoing lack of energy? Are you trying to solve it by getting more sleep only to find that you're still feeling exhausted?
Well, the thing is; sleep and rest are not the same thing, although many of us incorrectly confuse the two. Many of us might be suffering from a rest deficit because we don’t understand the true power of rest.
Rest should equal restoration in seven key areas of your life.
1. Physical Rest
Physical rest can be passive or active. Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping, while active physical rest means restorative activities such as yoga, Pilates, stretching and massage therapy that help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility.
2. Mental Rest
Do you recognise the scenario of starting the day with a big cup of coffee because you're feeling a bit irritable and finding it hard to concentrate? You might have found it difficult to fall asleep the night before because your brain didn't want to turn off as conversations from your day filled your thoughts. Despite sleeping seven to eight hours you still woke up in the morning feeling as if you never went to bed.
This is Mental Rest deficit.
By scheduling short breaks into your day every two hours these breaks can remind you to slow down. Another idea is to keep a notepad by the bed to write down any nagging thoughts that keep you awake, you'll offload them from your brain onto paper.
3. Sensory Rest
During the past year with covid-19 and long periods of lockdown our Sensory Rest deficit is likely to have increased. Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations — whether they’re in an office or on Zoom calls — can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed.
By simply closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day as well as intentionally unplugging from electronics at the end of every day you can give yourself some Sensory Rest and undo any damage inflicted by an over-stimulating world.
4, Creative Rest
This type of rest is especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas during their day. Creative Rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us.
Think back to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking views you've ever seen, how did you feel?
Allowing yourself to take in the beauty of the outdoors — even if it’s in your garden, at a local park or in a forest nearby — provides you with Creative Rest.
Creative Rest also includes enjoying the arts. Turn your workspace or your home into a place of inspiration by displaying images of places you love and works of art that speak to you. Staring at blank or jumbled surroundings doesn't inspire you to feel passionate about anything, much less come up with innovative ideas.
5. Emotional Rest
If you're the friend whom everyone thinks is the nicest person they've ever met, the one everyone depends on. The friend who people would call if they need a favour because they know even if you don't want to do it, you'll say 'yes' rather than a truthful 'no', then you are very likely to need an Emotional Rest with time to freely express your feelings and cut back on people-pleasing.
Without getting this emotional rest you might start to feel unappreciated when you're alone and like others are taking advantage of you.
6. Social Rest
We tend to need a Social Rest when we fail to differentiate between those relationships that revive us from those that exhaust us. So, often if you're in need of an Emotional Rest you probably have a Social Rest deficit too.
You can re-balance that by surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people and take a rest from relationships that exhaust you.
7. Spiritual Rest
Spiritual Rest is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To receive this, engage in something greater than yourself and add prayer, meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.
Sleep alone can’t restore us to the point we feel fully rested. Focusing on getting the right type of rest we need is important.
(Note: Tiredness and lack of energy can also be associated with numerous health problems, so please seek medical advice if it persists)
Source: Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, Physician, Researcher, Speaker and Author of the book; 'Sacred Rest'. If you would like to know more about her work, you can visit her website.