I used to think rest was all about lying down or catching some zzz’s. But life, with its curveballs and lessons, taught me that rest is a multi-faceted gem. It’s much more than just closing our eyes; it’s about truly opening them to different ways our mind, body, and soul recharge and rejuvenate.
If someone had told me a few years back that I’d be rocking a black belt in resting, I’d have laughed it off. I have always had lots of energy and love exercising. But after grappling with the impacts of Long COVID, my perspective on rest shifted dramatically. It wasn’t an easy journey; I resisted it fiercely. I even sought professional help to wrap my head around the sudden change in my sustainable activity level.
Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
The challenges of Long COVID have come simultaneously with the perimenopausal chapter of my life, and like many women I am always trying to work out if it is peri-menopause or just plain living, that is tiring me out.
From the stillness of meditation to the creative escape in art, from the solitude of self-reflection to the comfort of heartfelt conversations, every form of rest has its unique magic.
Join me on this challenge as we explore the various avenues of rest and discover together – which rest truly is the best?
Let me break down the different types of rest:
Physical Rest: Yes, the classic eight hours of sleep – what a dream (pun intended)! But it’s not just about the zzz’s. It’s the gentle stretching, that leisurely stroll in the park, or perhaps a quiet swim. These moments of restorative movement allow our muscles to rejuvenate, preparing them for the journey ahead.
Mental Rest: Our minds can be relentless, like a never-ending merry-go-round. Have you ever tried practising mindfulness? Or even just gazing at the clouds, letting your thoughts float away? These little breaks can give our overworked brains the breather they so desperately need.
Sensory Rest: In our always-on world, getting overwhelmed is so easy. The constant pings of notifications, the hum of city life. Sometimes, it’s essential to take a step back. It could be a digital detox day or indulging in an aromatic bath with your favourite tunes.
Creative Rest: Creativity isn’t just about producing; it’s also about consuming. The next time you feel drained, immerse yourself in nature’s artistry, the paintings at your local gallery, or the melodic rhythm of a song. I find it like therapy.
Emotional Rest: As women, especially during this transformative phase, our emotions can be a rollercoaster. But there’s power in vulnerability. Whether sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or journaling, allow yourself to process and heal.
Social Rest: Being social doesn’t always mean being surrounded by a crowd. The beauty lies in quality over quantity. A heart-to-heart chat over a cuppa can be infinitely more refreshing than any party.
Spiritual Rest: Spiritual journeys are deeply personal. Whether it’s finding solace in prayer, meditating under the stars, or simply feeling the connection with the universe, this rest realigns our soul, giving us purpose and direction.
Each life stage presents its own set of challenges and joys. Just as our preferences, priorities, and passions evolve over time, so too do our rest requirements, moulding and shifting to fit the contours of our current experiences.
Life Stages & Dominant Rest Types:
Childhood: Physical rest is crucial given the rapid growth and endless energy kids tend to have. Sensory rest is also essential, especially in today’s digital age, where children are exposed to screens early on.
Teenage Years: Emotional and social rest might be dominant. Teens navigate a whirlwind of emotions, peer pressures, and identity quests. They need space to express themselves and time to withdraw and reflect.
Young Adulthood: Mental and creative rest can take precedence. This period often involves learning, career-building, and personal exploration, making mental breaks and creative outlets vital.
Midlife: Emotional and spiritual rest can become central. Many face midlife reflections, potential crises, or reckonings, driving a need for deeper connections and spiritual grounding.
Senior Years: Physical and sensory rest regain importance. As the body ages, it needs more downtime, and sensory sensitivities might also increase.
All Types of Rest Are Always Relevant
While certain life stages might amplify the need for a specific kind of rest, it doesn’t negate the importance of the others. For holistic well-being, a balance of all rest types is ideal.
At different times, one might take precedence over the others.
Personal Circumstances Matter
Individual life events, like trauma, a new job, the birth of a child, or periods of grief, can shift which type of rest becomes more dominant. For instance, someone grieving might need more emotional and spiritual rest. A person in a high-stress job might prioritize mental rest.
The World Around Us
The societal and technological landscape influences our rest needs. Given the constant information overload, the digital age has made sensory and mental rest more crucial than ever.
In essence, while the dominance of a rest type can shift based on life stages and personal circumstances, a well-rounded approach to rest ensures we cater to our comprehensive well-being.
Remember, it’s not always about which rest is dominant but which one we might neglect and need to focus on more.
And I reckon they’re not just for this phase but essential tools to carry into the next chapters of our lives.
Why not have a Rest- Taster to see what type of rest resonates with you right now.
The 7-Day Rest Challenge:
Let’s make this fun and actionable! For the next week, try incorporating each of these types of rest into your life:
- Monday – Physical: Engage in a restorative movement activity.
- Tuesday – Mental: Dedicate 10 minutes to mindfulness or simply daydreaming.
- Wednesday – Sensory: Create a quiet, comfortable space for an hour of sensory relaxation.
- Thursday – Creative: Consume something beautiful – nature, art, music.
- Friday – Emotional: Have an emotional check-in with yourself or a mate.
- Saturday – Social: Spend quality time with a loved one.
- Sunday – Spiritual: Dedicate some time to your spiritual practice or reflection.
Join us over on Facebook / Instagram or LinkedIn to take the Rest Challenge.