The 7 Types of Rest You Need in Your Life

The 7 Types of Rest You Need in Your Life

Have you been feeling exhausted and depleted lately and haven’t figured out why? 😩 Well, these tips are for you.

I watched an amazing Ted Talk by Saundra Dalton-Smith that inspired this blog post. I have to be honest, it was a huge lightbulb moment for me. 

I knew all these things were important, but I didn’t realize how much they impacted our nervous system, stress levels, and the dangerous path that leads to burnout. Our relationship with rest is so important. And I see so many people overlook it entirely, associating rest with laziness... 

I used to think rest was just about getting better sleep, or taking the day off. It totally is, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the other dimensions of rest you might be overlooking (or not even realize you already do!).


  • Physical Rest

    This can be passive, like getting a good night’s sleep, taking a nap or a long bath, or active like breathing exercises, gentle yoga, or getting a massage. Give yourself permission to physically rest, especially if you’re always on the go or going through a major life transition, like moving.
Related Post: 15-min Mindfulness Yoga Practice


  • Mental Rest

    Take short breaks from demanding tasks or activities every couple of hours to give your mind a chance to recover. Do things that allow your mind to wander, like writing, listening to music, or getting outside for a walk. It could be as simple as looking out the window for 30 seconds to give your eyes a break from your computer screen.

Related Post: How to Start a Journaling Practice


  • Sensory Rest

    Find ways to reduce sensory overload, especially if you’re spending your day in Zoom meetings or in areas with lots of background noise. Turn off your electronics at least an hour before bed. Try a “tech-free” day—these are usually Sundays for me. Find a quiet place to practice meditation. Close your eyes when you’re sitting on the bus. Our eyes take in the most sensory information, so giving them any chance to recover helps our entire nervous system.

7 Types of Rest Pinterest Pin
    Related Post: The Importance of Change


    • Creative Rest

      This type of rest involves doing things that stimulate your creativity like exploring in nature, journaling, using a colouring book, or dancing to your favourite tunes. Choose things that you can easily add to your week even if they seem silly! Make a date with yourself to do something creative.

    Related Post: Self-Care 101


    • Emotional Rest

      Hey, people pleasers! This one’s for you. Set boundaries that allow you to be your true self. Take an emotional weather check throughout the day, chat with your bestie about how you’re feeling, or say no to someone who asks you for a favour.

    Related Post: How to Manage Your Energy


    • Social Rest

      Take stock of the people or social activities that drain you. Replace them with ones that fill you up. Schedule alone or “me” time like you would an important appointment. Make your social time intentional.

    Related Post: 6 Tips for Setting Boundaries in Your Life


    • Spiritual Rest

      Cultivate practices that foster a sense of purpose, meaning, and belonging. Name three things you’re grateful for on your own or with a partner. Choose a positive affirmation or intention to start your day. Pray. Meditate. Dream.

    Related Post: How to Start a Mindful Morning Routine


    We need all 7 kinds of rest in our lives, in some way. I realized that I especially need Sensory Rest and Creative Rest the most and tend to ignore them.

     Which ones do you need to work on? Comment below and let me know :)

    Let’s normalize rest!


    Your friend in this journey together,


    Nigel Walker

    P.S. A great way to incorporate some creative rest into your day is my Meaningful Mornings 21-day course. Have you checked it out yet?


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