You’re doing everything you think you should be to feel ultimately rested; sleeping 8 hours a night, eating nutritional foods, limiting screen time in the evenings. Yet somehow you still feel like you’re burning out? Well, it could be down to the types of rest you are getting (believe it or not, a 2 week vacation might not always be the answer!)
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s theory of rest has changed how we at SEFI HQ think about what we need to feel recharged, so let’s break it down.
We can split physical rest into two categories, active and passive. Sleep is passive physical rest, of which we need substantial high-quality hours every night to be feeling our best. Active physical rest includes meditation, yoga and stretching - they help relax the body and also calm the mind.
Do you lie awake at night with your brain on overdrive? Or do you walk into a room, only to forget why you went there in the first place? There are a lot of signs that someone needs mental rest. Here are some of our favourite tips to clarifying your mind, and refocusing:
-Take short breaks. There is plenty of science around breaking your work day into 25 minute chunks, separated by 5 minute breaks, or even just ensuring you take your lunch and time away from your screen.
-Keep a notepad with you. Especially for nighttime overthinkers, jotting down those pesky thoughts could be the difference between getting a good nights rest and not!
-Watching TV/Listening to A Podcast - engaging your mind on something other than your to-do list, or stresses will enable your mind to rest.
Oh, the infamous ‘screen-time’ notification that haunts us weekly. It’s true - certain lights and screens can contribute to sensory overload syndrome. Did you know that there are other, non-digital contributors, such as noise (hello loud commutes), visual (too much reading, crowds) and even touch, smell and taste!
The solution? Avoid your senses going into high-alert. This might be a phone-free nighttime routine, silencing notifications, avoiding crowds, close your eyes, go outside for a walk, take a bath and take a moment for stillness.
You’ve probably heard of writer’s block, but did you know that everyone needs creative rest, not just writers? If you’re having a hard time brainstorming or being innovative, follow these steps:
Turn to nature - appreciate natural beauty and grounding yourself to the Earth is a great way to realign your senses, and brings back your curiosity and a sense of freedom.
Find what inspires you - pick your favourite playlist and listen to that album that gives you all the feels, or open that coffee table book you’ve neglected for a while…you might be surprised what you find.
Appreciate beauty - it doesn’t have to be nature, or pretty pictures, it could even be the beauty of dancing!
Let’s go back to another proverb we all love to use - sharing is caring. So many of us carry emotional baggage privately and don’t allow ourselves to express our emotions and heal.
It’s so important for us to be real and authentic with our feelings, so take the time to speak to someone you trust and open up, you’ll feel good for it!
Always saying yes? Or engaging in activities to please others? It’s time to prioritise your social interactions and make sure that what you are saying yes to makes you feel revived.
This doesn’t have to mean taking a break from social interaction. You just need to ensure the people you surround yourself with need to give you energy, rather than drain it.
At the core of a lot of us, we want to feel a sense of belonging, community and that we are doing something for the greater good. Having spiritual rest actually means leaning into this, and finding your purpose.
How do you know you need spiritual rest? You might go to a workplace where you feel like your job doesn’t matter, or you’re doing your day-to-day just for the paycheck. Perhaps you question your sense of belonging with a particular group of people?
It’s important to find a work culture, or community where you feel like you matter and that you feel like you belong.
Whilst there are a lot of takeaways from this, ultimately we see a lot of little wins that we can start implementing into our daily routine to help us feel that little bit more rested.