Transitioning back to normal life after months of family gatherings and festive parties isn’t easy. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave you feeling burned out and exhausted; not to mention the pressure to launch into your resolutions as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the New Year. Prioritizing rest is always easier said than done — it pays off, however, in the long-run by restoring your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The correct kind of rest also provides balance when you’re juggling work and home life.
Interestingly, getting eight hours of sleep per night isn’t the only way to be properly rested. Here, Seema Sarin, MD, DiplABLM, at EHE Health, explains the seven types of rest you should be getting.
The Importance of Rest and the 7 Types You Should Get
If you’re feeling fatigued, having trouble concentrating, or experiencing a lack of motivation, these are clear indicators that your body needs rest. If these signs go unchecked, Dr. Sarin warns that serious health conditions could occur. “The importance of rest for [overall] health and healing is often underestimated,” she tells Woman’s World. “If we’re deprived of the rest that we need, we may increase our risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, weight problems, and more.”
Below, Dr. Sarin offers simple recommendations for incorporating the seven types of important rest into your daily routine.
- Physical rest: Physical rest can be passive or active. Passive rest includes sleeping and napping; and getting insufficient or disordered quantities of it is associated with serious disease, morbidity, and mortality. Active rest includes activities such as yoga, stretching, and massage therapy — activities which can help improve flexibility and blood flow.
- Mental rest: Taking five to 10-minute breaks from tasks every two hours gives your mind a chance to slow down and reset. If you can’t stop thinking about something while trying to fall asleep, try writing it down to alleviate mental agitation. Meditation and mindfulness may also help to refresh and quiet your mind, ultimately preparing you to take on future challenges.
- Spiritual rest: Connecting and feeling a sense of belonging, love, acceptance, and purpose brings meaning to our lives. To participate in something greater than yourself, try praying, meditating, or getting involved in your community. Developing positive relationships like these has been shown to reduce the effects of many chronic diseases.
- Sensory rest: Our high-tech world floods us with an overwhelming array of sensory stimulation. This includes phone notifications, email alerts, and TV playing in the background — all of which take a toll. The solution is to put down or silence any digital devices a few times each day, and take a break from staring at screens.
- Emotional rest: We all need relationships that revive us, in which we feel accepted and comforted. Work on building bonds — whether familial, romantic, or platonic — with positive and supportive people. If you can’t spend time with someone in-person, pursue meaningful conversations with them on your phone or laptop.
- Creative rest: This refers to the experience of wonder or awe people have when they are appreciating beauty and flow in any form. This kind of rest is often felt when you’re surrounded by nature, enjoying a piece of art (whether it be a painting or a movie), or creating workspaces that evoke relaxation.
- Social rest: This is the feeling you experience when you’re surrounded by people who bring enjoyment to your life. So, consider each of your relationships carefully and cultivate the ones that are special and purposeful. This type of rest can also involve taking a break from socializing if you want time to yourself — sometimes being alone is much-needed!
Dr. Sarin’s expertise serves as reminder that rest is just as important as eating a balanced diet or getting enough exercise. Consistently giving your body and mind a break will lead to positive health outcomes. “Schedule meaningful rest breaks throughout your day — this can lead you to stressing less and living more!” Dr. Sarin promises.