Time to Rethink Rest?

As someone who has experienced burnout, I definitely know the importance of rest and recovery. However, I am wondering why we don’t talk about it much? As a professional athlete, rest and recovery was definitely part of my plan. However, when I moved in to the space of working as a teacher and then facilitator and coach, it wasn’t part of the conversation much. So today, I wanted to share a little more about rest, why it is important and why it maybe time to rethink rest.


What is Rest?

There are many definitions about rest and these are a few that resonate with me –

  • “a state of motionlessness or inactivity” and “freedom from activity or labour” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary,
  • “to (cause someone or something to) stop doing a particular activity or stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength” ~ Cambridge Dictionary, and
  • “refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labour” ~ Dictionary.com

As you read the definitions above, is there anything else you would add? If so, feel free to share below!


Why Do We Need Rest?

Simply because human beings were not designed to be at maximum capacity 24 hours a day. We need rest to –

  • replenish the body’s energy stores,
  • prevent injury, especially in athletes or people who are stressing their bodies,
  • allow the mind to function better and make clearer decisions,
  • increase creativity and live your purpose,
  • help alleviate muscle soreness and pain, and
  • improves cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure.

“For me, not working is the real work.” ~ Stephen King

7 Different Types of Rest

There are many different types of rest. In the clip below Saundra Dalton-Smith refers to 7 different types of rest. The 7 different types of rest include –

  • Physical Rest,
  • Mental Rest,
  • Sensory Rest,
  • Emotional Rest,
  • Spirutal Rest.
  • Social Rest, and
  • Creative Rest.

Following are some ways to add these types of rest to your life.

1. Mental Rest –

Know someone who needs to start the day with a big cup of coffee despite getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep at nigh? Or maybe someone who is continually having trouble transitioning from work to home after a big day and switching off those conversations?  The good news is there are many ways you can have a mental break throughout the day. For example – you could schedule in mental breaks or brain breaks at a timeframe that works for you (i.e. 45 minutes) or if you are having trouble switching off at night, leave a notepad next to your bed so you can release those thoughts.

2. Physical Rest –

Physical rest can be active or passive. For example – you could go for a walk or do yoga (active rest) or go to sleep or have an afternoon nap, which is more passive.

3. Sensory Rest –

Find your self being overestimated or overwhelmed by technology, social media, bright lights or background noise? If so, maybe it is time to put in a strategy to put in a sensory rest break. For example – no computers or phones within 2 hours of going to bed, no social media before 9am or what ever strategy you decide!

4. Emotional Rest –

Ever find yourself holding back when someone asks you “How are you today?” or feeling overwhelmed by the number of feelings / emotions you are experiencing? There are many ways to incorporate emotional rest including having safe place to discover your own feelings (i.e. in a journal) or sharing your own authenticity with a trusted friend or colleague.

5. Spiritual Rest –

Spiritual rest relates to aligned to something bigger than yourself and feeling a deeper connection to your purpose, love and belonging. Some examples of spiritual rest include meditation, contemplation or being involved in different types of community.

6. Social Rest –

Social rest relates to emotional rest. An example of social rest relates to knowing the difference between positive supportive people and the relationships that are draining. Then choosing where to consciously invest your time 🙂

7. Creative Rest –

Creative rest includes time spent enjoying the arts or taking in the awe, wonder and beauty of nature. This could be done by going for a walk and / or having some inspiring photos near your desk.


Now you know the 7 types of rest, is there a particular on that you require? Or are there any other types of rest you would add, If so feel free to share them below!


7 Inspirational Quotes About Rest

Following are seven inspirational quotes about rest that may help you to rethink rest –

  1. “Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have.” ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  2. “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” ~ Alan Cohen
  3. “Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.” ~ Bryant McGill
  4. “In times of solitude, I have found rest for my soul and uphold the glory of inner peace.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita
  5. “We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  6. “It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.” ~ Paulo Coelho
  7. “A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” ~ Charlotte Brontë.


3 Great Clips on Rest…

1. The Real Reason Why We Are Tired and What to do About It – Saundra Dalton-Smith

2. Why We Sleep: Science of Sleep & Dreams – Matthew Walker

3. Redefining Rest – Slowing Down to Speed Up! – Bec Heinrich


Time to Rethink Rest?

Did the above information help you to start rethink rest? If so, what was the most important point for you? Or if there type of rest are you going to focus on first? Feel free to share your insights below.


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