Why is Sleeping often mistaken as taking rest and is not the only kind of rest we need?
Melissa works for a Fortune 50 company. She works for 70+ hours a week. Her meetings with the onsite & offsite team occur at random hours. At her recent annual exam with the doctor, she was told to slow down. Her doctor is concerned with her high blood pressure and blood sugar level. She wants to get healthy but does not know how.
She goes to bed on time thinking sleep is rest. Only to wake up physically sluggish & mentally weary all the time. Between a demanding job and two young kids to take care of, she rarely gets time for herself. Melissa also does not want to stop, she wants that promotion, she wants a jump in the salary. But at what cost??!!!
We often hear about high-achieving, high-producing individuals like Melissa who are chronically tired and burned-out. Over the years we have also heard health experts mention, that 8 hours of sleep is the magic number that will help you feel refreshed every morning. Sorry to break your bubble but that is only half the info!
Ever feel down the dumps and can relate to Melissa because you think your lack of energy comes from sleep deprivation. Only to find out… sleeping makes you feel even more exhausted?
If you wake up feeling tired even after sleeping for at least 6-8 hours & it has happened to you more than once, here is why. Sleep and rest are not the same thing, although most of us often confuse the two. We go through life thinking we have rested because we have gotten enough sleep. We suffer from a rest deficit because we do not understand the true power of rest. And the various kinds of rest our body and soul truly needs.
EVERYONE REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING 7 TYPES OF REST:
Rest should equal restoration in seven key areas of your life.
- Physical rest, both passive and active – Quality sleep is absolutely necessary for feeling whole, but rest is much more than your nightly Zzz’s. Sleeping and napping are examples of passive physical rest. Active physical rest, on the other hand, refers to restorative activities such as Yoga, stretching, and massage therapy. These restorative activities help to improve circulation and flexibility in the body.
- Mental rest – Melissa also starts her day at work with a large cup of coffee? She is frequently agitated and scatterbrained, and has trouble concentrating on her work. She constantly struggles to turn off her brain when she lies down to sleep at night. Her thoughts are consumed by the events of the day. She wakes up feeling as if she never went to bed, despite sleeping seven to eight hours. She is plagued by mental rest deficit.
The good news is that you do not need to quit your job or take a vacation to resolve this. You can schedule short breaks every two hours throughout your workday; these breaks can serve as a reminder to slow down. You can try journaling the nagging thoughts that keep you awake.
- Sensory rest – In this overstimulated world of bright lights, computer screens, background noise, and multiple conversations — whether in an office or on Zoom calls — our senses can suddenly feel overwhelmed. Simple activities such as closing your eyes for a minute during the day or taking a 15-minute power nap, can easily mitigate this over-stimulation. And by purposefully reducing screen time, we can undo the damage done by sensory overload.
- Creative rest – Professionals working in the research fields, scientists that solve complex problems, or creatives that brainstorm a lot, need creative rest. Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder that exists within each of us.
- Indulge in the beauty of the nature, join hiking groups or enroll in an art class.
- Do you remember how you felt when you saw the Grand Canyon, the ocean, or a waterfall for the first time? Allowing yourself to take in the beauty of the outdoors — even if it is just in your own backyard or at a local park — provides you with creative rest.
- Find time to visit an art gallery, Farmer’s fresh market, or take up a hobby.
However, creative rest is more than just enjoying nature; it also includes enjoying the arts. Make your workspace into a place of inspiration by displaying images of places you love and works of art that speak to you. You cannot spend 40 hours a week staring at blank or jumbled surroundings and expected to be fervent about anything, much less produce avant-garde ideas.
Now let us meet Jessica — a friend whom everyone regards as the nicest person they have ever met. She is Ms. Dependable, the person you would call if you needed a favor because, even if they do not want to do it… they would still do it. She is Ms. Congeniality, always there to help & support others. You know they will say “yes” reluctantly rather than truthfully. When this person is alone, however, they have no one to support them, they feel unappreciated and as if others are exploiting them.
- Emotional rest – It entails giving yourself the time and space to express yourself freely and curbing your need to please others. Emotional rest also necessitates the courage to be genuine. An emotionally rested person can respond to the question “How are you today?” with a honest “I am not okay,” and then go on to share a few difficult things that would otherwise go unsaid.
- Social rest -If you feel emotionally drained, you most likely require social rest too. We should be able to distinguish between relationships that revitalize us and those that exhaust us. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people if you want to experience more social rest. And know when to limit your socializing when you feel exhausted around certain people.
- Spiritual rest – It is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental boundaries and experience a profound sense of belonging, love, acceptance, and purpose. Engage in something bigger than yourself by incorporating prayer, meditation, or community service into your daily routine. The fulfilling feeling of giving back and contributing to society is unparalleled.
As you can see, sleep alone cannot restore us to the point where we feel rested. Complete and regular rest will not only restore your health, enhance your performance but will also provide you with an incredible sense of well-being. So, it is time for us to begin focusing on getting the right type of rest we need.
Are YOU willing to accomplish things at the expense of your health, vitality, and spiritual well-being? Leave your notes in the comments section.
Editor’s note: Please get checked out by your physician if you suffer from persistent fatigue, as fatigue is also caused by numerous health problems.
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