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The 7 Types of Rest

Did you know there are 7 types of rest?

I’ve found this so interesting to learn about! Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith (physician, speaker and author) discusses the real reason why we are so tired in her TedTalk.

‘If sleep is your only type of rest you will never feel truly rested’

Why is it important we care how rested we are?

From a physical perspective, not being sufficiently rested effects many aspects of our life. A lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of us choosing high sugar foods for a quick boost of energy instead of snacks which will balance our blood sugars and keep us satisfied.

Living in a state of overwhelm can lead to burnout, apathy and lack of zest for life. We need a certain oomph to help us make healthy sustainable choices, stick to the habits we are implementing and being properly rested is a great way to support this.

Here are a few ideas on how to achieve each type of rest in your life:

Physical Rest

😴 Sleep and naps

🚶🏻‍♀️ Gentle walk instead of a workout

📖 Quiet day reading a book

Probably the first type of rest which jumps to mind is physical rest. Whether you like to work out or have an active job, taking the time for proper rest days is something your body will thank you for.

Mental Rest

✏️ Journalling, especially before bed

🧘 Meditation

Prioritising a little chunk of time to process the day and organise your thoughts can be a helpful activity to wind down before bed or start the day off on a good foot.

Sensory Rest

📵 Screen free time

🤫 Turn off your music or podcasts for quiet time

Sit quietly and close your eyes for a few minutes to avoid sensory overwhelm.

This is something we do naturally when we're trying to concentrate such as closing our eyes to remember a faint memory or putting our hands over our ears to focus on reading something.

Creative Rest

💭 Take a break from brainstorming to reignite your childlike wonder and awe

🌲 Appreciate the beauty of nature

🎨 Gain inspiration from the arts

Have a go at free writing. Grab a pen and paper and just scribble down whatever comes to mind, this is also a good form of journalling to make sense of jumbled thoughts.

Emotional Rest

🙅🏻‍♀️ Saying no

🚪 Setting boundaries to protect your peace

💬 Speaking up if you're not okay

The people around us aren't mind readers. If you know you need some space, are uncomfortable with how much of your energy you are giving out or simply aren't getting your needs met. Speaking up is a great thing to practice. Note how I've said practice, as it doesn't come naturally to everyone - me included!

Social Rest

✅ Be selective about the people around you

👭 Build your support networks

Alone time is important, especially for introverts. For some people, spending time alone is what we needs to really fill our cup. To rest and recharge and refill your batteries. Equally, when you are out and about socialising, being mindful of how people make you feel. Certain people naturally make us feel energised and fulfilled, whilst others may leave you feeling drained. You're allowed to set boundaries about who is in your inner circle.

Spiritual Rest

🌎 Be part of something bigger than yourself on a daily basis

🙏🏻 Prayer, intention setting or affirmation

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Community

Wherever you find it, community is a great source of connection and support. If you're not sure where to look, try reconnecting with friends, join an exercise class or book club, or ultimately start your own community! You could create a space for a book club to meet, an online forum for people in your position or creating an Instagram account based on your passion project. This is exactly what I did with @nutritionupontyne.

How will you incorporate rest into your healthy lifestyle routine?


Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you learned something new about rest!

Nutrition Upon Tyne


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