Arguably all I know, however, there is one in particular that has been a game-changer for me when I came across Saundra Dalton Smith on Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. In short, her book, which is worth the read, ‘Sacred Rest: Recover your life, Renew your energy, Renew your sanity’ outlines seven different types of rest.
The benefit of understanding these seven different types lies both personally and professionally. Personally, tiny changes to your day can make a massive difference. Professionally, it’s a brilliant management and coaching tool to use. You will have heard it before “I just need a day to sleep and do nothing”. You’ve maybe even said it but when does anyone actually spend the full day sleeping? Or perhaps at work you’ve noticed someone in your team showing signs of overwhelm or tiredness. By understanding a little more about where their struggles are coming from, you can identify a wealth of new tactics to support them. It’s not just about a day off or ‘I’ll be fine when my holiday comes’, or giving some work to someone else. There is a means to create an overall less stressful environment using the seven different types of rest.
1 – Physical rest. For those moments when you struggle to keep your eyes open. Think jet lag, Knight & Day, the Tom Cruise movie. It’s your body telling you through forced shutting of your eyes to sleep, and sleep is the remedy for this.
2 – Mental Rest. Common signs of mental rest deficit include:
Inability to retain information just told to you.
Writing an email which makes no sense
These are often noticeable within the workplace and therefore quick to spot and quick to overcome. Top tactics to combat mental rest include; a walk outside, a form of activity (swimming tops the list if available to you), meditation if it suits you. In essence, step away from the computer or back to back meetings and give your mind a break. Do it daily, and it doesn’t build up.
3 – Social Rest. You work long days and then everyone wants to hang in your spare time. If you don’t go, it feels like all you do is work. If you do go, you end up getting fewer Zzzz, more caffeine and frankly, you aren’t good company and then two days later your work is below par. At points like this, social rest is prescribed. Say no to some requests and postpone them to another time. Only choose the social options where you know you won’t have to be on show – choose the friends who know you well enough where you can just enjoy the vibe. It’s not permenant, it’s a temporary prescription to support your wellbeing
4 – Creative Rest. Calling out to all marketers, ever tried to come up with new ideas or fresh activity when you’ve been in back to back business reviews or jumping from one meeting and report to another? What about when you schedule in ‘creative time’ into your calendar for an hour which then gets moved due to meetings overrunning? Or perhaps the ideas just won’t come because you are bored and trying to force them. Before you start thinking you are in need of a new job or can’t keep up, take some creative rest. Read a book, walk somewhere new or do something which isn’t your average day to day activity. Small changes drive new thoughts and gets the brain reactivating.
5 – Emotional Rest. Those poignant moments in your personal life which inevitably have a professional impact. A break-up, grief, anxiety, wherever the emotion has come from, it’s there and is exhausting. Talk to someone, if only just to tell them, and take the time you need. As we can see from the list of seven by dumbing down the requirement for emotional rest, you end up picking up a number of other rest requirements. Talk, time and take care.
6 – Spiritual Rest. Not related to your chosen spiritual preference, this is about the soul. Ever felt alone or that you lacked a purpose of sorts, well this is when you need to look at spiritual rest. If a person who has these feelings doesn’t address, they manifest into a pretty epic crisis. Demotivated, depressed and detatched. The stress this causes can be huge so by acknowledging the rest requirement early you can keep on track. Test out volunteering and see what fits you, or maximise a Udemy sale to try a course on a subject that is just of pure interest to you, not as part of professional development.
7 – Sensory Rest. You know the drill, don’t watch TV until 2am in bed, leave the phone on do not disturb and try and spend an hour of your day without a device in your hand or near you. Save your eyes the fatigue, or turn off the noise from 7 hours of podcasts or music. Give your senses a rest, daily.
So you can see, you don’t need to revolutionise your life to find time to ‘rest’. And you don’t need to allocate your allotted annual leave weeks to schedule the rest in. When you feel tired, refer to this list and identify which it is and remedy accordingly. The last thing we need is to feel overwhelmed we aren’t getting enough rest…
Photo credit @Marksappledaily.com