We live in a world when ‘doing’, ‘performing’ and ‘achieving’ are valued more than ‘being’, ‘experiencing’ and ‘noticing’. We all focus on our to-do list, priorities and responsibilities at work and life. Our mind as well as technology remind us about things that we cannot forget about like: sending this final report, completing a presentation, buying a present for your son’s friend or sorting out groceries on the way home from work.

This year I have heard more and more from my coaching clients, that they are tired. Businesses are pushing them more to fight the economic downturn. My clients and their families tend to get ill because of different viruses that don’t give us a break, and spring has taken forever to come. No wonder that we all need rest. At the end of April, when my family finally recovered from a nasty virus and I could stop performing acrobatics with my calendar, childcare, work and family responsibilities, I also acknowledged that my energy and patience reserves were absolutely empty and I seriously needed to prioritise myself.

This reminded me of Saundra Dalton-Smith MD, a physician and researcher, and her TED talk where she explained seven types of rest, click HERE to watch it. I used to believe that a good night’s sleep or lying on a sofa doing nothing would help me restore my energy. Unfortunately, this is only one type of rest that we all need.

Seven types of rest

Below I would like to share with you seven types of rest and how to recognise that you are lacking energy in that area.

Physical – one that we recognise most easily. We can be physically tired after long day at work. Our muscles can feel sore. We can restore our energy passively by sleeping or resting and doing nothing or actively by stretching, walking, doing yoga or having a massage.

Mental – when our thoughts can’t stop racing, we have millions of things to remember and complete, we constantly problem-solve or keep adding new things to remember. We also need a break from our own thoughts. We can try practising being present, schedule breaks for ‘being’ and keep a notepad ready for writing things down, instead of keeping them in our mind.

Sensory – we are constantly overstimulated by news, social media, noise, notifications, screens and blue light. They can all overwhelm our brain and drain our energy. What would it be like to have a weekend without social media?  An evening without a radio or TV?  Or a no-phone rule after 8pm?

Creative – we use this energy for being creative and innovative, problem-solving and finding out of box solutions (not only for work, but also when you are negotiating delicate matters with a 4-year-old and trying to avoid a disaster). We can restore this energy by getting inspired and appreciating beauty. We can find it in enjoying the wonders of nature or any form of art.

Emotional – when we feel emotionally drained, as maybe recently there were lots of feelings, our values were challenged, we said ‘yes’ although we wanted to say ‘no’. There was no time to express and process our feelings. We can gain more emotional energy when we tap into our authentic selves and discuss our emotions with someone.

Social – our energy can also be overused by being too social, too much for others, or especially when we invest ourselves in relationships, in which we constantly give without receiving much back or leave meetings feeling exhausted. We can restore our social energy either by spending more time alone or focusing on positive, supportive relationships.

Spiritual – this doesn’t need to be connected to religious practises. It is more about having a feeling of purpose and belonging, connecting to something greater than us. We can lose our spiritual energy when we only focus on what is physical, our mundane day-to-day activities, just going through the motions. Whereas, adding meditation, prayer, connecting to a community, volunteering or focusing on our purpose can help us to feel better.

If it feels that seven types of rest are too much for you to fully engage in, I would like to recommend focusing on ‘being present’ as the first step; giving your full attention to simple activities that you are doing. As it can help you quieten your brain, connect with the senses and engage in small breaks. For example, when you are preparing a meal or a coffee for yourself, notice the colours, the smell, the texture, the noises around you. As you are engaging in this mini break – how does this experience make you feel? What else are you noticing?

If you feel that you would benefit from more support and coaching around building habits to support your wellbeing, please reach out to me or book your free discovery call.

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