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  • Many Of Us Feel Burnt Out Because We Don’t Know How To Rest: 7 Types We Need

    There’s a difference between sleep and rest, says an expert.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Many Of Us Feel Burnt Out Because We Don’t Know How To Rest: 7 Types We Need
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  • How many times have you heard a colleague complain that they feel more exhausted working from home now than the time when they still had to go to "offices"? While it’s easy to think that the answer to such kind of exhaustion — or any form of tiredness for that matter — is to "get some rest or to ‘sleep it out," it turns out it's more nuanced than that.

    “Sleep and rest are not the same thing,” says physician Saundry Dalton-Smith in a TED Talk titled, “The Real Reason Why We Are Tired and What to Do About It.”

    Dalton-Smith, the award-winning author of the book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, explains sleep is only one part of the big picture and that it’s only one of the seven types of rest.

    “Many of us are going through life thinking we have rested because we have slept. But in reality, we are missing out on the other types of rest that we need,” she says.

    Mostly, she attributes this "rest deficit" to a culture of high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired burned-out individuals. Many of us feel burnt out because we don’t know how to rest, she points out.

    Types of rest we all need 

    Check out these seven types of rest and see how you can get some quality ones to complement that much-needed sleep.

    Physical rest

    This type can be passive or active. Passive rest refers to what we try to "steal" when we can which are naps and to what we should do every day— sleeping at least 7-8 hours a day. The other type is active rest, which refers to "restorative" activities such as yoga, stretching, and massage therapy.


    Mental rest

    This kind of rest is mostly needed by people who can’t seem to shut their brains and those who, despite sleeping 7-8 hours, still feel exhausted in the morning. Such person needs some downtime, says Dr. Dalton-Smith.

    Scheduling short breaks, like perhaps a snack time, throughout a working day helps. At night, writing one’s thoughts in a notebook before sleeping can prevent overthinking.

    Sensory rest

    A person who needs mental rest may also need sensory rest. “Bright lights, computer screens, the background noise of phones ringing and multiple conversations going on in the office can all cause our senses to be overwhelmed,” enumerates Dr. Dalton-Smith.

    Interestingly, such a situation is no different even if you work from home. The trick is to get away from the sensory overload by closing your eyes a few moments throughout the day, turning off the car radio on the way home, and unplugging electronic gadgets at home perhaps a few hours a day.

    Creative rest

    This type of rest reawakens the childlike awe and wonder inside of each of us, says Dr. Dalton-Smith. Decorating your workspace, exploring the outdoors, and just visiting your local park to reboot and appreciate things from a new perspective are all forms of creative rest.

    Emotional rest

    Know of a colleague who tends to say ‘yes’ when in fact she means ‘no’? Once alone, these kinds of people tend to feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. They need emotional rest, which can only stem from being their authentic selves.

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    “An emotionally rested person can answer the question “How are you today?” with a truthful “I’m not okay,” says Dr. Dalton-Smith.

    Social rest

    Rest deficits in this area often stem from keeping unhealthy relationships.  Such relationships often exhaust us and use our good energies. Turn this around by surrounding yourself with more supportive and positive people.

    Spiritual rest

    “This refers to the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose,” according to Dr. Dalton-Smith. Praying, meditating, and volunteering in the community are just some of the ways to achieve rest in this area.

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