Waking up tired can be a frustrating thing. Perhaps you haven't actually got as much sleep as you really need - but that might not be the only factor. Sleep is an important factor in rest but that feeling of fatigue can arise from a variety of reasons. If you find yourself wondering ‘why am I tired all the time?’, in spite of how much sleep you get (or coffee you consume) then perhaps it’s time to look at other facts of fatigue. Especially for people who feel burnout - it’s important to pay attention to all the rest needs that you have.
Proper relaxation and restorative rest requires an understanding of all the 7 types of rest we really need. This analytical approach to fatigue is prompted by researcher Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith who authored ‘Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity’. In this, she wanted to take a more diagnostic approach to fatigue. Dr Dalton-Smith takes the approach that every activity you do requires energy, and not all of that is physical energy. The first step to achieving true rest involves the different types of rest there are, after that you must identify what you need to restore your energy.
So what are the 7 types of rest?
We all know what it feels like when your needs aren’t being met but sometimes it can be difficult to specify what it truly is that you need. Go through this list and identify what you’re missing and need more of.
When you’re struggling to keep your eyes open and you feel as though you could drift off on the spot - you are in need of physical rest. This is the most obvious solution to fatigue that comes to mind - physical rest happens during sleep. Getting physical rest during the day can include taking a short nap. Getting adequate sleep during the night and napping when you need it is key to physical rest. For those who have physically demanding jobs or hobbies, you can incorporate ‘body fluidity’ into your day through stretches or choosing to be still for some moments while lying down. If you’re working from home, maybe lie down during a break and take a physical rest.
If you’ve ever been at work and are just unable to concentrate, feel extremely irritable or easily distracted. It makes it hard to come up with new ideas and even when it’s time to sleep - it’s extremely hard to turn off. You wake up feeling as though you never slept. This is what requires mental rest - what’s needed is some downtime to quiet the mind. Actually, mental rest can be implemented in your day-to-day life just by implementing short breaks throughout the day every couple of hours. Turn off your screen and just take a few moments throughout the day for yourself.
The bright lights of the computer screens, phones going off, the constant hum of office conversion, a distant alarm, engine or fan - sometimes it all gets too much and you have a sensory overload. Sometimes I find myself listening to music as I’m doing work and suddenly I just become sensitive to the noise and find myself unable to do work. For some, this sensory overload can lead to feeling stressed, depleted, distracted and irritable. At those moments, it’s clear that a sensory rest is in need. You can get sensory rest by putting aside technology and stepping out of that space for a break. Turn off the lights, phone and excess noise. Intentionally unplug from technology and take a moment in silence to get sensory rest.
Ever feel like you are utterly unable to have a creative thought or brainstorm original and interesting solutions? Those moments require creative thinking/energy, but perhaps you need a creative rest because you’re all depleted. Take a break, go for a walk in nature, read a book - just taking a break by surrounding yourself with restful energy ripe with inspiration is the creative rest you may need. That doesn’t need to be an extended creative retreat/holiday - it can just be doing something you choose outside of your daily work. Or as the popular saying goes ‘just sleep on it’.
If you’ve ever felt emotionally drained, you might need emotional rest. Dr Dalton-Smith suggests identifying the people who ‘drain’ you, risk vulnerability and cease comparison. There are lots of ways to get emotional rest, this can involve journaling and writing down how you feel or having an honest conversation with someone. Offloading your feelings to someone who is willing to listen is a great way of emotional rest, and it can even prevent emotional overload if you continue to do this.
Socialising can be exhausting, especially when it predominantly involves socialising with people who require more social energy. Social rest can be taking time for yourself, through the day or week just making sure to have moments all for yourself that require no or little social energy. Sometimes you may have social rest through identifying people in your life who don’t socially drain you and seeing them. Make time to catch up with an old friend or catch up with yourself.
The final type of rest is spiritual rest. To engage with this form of rest, you can engage in something meaningful to you - for some that may involve prayer or meditation but it also refers to community involvement or volunteering. Doing something that you feel matters and is rewarding is spiritual rest.
Now that you know what the seven types of rest involve, you can identify which rest you need and how to get more of each of them.
How Rest Spaces Help
Whilst the most obvious use for a rest space, our product, is a short nap during work in order to get some physical rest, there are other types of rest which can take place in a rest space. You can get mental rest by turning off your screen and taking a break from work in the rest space. For those in need of sensory rest, you can escape the noisy, overstimulating workplace environment in the rest space. Just lying down in a private, enclosed space can be the solution to sensory overload. Read a book or listen to music alone in the rest space for a creative rest. Even, take a break from socialising in your workplace for a social rest in the rest space. For those seeking spiritual rest, you can meditate in the rest space.
If you’re interested in having a rest space in your workplace - and fulfilling all your rest needs - then get in touch today.