Feeling tired all the time? Lacking energy? Maybe you are not resting enough…. We need regular amounts of rest to function, thrive and bring vitality to our lives and our work. This is not so easy as it sounds – life can feel very busy, uncertain and like we need to be occupied all the time. It’s become harder for those working from home or in a hybrid way to take breaks and to restore. Add in three years of global uncertainty and we are all probably feeling a layer of fatigue that can seem unending.
How can we incorporate more resting into our lives? Some of this can simply mean inviting different energy into our days. Have a go at these seven ways to rest:
- Physical rest – sounds obvious but if you are sitting at a desk all day, you are probably just not moving enough. Yet moving provides rest and boosts energy! Get some “body fluidity” into your day with small hourly movements. Rolling your neck, clenching and unclenching fists, standing up, rocking on your heels. Or try being still on purpose – just 5 minutes lying down is rest. And of course the bed-time routine – taking time to wind down, dimming lights, stretching and no screens before sleep.
- Mental rest – brain fog, lack of focus, mind flitting around – that’s exhausting! Try blocking out “low-yield” activities like email, WhatsApp and social media. You’ll be amazed at how much calmer you feel and how much more you get done. We have normalised instant reactions to every single notification and alert and that wreaks havoc with rest and focus.
- Emotional rest – we often don’t take time to process our emotions let alone recognise them in the first place. Sharpen your self-awareness. Give your emotions a chance to just be. Journaling can really help here and can leave us with refreshed energy.
- Social rest – you might think this just means not socialising at all but it’s more about spending time with people with whom you can just be yourself. It’s enormously restorative as well as energising.
Want to not only fall asleep quickly but also stay asleep longer? Sleep scientist Matt Walker explains how your room temperature, lighting and other easy-to-fix factors can set the stage for a better night’s rest.
5. Sensory rest – this can simply be a sensory overload of noise. We might be exposed to increased noise through working from home and being with others in the office or just out and about. Sensory rest is about appreciating moments of silence and also bringing in sounds that soothe and refresh – perhaps time for a new playlist or a podcast instead of the radio.
6. Creative rest – build some mini-sabbaticals into your life! As little as 30 minutes away from what you might normally do: perhaps a visit to a gallery or enjoying some time in a cafe or just a simple walk. You’ll be amazed at how this energises your brain with new ideas and fresh thinking.
7. Spiritual rest – you don’t need to share faith to incorporate “spiritual” rest into your life. At the core of spiritual rest is that feeling that we all have of needing to be really seen, of feeling that we belong, that we’re accepted, that our life has meaning. That might come through voluntary work, or other activities like mindfulness.