Why You Need to Rest

It might sound silly to ask this question: why do you need to rest?

But most of us forget that rest should be as easy as breathing. We go through our lives on autopilot, completely disregarding our well being for the sake of doing what needs to be done. We work long hours to keep up with life, being stressed and burnt out. We chase success, forgetting that we are human beings, not machines who should be constantly doing things.

That’s why you need rest. It’s part of the process. It’s a necessary step you need to take to achieve the life you want for yourself. To get rest isn’t something you should take lightly; it’s something you should prioritize.

In a TED Ideas post, Saundra Dalton-Smith differentiates seven kinds of rest we need. We often confuse that the only way to rest is to sleep, but she insists, "We go through life thinking we've rested because we have gotten enough sleep -- but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need."

Here, we’ve enumerated those seven types of rest to help you recharge.

7 Ways to Get Rest

  1.     Physical rest. This is the rest we often go for. It includes sleeping and napping, or sometimes stimulating activities like stretching, yoga, and massage. Whenever your body feels tired, allow yourself to do this rest.

  2.     Mental rest. When you find yourself filled with thoughts and unable to focus, you need mental rest. That’s your mind telling you to take a break—a pause from work and a moment to slow down.

  3.     Sensory rest. Our senses are the body’s primary receptors. And they can be overwhelmed too—computer screen lights, noises, and too many Zoom calls. When this happens, unplug and close your eyes. Let your senses have a break and allow yourself to have a moment of silence.

  4.     Creative rest. A creative block requires creative rest. Go outdoors and appreciate nature. Find inspiration from reading books. Have deep conversations. Let the ideas come to you by resting rather than chasing them.

  5.     Emotional rest. This requires courage and authenticity. It’s about giving yourself the freedom to express what you feel—to be reminded that not being okay is okay. Dalton-Smith explains it as, “the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on people-pleasing," Dalton-Smith explains. "Emotional rest also requires the courage to be authentic. An emotionally rested person can answer the question 'How are you today?' with a truthful 'I'm not okay' -- and then go on to share some hard things that otherwise go unsaid."

  1.   Social rest. Social interactions can either revive or exhaust us. To have a social rest, be with positive and supportive people. If you want to be in solitude, create that moment.

  2.     Spiritual rest. It’s beyond any kind of rest; it’s a deep feeling of belonging, gratitude, and love. To be in this state, add prayer, gratitude practices, and meditation to your daily routine. Sometimes, we just need a moment of surrender—to let it and believe in something greater than us and life, hoping that somehow it’ll be fine.