Categories: Health & Wellness | Published On: February 17, 2022 |

7 Types Of Rest Adults Need To Function At Their Best

3 minute read
7 Types Of Rest Adults Need To Function At Their Best

When we think of rest, we typically think of sleep or maybe curling up on your couch with a good book and a cup of your favourite tea. But getting rest is far more varied. There are other ways to recharge besides covering up with a blanket and calling it a day. 

There are actually seven different ways you can rest and they’re not all physical. Think about the different kinds of energy you exert throughout a day. Creative energy, emotional energy—these are just a couple of examples of the type of rest adults need outside of sleep. 

Best ways to get full rest

Your entire being needs recharging. It’s the only way you can operate at your highest potential. With that said, it takes more than just a pillow to get the complete restoration you truly need. We break down seven ways in which you can rest, so you’re able to be your best self. 

1. Physical rest 

What is physical rest? 

Physical rest is the type of rest we normally think of. It involves rejuvenating your physical body, tension, or muscle fatigue. Anything that either keeps your body still or soothes your body is considered physical resting. 

How to get physical rest

Sleep is the most common, and most important, way of getting physical rest. However, lying down during the day is a good way to recharge physically. Both are examples of passive physical rest. For active physical rest, activities like yoga, stretching, or massage therapy are effective in restoring your body. A combination of active and passive rest is ideal for your body to feel completely refreshed. 

When is physical rest needed?

If you feel physically tired or your muscles are stiff, those are standard signs that you’re in need of physical rest. 

Read more about tips to help you fall asleep

2. Mental rest 

What is mental rest? 

Mental rest refers to slowing down the swirls of thoughts that are constantly running through your mind. It’s a brain break. 

How to get mental rest

Sometimes, there are nagging thoughts that stay lodged in your brain. These thoughts are on repeat and feel like they never shut off. Taking a walk can help. So can listening to music with headphones. Another effective way of getting mental rest is by writing down your thoughts. Getting them out of your head and onto the page can feel like a release. 

When is mental rest needed? 

If you’re more irritable than normal or feel overwhelmed by a situation happening in your life, those are usually precursors of mental fatigue. Also, forgetting simple things can be an indicator. 

3. Sensory rest 

What is sensory rest? 

Sensory rest refers to taking a break from everything we engage with deeply with our senses. Staring at a screen all day, or multi-tasking, are two common examples. 

How to get sensory rest

Disconnect. That’s what it really comes down to. Be intentional about spending time away from your phone or computer. And while using those devices, it may be a good idea to limit the notifications, so you have more control over how often you choose to engage. 

When is sensory rest needed? 

We’ve become so accustomed to our devices and environment that it might be difficult to tell when your senses need a break. And it’s not just our devices, but also noises from walking around a busy city, chatter at work, or constant Zoom calls. These contribute to depleting your sensory energy. So when you start getting anxious about another Zoom call or the streetcar bell sounds like an alarm, it might be time to disconnect from your environment. 

An older woman takes a moment of creative rest while writing

4. Creative rest 

What is creative rest? 

Your creative energy isn’t infinite. Just like other parts of your bodily experience, your creative mind needs a break as well. Creative rest refers to the recalibration needed to start or complete creative projects or assignments. 

How to get creative rest 

One of the best ways of getting creative rest is to step away from whatever you’re working on. Put it out of sight and find something else to do that doesn’t involve your creativity. Another way to maybe not rest, but keep your creative juices flowing, is to surround yourself with inspirational items. Designate a space in your home and decorate it with creative items that inspires you to do your best work. 

When is creative rest needed? 

Writers call it writer’s block, but whenever you feel like you can’t find the creative energy to come up with new ideas or complete the creative projects you’re working on, that’s usually a sign that you need some creative rest. 

5. Emotional rest 

What is emotional rest? 

Emotional rest comes down to being honest with yourself about how much of other people’s energy you can handle. You need to say no and maintain whatever boundaries you’ve created. 

How to get emotional rest 

Just say no. When you feel emotionally drained, it could be because you’ve been people pleasing. You’re doing your best to be there for others, but it may be at the expense of your own emotional state. So by saying no, by not answering that phone call or agreeing to join a social video call, you’re giving yourself the space to rejuvenate. 

When is emotional rest needed? 

When you’re not in the mood to be around people you typically enjoy being with, take that as a sign. Also, when you feel like you’re being pulled in a dozen different directions, it’s probably time for some emotional rest. 

6. Social rest 

What is social rest? 

Social rest is very much connected to emotional rest. It’s about reducing your social interactions or taking a break from socializing all together. 

How to get social rest

Generally speaking, we’re all social beings. But that doesn’t mean you need to be social all the time. You know what feels right for you and what kind of social conditions you feel comfortable in. Saying no to social interactions and activities is one way of getting social rest, but you can also create the kind of social environment that you feel comfortable in. So instead of a party with 50 people in full conversation, maybe inviting a few people over for a more intimate setting is more your speed. 

When is social rest needed? 

Similar to emotional rest, you’ll know that you need social rest when you start feeling anxious about meeting up with groups of friends. When you’re getting ready and you’re already thinking of the event being over, you’re probably experiencing social fatigue. 

7. Spiritual rest

What is spiritual rest? 

Spiritual rest is about connecting with something greater than yourself. It’s about a feeling of belonging and acceptance of your place in this world, regardless of any religious affiliation (or lack thereof). 

How to get spiritual rest

Try a new experience. This doesn’t have to be something elaborate, like flying to a new country, but exposing yourself to the world in a way you haven’t before reminds you of how beautiful this world can be. This can be as simple as a hike or maybe a day trip to a town an hour or two away. It might even be a walk by the lake. The goal is to experience the world in a way that puts your own life and existence in perspective. 

When is spiritual rest needed? 

It’s easy to lose sight of why we matter. Retiring can take a sense of purpose away from you, so can losing a spouse or loved one. When you’re feeling a little lost, empty, or like what you’re doing doesn’t matter, it may be time to remind yourself that you are connected to something far greater than yourself. 

Practice mindfulness with Boomerang 

A lot of what we explained in this post comes down to being aware and thoughtful about your day-to-day life. You need to catalogue your feelings and be intentional about how you manage those feelings so you can remain balanced. That can be achieved through our online mindfulness classes

With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 100+ online classes every month in areas of their interest. Get active in virtual yoga classes or participate in our upcoming meditation and mindfulness classes. Our online classes are led by passionate instructors to help you explore your interests. Sign up for Boomerang today and join our community. 

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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