Written by therapist Treshana Lewis
What does it mean to rest? What do you imagine, hear, or feel when you think about rest? For some, it may be a nap, while for others, streams of still water, and for another practicing yoga on a mountain top may do the trick. No matter how you define or describe rest, it is something we all need.
Despite our need for rest and the known benefits such as reduced stress, better productivity and concentration, improved mood, improved physical health and mental health, many find themselves caught in the web of “productivity” and being busy for busy sake. Let’s just be honest here, life has a tendency of pulling us in many directions; parent, employee, supervisor, friend, volunteer, caregiver, and the list could go on and on. It can honestly feel quite impossible to rest. In this blog, we will discuss a few different types of rest and explore ways you can embrace it.
Physical rest is any form of rest that incorporates the physical body. The most commonly known forms of physical rest are sleeping and napping. Those are passive forms of rest. Then you have restful activities such as yoga, light stretching, bike riding, walking by the lake, low intensity fitness classes, or a leisurely jog. These activities are known as active recovery (rest). Whether you prefer passive or active rest, it’s important to note that the body needs a healthy balance of both passive and active rest in order to feel the full benefits of physical rest.
Mental rest is the practice of taking a break from the constant stimulation and chatter of the brain in order to embrace tranquility. You can do this by scheduling some time throughout the day where you are disconnected from media outlets and/or technology. This can be coupled with an active rest activity such as a walk in the park or forest preserve. These two things coupled together enhance one’s ability to experience mental rest. Other activities you can engage in include mindfulness, daydreaming, and silence solitude retreats. If you feel that incorporating mental rest is too time consuming, remember that you can take a mental break for as long (one hour+) or short (two to five minutes) as you need.
Spiritual rest is, “the capacity to experience God in all things and recline in the knowledge of the Holy.”-Dalton Smith
It can also be identified as, “the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose.”
There are a myriad of ways to engage in spiritual rest, including but not limited to meditation, prayer, attending a religious gathering or fellowship. Meditative actions can be incorporated into your daily routine through use of scripture, meaningful messages, and affirmations. Like the other forms of rest, engaging for 5-10 minutes a day will produce great benefits. Allowing yourself to experience spiritual rest in one way, you experience holistic rest and can better cope with the stress of the pandemic and everyday life.
We all need a time and space where we can freely express and process our feelings without fear of receiving judgement from others. Emotional rest is all about operating in authenticity. It gives you the opportunity to be intune with your emotions and unload them as you need. This will require that you have a willing and active listener in your corner. This could be a trusted friend whom you feel you can keep it 100 with, or professional therapist/counselor.
In times like this, it can be hard to find a supportive listening ear, especially since most are dealing with their own personal problems and struggling to incorporate their own healthy patterns of rest. We here at Optimum Joy are here to help and support you. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment.