Fatigue is a problem for many. Enough sleep is no longer the key remedy to overcome exhaustion and tiredness. This post will share the various types of rest to include in your amour against chronic exhaustion. However, if fatigue persists, you would be wise to consult with your physician to check whether health problems need attention.
I was one of those who thought getting more sleep would fix my consistent tiredness. Regardless of how many extra hours I slept, I still felt like a discarded old rag in the morning. Then, by accident, Google (my BFF) put me on the right track. Now I know that there are seven different types of rest necessary to avoid fatigue. The first thing to understand is that rest and sleep are not synonyms and often confused.
Physical rest — passive and active
Sleeping and napping are both passive physical rest. There is a whole lot more to it. It surprised me to learn that some activities provide restorative rest. Active physical rest includes massage therapy, stretching, yoga and other activities that improve your body’s flexibility and circulation.
You also need mental rest
Do you start your day with an overfilled, bucket-sized mug of caffeine or a row of two or more cups of coffee next to you? You may think the coffee helps your concentration abilities in the morning. Does it also help you to handle your forgetfulness and irritability for the first few hours at work? Here is your problem. Even with seven or eight hours of sleep, it feels as if you were up all night. That is because you lack mental rest.
Does the following sound familiar? Conversations and incidents of your day at work never stop going through your mind as you attempt to sleep. Regardless of your best efforts, you just cannot turn off your brain. This indicates a deficit of mental rest. Another misconception is that your only options are taking a vacation or quitting your job.
Such drastic steps are unnecessary. Make a schedule to take short breaks at two-hour intervals throughout your day. Until those breaks become a part of your routine, set a reminder on your phone. Those reminders will underscore the importance of mental rest. If you still find it hard to fall asleep, keep a notepad next to your bed. Jotting down nagging thoughts may help until you establish a mental rest routine.
Sensory rest is crucial in our over-stimulating world
Computer screens, bright lights, multiple simultaneous conversations and background noise overstimulates your senses. To counter that overwhelming feeling, close your eyes for a couple of minutes halfway through your day. Better yet, make your mental rest a double whammy, and relax your eyes during your two-hourly breaks.
However, resting your eyes is not enough. For proper sensory rest, unplug yourself from electronics after work to undo already inflicted damage caused by over-stimulation.
How much do you know about creative rest?
Does your occupation involve brainstorming to come up with new ideas or problem-solving? How do you remain passionate about it? Spending 40 hours each week in jumbled, blank and boring surroundings can rob you of innovative ideas. Creative rest also has two aspects. Create an inspiring space around you. Display your favorite artworks and images of places you love. Whether it is the ocean at sunset or a spectacular waterfall, it served its purpose if it brings back creative passion.
The second aspect of creative rest is the process of reawakening the awe of nature. Don’t limit it to your office walls. Go for walks to take in the splendor of the outdoors, even if it is a local park or your back garden, drink it all in.
Are you emotionally drained?
Are you that individual everybody refers to as the nicest person they know? In that case, you are probably in need of proper emotional rest. You might be the one others call for favors. Who always says “yes,” even if you want to say “no?” Do you sometimes think people take advantage of you and nobody appreciates you? This is a clear sign that you need emotional rest. That means you need to limit your people-pleasing attitude and show your true feelings. If they take advantage of you, it is because you allowed them to do so. Put your foot down and be authentic. If someone asks whether you are well, feel free to say, “no, I’m not.” Then, go ahead and tell them why in the same way as they typically unload their problems onto you.
You might need social rest
Social rest deficit often goes hand-in-hand with the need for emotional rest. Some relationships exhaust you while others revive you. The trick is to differentiate between them. Once you can do that, seek your social rest by surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people, both in person and in virtual interactions.
Lastly, but equally essential — spiritual rest
Choose something greater than yourself to which you can connect spiritually. Focus on feelings beyond mental and physical appreciation, like purpose, love, belonging and acceptance. You could also add community involvement, meditation and prayer as you go about your days.
If you follow these tips, you will be amazed at how fresh you feel in the morning and how much you can accomplish without chronic fatigue overwhelming you.