We are always advised to relax and rest when tired or sick. But did you know that there are 7 types of rest everyone needs? If you didn’t, perhaps that is why whenever you follow the experts’ advice and decide to take a break from work to sleep or do nothing, you still feel exhausted. You probably don’t know how to determine which of the 7 types of rest you need and usually assume you require the physical kind because it is the most popular.

There are 7 types of rest everyone needs to relax, recharge and be more productive. But unfortunately, hustle culture and hectic modern life make people work too much and keep going even when they need some downtime to relax and rest. Luckily, your body is a traitor, and when treated badly, it will expose you by showing signs of fatigue and burnout or even getting sick.

Ignoring your body and working too hard when you need any of the 7 types of rest is an example of self-sabotaging behavior because your productivity and health will be compromised. In this post, we shall discuss the 7 types of rest everyone needs and how to get them in order to feel relaxed, refreshed, and recharged.

7 Types of Rest Everyone Needs

  1. Physical rest

Of the different types of rest, everyone needs this one the most because we rarely allow ourselves to take time off work or relax enough to get it. The good thing is that nearly everyone can tell when they need physical rest because their body will communicate a bit more clearly compared to the other types of rest.

For instance, when you need physical rest, you will have difficulty keeping your eyes open, moving any part of your body, even for simple tasks, will be too tiresome, and you might have unexplained aches and pains in your body.

The easiest ways to get physical rest are by sleeping, doing nothing, or through restorative activities such as yoga, mild workouts, and stretching. Physical rest is one of the most vital types of rest because it is through it that your body heals itself, recharges energy levels, and releases tension.

READ ALSO: 10 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Day

  1. Emotional rest

So you felt tired and decided to sleep, do nothing, or watch TV to rest and relax, but somehow you still feel exhausted? Perhaps this was not the type of rest you needed because you were not physically tired but emotionally exhausted and drained instead.

You need emotional rest when stressed, after spending time with someone who drains you, after a break-up, when grieving, or after watching or reading materials that made you cry.

Some ways to get emotional rest include talking to a friend or a family member, or in case of grief or mental health issues, seeking professional help. These are people you trust whom you can offload to whatever is burdening you, and they can help you sort out your emotions. Consider writing in a journal as well.

  1. Mental rest

Have you ever had to reread a page several times and still couldn’t tell what you had just read? Or someone was talking to you but you zoned out mid-conversation? Just like with physical rest, your mind needs a break too!

Poor concentration, feeling overwhelmed, negative thought patterns, multiple thoughts running through your head, and simple tasks taking too much energy and time to complete are signs you need mental rest.

Your brain is the powerhouse of your body, and you need it to be functioning optimally at all times. For this reason, mental rest is one of the most important types of rest you should strive to achieve. Some ways to get mental rest include putting away your digital devices for a while, scheduling short breaks from work, staying calm and present through meditation and living in the moment, or unburdening your brain through journaling.

READ ALSO: 10 Signs You Need to Take a Mental Health Day (and how to spend it)

  1. Sensory rest

Since everyone experiences sensory inputs, anyone can experience sensory overload, but it is more common among people with autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sensory processing disorder.

A sensory overload is when one or more of your senses are over-stimulated, for instance, by too much noise, a crowded room, very bright lights or screens, very cold or hot temperatures, aromas, among others. All these overwhelm your senses and could cause an anxiety spike, restlessness, loss of focus, and irritability.

After such an experience, you need sensory rest to give your senses a break from all the stimuli. You can get this type of rest by switching off your screens, getting rid of bright lights to make your home calm and more relaxing, moving away from the crowded area, or turning down the noise. You could also get sensory rest by taking a walk or practicing meditation to calm your mind when feeling overwhelmed.

READ ALSO: 10 Ways to Cope When Everything Feels Heavy and Overwhelming

  1. Social rest

Introverts understand the need for social rest best. Nonetheless, everyone needs this type of rest after spending too much time socializing or with people who drain their energy.

Getting social rest doesn’t mean you should push everyone away but that you set aside time for some me time to replenish your energy and choose carefully the kind of people you allow into your life. One way to get social rest is by letting go of toxic friends who are energy vampires or too needy. Another way to achieve this type of rest is by spending more time with positive people who inspire and support you.

  1. Creative rest

Among all kinds of jobs, creatives find it hardest to set work aside to get the different types of rest even when they need them. Perhaps they think they will lose their momentum, miss out on participating in things, or lose relevance if they take time off. And all these are good reasons because the creative industry is ever-evolving. However, even though you most likely love what you do, burnout can happen to anyone who overextends themselves.

As a creative person, you will know you need this type of rest when you notice that your creative juices are no longer flowing, you are doing things half-heartedly, being repetitive, or putting out shoddy work. For example, if you are a writer, you would know you need creative rest if you are experiencing writer’s block and cannot come up with great ideas and topics to write.

Creative rest is one of the 7 types of rest everyone needs because lacking it will directly affect your professional life and happiness. You can get creative rest and replenish your depleted resources by going out to find beauty and inspiration in nature, visiting a gallery or museum, and reading books.

READ ALSO: Why Being Self-employed Is so Hard and Tips to Make It Easier

  1. Spiritual rest

Are you feeling disconnected from the world, empty, and with no sense of purpose? These are signs that you probably need spiritual rest. Going through life without purpose and having no sense of belonging can be dangerous and could be a sign of depression. Your life lacks meaning because you have nothing to live for or work towards.

Although most people overlook it, spiritual rest is just as important as all the other different types of rest everyone needs. Getting spiritual rest will give you a purpose and a sense of belonging somewhere. You can find spiritual rest by spending time in worship or prayer, going into nature, meditating to reconnect with your inner self, participating in community events, and joining a faith-based organization.

All these ways to get spiritual rest will give your life meaning and remind you there is a higher power and that you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

Final Words                                                                                 

What type of rest do I need? Many people ask themselves this question when they feel exhausted even after sleeping and doing nothing for the entire day. But now you know that sleeping is not the only way to rest. So, if you were asking yourself that question, you now know there are 7 types of rest everyone needs. And since you may be okay in some aspects and are probably only deficient in one, it is important to know how to determine which type of rest you need in order to find ways to get it.

It is okay to not be okay in all aspects; even machines need some downtime. You deserve to rest as well, and hence, you should stop working too much and feeling guilty when you take the time to rest. Get to know yourself and your body better in order to recognize the signs it sends you for which of the 7 types of rest you need at particular times. When you are well-rested, you will be a better friend, a better parent, a better worker, and a better person all around!


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11 thoughts on “7 Types of Rest Everyone Needs (and How to Get Them)

  1. What an insightful post, Sheri. Your depth of knowledge across multiple contexts is amazing. I have been learning more about sensual rest more the past two years. It’s an important one, especially when you are a highly sensitive person, like me. A great post, my friend. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Jeff❤️ I learn most things as I write. And that is very true about the importance of sensory rest for highly sensitive people. Everything can be so overwhelming if you don’t give your senses a break.

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