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Obviously, we all need to sleep.
But are we resting in all of the different ways we need to? Those of us who are chronically not getting enough sleep are also probably not giving ourselves all the rest we need—even the kind that’s done outside of our beds.
After reading this article about the seven types of rest we all need, I was inspired to share three of the types that I believe should be prioritized first.
Get these three into your regular routine before you conquer the rest:
As soon as we put one thought to bed, four more pop up. About a friend, or that task we’ve been putting off, or something at work, or some other worry. It’s constant—we never give ourselves a break. We go from morning doom-scrolling when we wake up, to stress and busyness at work, to a million things to do at home (and probably more stress about regular life and relationships and finances and will our car start tomorrow?) to numbing ourselves with TV, to more doom-scrolling before bed…
Just reading that feels yucky and chaotic, doesn’t it?
When do you give yourself a chance to just rest the mind? It can be as simple as looking out a window with no agenda—just watching the world. Or it can be something as restorative as regular meditation.
Along with all of the mental clutter, we’re bombarding ourselves with tech and media. It never stops. Think about the last time you did anything without a device in front of you or in your hand. Nope, not that hike—you took pics of the trees and the waterfall, remember? We can’t even go to the bathroom without a little TikTok entertainment while we do our business.
Maybe it’s time to schedule a little break in each day without all the noise. Pay attention to what’s outside and around you. Go for coffee with a buddy with both of your phones off and put away. Dust off that pile of books you bought with good intentions. Book a camping trip—with tents and without using wifi/phone data or electricity.
This last one is probably one we’re all in need of. I mean, just look at the state of social media. We’re at each other’s throats with criticism, defensiveness, and so much judgment.
Part of the reason we find ourselves in this position is that we’re not allowing ourselves to feel, to be true to ourselves, to let it out. I know this sounds cliché but it’s true—we push it all down, slap on a smile, and get on with it. Because what choice do we have? We’ve been through a pandemic, which still doesn’t want to end, we’re struggling financially, or with our health, our relationships are stressed to the max—it’s brutal out there, but life keeps coming at us. Some of us are exploding, some of us are imploding—but we’re all carrying that load and suffering through it.
The kind of emotional rest we need includes: being honest with how you actually feel through journaling, ensuring your relationships allow you to be authentically you (and pruning out those that don’t), and maybe seeing a therapist if it’s been really bad lately. The point is that we need to allow those feelings to exist, out in the open, in order to rest and heal. When life’s hard, we have to allow ourselves to be not okay before we can move on to actually being okay.