The Most Important Types of Rest You May Not Be Getting
May 27, 2021

The Most Important Types of Rest You May Not Be Getting

How many times have you heard, “Go get some rest” or “You look like you need some rest”? And if you are like us, you primarily think of “sleep” as the means to rest.  We have all heard about the importance of sleep.  In our quest to become more knowledgeable and experienced in creating the best habits to achieve our post-retirement life goals, we took a deep dive to learn more about sleep and rest; and what we found is that they are actually two different concepts. As we continued to research, we came across Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith who gives a brilliant Ted Talk about the subject of rest and we want to share with you what we learned. 

We actually learned that there are 7 ways to get rest, but that doesn’t just mean sleep? 

There are many ways to give your mind and body rest without ever hitting the pillow. 
These include:

Physical/Active Rest

Yoga, stretching, & massage.  This type of rest is designed to help increase circulation, blood flow and oxygen to different parts of your body which allows for relaxation to occur. This is why after a yoga class you feel amazing and the reason we regularly get massages.  Massages were also something recommended by our holistic doctor and is an act of self-care we really enjoy.   This type of rest is the opposite of passive rest like sleeping.

Mental Rest

Slow down your brain.  Ideally you should aim to take about 10 minutes of mental rest every hour just to walk outside for a minute or call a friend or one of your kids. This is hard when you are swept up in the activities of the day. We don’t always do this, but our research reminded us why it’s so important.  It’s hard to break away to make yourself do it, but when you return to your scheduled tasks you might just find yourself sharper and more efficient.

Sensory Rest

We all need to take breaks from screen time, and we aren’t just talking about millennials.  Bright lights, cell phones, television, and social media are part of our everyday, but it’s important to let your mind and eyes take a break from the light, especially in the evening hours.  It is recommended that you eliminate any screen an hour before going to bed.

Creative Rest

This isn’t just for “creative people.” A creative rest can be a break from spending time developing new ideas, writing, work, etc.  A simple rest and recharge just might be what your project needs to succeed.   The mind often needs peace and quiet to do its best creating when re-engaged. Its important to have a space that you know provides your mind the rest it needs. For us it could be a long walk in the woods, or even a quick ride to the beach just to change our scenery.

Emotional Rest 

The toll that family, friends, work, etc… can take can sometimes be too much.  For example, Jody often finds herself wrapped up emotionally and not allowing herself an emotional break when moving from the needs of one relationship to the next.  She feels the highs and lows of each encounter and at times it can simply be overwhelming for her.  It’s important to take some time to let the emotions out, which could mean talking it out to let it go.  Alternatively, it could also mean taking a pause from people pleasing, which can be hard for many people.

Social Rest

Learn to take time to be alone.  Maybe you may just need to take a break from the fun suckers and energy squeezers and balance them with people that make you feel good and contribute to your soul.  We talk about this in our Relationship module of our online course, Your Retirement Game Plan.  There is great importance in putting a critical eye on the types of friends you engage with and the people that you surround yourself with.

Spiritual Rest

Free yourself from stuff and things and go inward to find peaceful, spiritual rest.  Take a real awareness of what you have.  Some people find religion to be their spiritual rest, while others may find getting in touch with nature is their way of connecting themselves spiritually. The main point is to go where you need to be to create that namaste kind of feeling.

We highly recommend taking a listen to Saundra Dalton Smith’s Ted Talk:


Try some of the above and let us know if you are feeling more rested! We already notice a difference and are trying to add some of these into our daily routine.