“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Burnout is a common experience in our fast-paced and constantly connected world. It can be overwhelming and difficult to overcome, whether due to our always-on lifestyles or the expectations of remote work; it’s something most of us have to address.

But, how do we turn off if we’re ‘always on’? How do we restore balance and slow our lives down? The answer lies in re-learning how to rest.

But rest isn’t just about sleep. According to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, there are seven types of rest, and incorporating them into our lives can make all the difference.

  1. Physical rest: can be passive (like sleeping or napping) or active (like yoga or massage).
  2. Mental rest: involves taking short breaks between tasks, creating a ritual to separate work from personal time, and meditating.
  3. Sensory rest: involves turning off social media, getting away from screens and bright lights, and switching from video calls to phone calls.
  4. Creative rest: it can be natural (like watching a sunrise or sunset) or man-made (like going to a museum or experiencing new music).
  5. Emotional rest: focus on spending time alone or with people who allow you to be your authentic self.
  6. Social rest: spending less time with people who drain your energy and more time with people who give you energy.
  7. Spiritual rest: involves connecting with something bigger than yourself, whether through volunteering, working on a purpose-driven job, or participating in spiritual or faith-based activities.

Incorporating these seven types of rest into our lives may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, taking a daily walk in nature can hit multiple types of rest, including physical, mental, sensory, creative, and emotional. The key is to be intentional and mindful about incorporating rest into our lives.

So, as you go about your day, consider how you can add more rest to your life.

Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths between tasks, spending time in nature, or connecting with a higher power, incorporating rest into our lives can help us feel more recharged and ready to take on life’s challenges. By prioritising rest, we can avoid burnout and live more balanced, fulfilling lives.