How to Regain Your Energy Throughout Your Day
7 types of rest you need to stay healthy and productive
Posted Mar 23, 2019
Do you ever feel tired but had enough sleep? What is draining your energy might have nothing to do with your physical needs. There are other ways to regain your energy throughout the day without pining for a chance to sleep in on Sunday.
Our lives have become so busy, so noisy, so full of conflict, and what we do to avoid conflict, we don’t notice how out of balance we are. At the end of the day, we are tired, cranky, and overly judgmental. Some of us numbly walk through our days, finding nothing to smile about.
I recently heard Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., author of Sacred Rest, speak at TEDxAtlanta on how to correct your rest deficits. She identified seven types of rest we need to feel happy, productive and fulfilled. She discovered these gaps when diagnosing common ailments in her patients. Helping them get the rest they needed often restored their health.
In fact, Dalton-Smith says sleep is not the same a rest. You won’t sleep well if you lack one of the seven types of rest.
You can even be passionately out of balance with your tasks but personally in balance if you replenish your rest. Merging Dalton-Smith’s work with other ideas, here are a few things you should schedule into your days.
- Mental Rest – When your mind is tired, you make mistakes and experience memory lapses. The more you let your mind chatter about past events you would like to redo, self-critiques, judging others, and what-ifs about future events, the quicker you wear out your brain. Throughout the day and evening, schedule activities that take little thought. If you can, ground yourself by walking through grass so your feet feel the earth. Notice your surroundings. If you can’t go outside, be still or meditate in five-minute blocks. In the evening, it’s okay to watch some mindless tv to let your brain process what occurred during the day. Hopefully, you will laugh a little before you go to sleep.
- Spiritual Rest – This is not necessarily about religion; it’s about your sense of connection to something bigger than yourself. It is about having faith that goodness will prevail. If you don’t have a life purpose, you can cultivate a sense of purpose. Music or uplifting videos such as A Good Day from www.gratfulness.org can reunite your body-mind-spirit. Allow yourself to feel the awe of a beautiful sunset, the bloom of a flower, plants soaking up drops of water from rain, or a child’s touch. Journal about these moments to preserve them when you feel disconnected.
- Emotional Rest – Often when my clients articulate what they feel they have lost in their lives and then cry, the release leads to relief and even laughter. Also, the constant pressure to perform and be someone you don't want to lead to emotional overload. Find people you trust won’t judge you or bombard you with advice to talk about the pressures you feel. Say no when your plate is too full. When you feel slighted, ignored, unappreciated, or misunderstood, declare you feel this way and ask for what you need to move the conversation or relationship forward. When you notice you are hesitating to reach out to someone or start a new task, ask yourself what you are afraid will happen. Articulating fears often decreases the power they have over your actions. Be sure you have people in your life whose positive perspective infects your own. Hang out with or at least listen to people who make you laugh when you need an emotional lift.
- Social Rest – You can feel lonely even around a lot of people. We all need to be seen, loved, and enjoyed by others. Hopefully, you get this from real people you can relax with who won’t judge you or you know you won’t offend them. Make new friends if you need to. Find your tribe of like-minded people, whether to hike together, read and talk about books, champion a cause, share challenges of your profession, or enjoy the same hobby as you. Face-to-face time is important. Between live meetings, even acknowledgment from people you know on Facebook can help.
- Sensory Rest – Most of us are overloaded with noise in our environments, interruptions from our computers and phones, artificial light, stressful driving, and other distractions at work and home. There are even food critics who include the noise decibels of restaurants in their reviews. You need to take breaks from your electronics to rest your mind and vision, immerse yourself in music you love, get whiffs of fresh air, use aromatherapy or cooking to take in good smells, and rub your hands in things you love to touch to awaken your senses individually.
- Creative Rest – We often lose our sense of creativity as we age. You might find ways to express your creative talents in art you enjoy. Or take time to enjoy the arts, music, dance, and comedy to reawaken your appreciation of beauty and whimsy. Give up knowing everything to rekindle your sense of curiosity. Take time to notice details. There are so many amazing things to notice just outside your window.
- Physical Rest – Your body needs recovery time whether you are an athlete or you sit in a chair all day. Take a few minutes to stretch and take in deep breaths throughout your day. When you release tension and calm your body, your productivity and outlook will improve.
Check out the book Sacred Rest. You will get tools and tips to get the rest you need plus an assessment at the end of the book to better identify your deficits. This book could save your relationships and your life.
Dalton-Smith, S. (2018) Sacred Rest: Recover your life, renew your energy, restore your sanity. Faith Words, New York.