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Finding Restorative Rest

As some of you know, I love a good cup of tea, not any tea, though; I like Yorkshire Tea. I grew up in Yorkshire, watching moms drink tea all day long. They would take short breaks throughout the day to sit down with a cup of tea and sometimes a biscuit. These little pockets of time allowed them to take a much-needed break from their day and recharge.



What a concept! How many times in your day do you "sit down" to savor a drink? Nowadays, it feels like we have to be "forced" to take breaks because we've internalized the notion that if we slow down, we're wasting time. And yet, fatigue and burnout are more common than ever.


I could have used a little energy boost this holiday season. It was a ton of fun but keeping up with everyone was not easy. A few times, I woke up from a good night's sleep feeling just as tired as when I went to bed! I felt burnt out.


As moms, we give to our families all day, draining our emotional, physical, and mental resources depleting most of our energy.


Caring for our families is a full-time job, and many of us still juggle careers, volunteering, social activities, and more! It's no wonder we're exhausted at the end of the day.


Although we know that to have MORE ENERGY, we need to REST, we resist, resist, resist.


When I am well-rested, I have the energy to parent well. I notice that it's easier to connect with my kids because I am more empathetic, more patient and trigger less. I am a better listener and overall feel happier.


When I am tired or burnt out, I don't parent the way I want to. My fatigue affects the whole family.


Can you relate?


I used to think that REST meant taking a nap or getting a good night's sleep. But as crucial as sleep is, it is not enough to re-energize us. Sleeping or napping will only replenish some of my physical energy.


Did you know that we need to replenish, restore, or recharge our energy in seven areas to be fully rested? According to Dr. Dalton-Smith, we need physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative REST!!


I knew about physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual rest but had never thought about needing social, sensory, or creative rest.


Dr. Smith's approach shed light on why I feel chronically fatigued. I can be rested physically but be depleted in one or more of the remaining seven areas. If we want to be present and connected to our kids, we must pay attention to all REST areas and intentionally meet those needs.


We found this information so valuable that we want to explore the "7 Types of Rest" further over the next few weeks.


If we can understand the different types of rest and discover what depletes us, then we can find ways to restore our energy and go from burnt out to "on-fire!"


Let's start by exploring:


PHYSICAL REST

According to the Mind Journal, physical rest is any activity that releases tension from your body and restores peace and calm.


SO HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU NEED PHYSICAL REST?

Are you...

  • Aching at the end of the day?

  • Looking for the next "sugar" fix?

  • Drinking more caffeine than usual?

  • Yelling at the kids more often?

  • Turning down opportunities to hang out with friends?

  • Tired at the end of the day but not able to fall asleep?

  • Frequently fighting with your spouse?

  • Getting sick more often?

If you feel any of the above, pause and let your body rest. Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, states that Physical Rest comes in two forms—passive and active.


PASSIVE REST

Passive rest consists of sleeping and napping.


I always start with SLEEP. I need at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night to feel rested. MY EYES FEEL HEAVY when I am overtired, and my legs start to ache. If I cannot fall asleep or have difficulty staying asleep, I feel the impact the next day. How many hours of sleep do you need?


When you're not sleeping well at night, taking short naps can help. Find short pockets of time to close your eyes and rest during the day. If I get the opportunity to nap while my kids are at school or watching a show or movie, I will. Sometimes I sit with them and unintentionally fall asleep—it is clear my body is telling me I need passive rest.


ACTIVE REST

A more active state of rest would be yoga, meditation, or a massage, anything restorative that helps the body increase circulation and stretches our muscles.


I love Yin yoga; I feel energized afterward and can feel a difference in my body. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Sit and have that cup of tea

  • Stretch for 10 mins

  • Check out a Restorative Yoga Video on Youtube or take a class with a friend

  • Go outside for a short walk

  • Take a hot bubble bath

  • Sit in the jacuzzi

  • Be still, let the tension float away

  • Go for a massage

  • Get a manicure and/or pedicure

Sometimes these short "rest" times are not enough, and we need a more extended break. Getting away for the night alone with a spouse or friend can be rejuvenating. A spa day or even a long walk on the beach or local trail can offer us the "rest" we really need.


We would love to hear what you’ll do to replenish your PHYSICAL ENERGY this week?


Stay tuned as we continue to explore the "7 Types of Rest" and how to incorporate them into our crazy busy days. If you're getting enough physical rest but still feel tired—it could be that you need to attend to one of the other areas of rest.


In our next blog, we'll explore mental rest.


Until then,

Vicky


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