The Seven Types of Rest

Hello Friends!

I really like to keep these newsletters upbeat and interesting. There is enough happening in the world to dampen our joy and I certainly don’t want to contribute to that! I hope my newsletters are little bundles of joy, interest, curiosity and fun that you look forward to receiving every second Friday!
 
However, being positive and optimistic does not mean toxic positivity – where you ignore and push aside any feelings that aren’t positive. That isn’t helpful, nor is it authentic.
 
Which is a slightly long-winded lead-in to saying that I have been feeling quite depleted the last few weeks. I know I’m not alone in that! Everyone seems to be running on fumes at the moment, crawling towards the (perceived, hoped-for) dual finish lines of the winter and the pandemic.
 
And one of the themes that keeps coming up in my coaching is the theme of Rest and Replenishment. How can we recharge without taking time off? How can we replenish our energy (and our energy reserves, which have also been depleted, if not completely drained) if we don’t have access to many of our old energy sources? 
 
So that’s our topic for this week’s newsletter: The Seven Types of Rest!
 
I find the concept in and of itself completely fascinating. Prior to reading this article from TED.com on the topic, I had always equated “rest” with “sleep” and hadn’t given any thought at all really to the fact that there are not only multiple types of rest, but multiple needs for replenishment. Such an interesting thought!

We go through life thinking we’ve rested because we have gotten enough sleep — but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need. The result is a culture of high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired and chronically burned-out individuals. We’re suffering from a rest deficit because we don’t understand the true power of rest. [emphasis mine]

Rest should equal restoration [“replenishment” resonates more with me] in seven key areas of your life: 

  1. Physical
  2. Mental
  3. Sensory
  4. Creative
  5. Emotional
  6. Social
  7. Spiritual

I thought it would be interesting to delve a bit deeper into these types of rest, and what they might mean for each of us.

MENTAL…

I think for many of us, the real culprit in our exhaustion is lack of mental rest. Decision FatigueUncertainty FatiguePandemic Flux Syndrome – they are all draining us mentally. Not to mention having to juggle work, homeschooling, quarantines, restrictions, and which regulations are relevant today has been sapping our mental strength for literally years!
 
If you’re a parent, and especially a mother, chances are your level of mental rest is somewhere far south of zero. Depleted doesn’t even begin to cover it. In fact, according to a recent survey93% of moms are burned out. And 92% of moms said that our society does not do a good job of supporting mothers.
 
“…the truth is that self-care is not enough. And it’s time that we stop telling moms that a simple act of self-care will undo the years of culture-induced overwhelm that is causing us all to burn out.”
 
There aren’t the systems in place to allow a lot of mental rest for working parents these days, and that’s a systemic issue not a personal failing. While that knowledge does not change the system (yet!), I do think it helps to know it isn’t just me!

SENSORY…

The #1 book on my To-Be-Read pile for this year is Adam Grant’s Think Again. The tagline “The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” really speaks to me. I’ve always been a big believer in the more you know, the more you know you don’t know! 😄  And of course it will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I love learning new things!
 
Another new podcast recommendation [thank you, readers, for all your amazing suggestions! Keep ’em coming!!] was Maya Shankar’s A Slight Change of Plans. Articulate, erudite, and a lyrical conversationalist, Shankar has a fascinating interview with Adam Grant in this episode.
 
One thing Grant said that really struck me was “you should define your identity in terms of your values, not your opinions.” I work a lot with my coaching clients around identifying core values and what that means for work/life balance, and for setting boundaries. Our values are such a cornerstone of our identity, and one we don’t often spend much time actively thinking about. Definitely something to ponder. 

EMOTIONAL…

One of the challenges of the latter stage of the pandemic is, I believe, that we are all completely out of emotional reserves. In any normal situation, if you’re feeling bad, you have friends & family to support you emotionally. And you do the same for them when and if the roles are reversed. But what can you do when *everyone* needs emotional support at the same time!? For months and years?! 

For some, the tendency to want to make others happy can veer into people pleasing. On a recent episode of How to Fail, Emma Reed Turrell was interviewed about her book, “Please Yourself: How to Stop People-Pleasing & Transform the Way You Live”. As she explains, one important aspect is to identify who we feel we need to please: “Who we are to other people … it matters to us. It’s just: can we be more discerning about the people that we matter to? Or do we have to matter to everybody, for us to be good human beings?”

This is such a brilliant interview. The author is so astute and articulate in her explanation of what people pleasing actually is and how it can derail our self-care, as well as how much authenticity is required and how much energy it takes to not be authentic. How drained we can get from pretending to be something we’re not; from trying to please everyone else except ourselves, and it is so worth the listen!

My favourite thought-provoking quote from the author: 

“I was saying yes by default rather than by design.”

SOCIAL…

We expend an enormous amount of energy thinking about and worrying about what others think of us. In fact, we usually underestimate how much people like us, and how much they notice about our flaws. Those are the findings of social psychologist Erica Boothby in this episode of Hidden Brain: How Others See You.
 
And to make us feel even less forced into a social norm of how we need to look, this brilliant video by Kate Winslet is really powerful. I love how she encourages all women to stand in their own truth, one of my favourite sayings! ♥

SPIRITUAL…

Two weeks ago, I went skiing for the weekend. It was the most soul-nourishing 2 ½ days I could have wished for. Blue skies. Sunshine. Fresh powder. Good friends. Mountain air. It was monotasking at its best! Hours and hours of doing just one thing: skiing. I came home with more energy than I’d had in months. 
 
Being in the mountains is one of the most spiritual replenishments I know. But whatever your soul needs, are you able to give it a little extra these days?

HOW TO GET 7 TYPES OF REST…

The thing I find so compelling about true crime podcasts is the motivation behind the criminal. What is going through their mind? Do they know what harm they are causing? A picture is worth a thousand words, and these two graphics/pictures provide some great ideas for how to get your seven types of rest!

MY CURRENT BINGE LISTEN…

In the spring of 2004, I unwittingly walked into an armed bank robbery in progress. It took me an embarrassingly long time to notice what was going on around me! Over the years, I’ve told the story multiple times: how I walked into the bank and didn’t notice what was going on. How I thought the robber was actually a victim of a fire and that explained his leather gloves, wig and straw hat in the middle of summer. 🤦‍♀️ How I had to go to the police station to make a statement and look at mug shots [an epic story unto itself!] And how, 18 months later, I was subpoenaed to testify in maximum security court against this man who had not only robbed this branch of the bank, and not only robbed this same branch twice within a 6-week period, but who had been on a spree of bank robberies, after having broken out of jail where he had been serving time for – you guessed it! – armed bank robbery!
 
Over the years, I have told this story countless times. Yet in all of that time, it never once crossed my mind to consider WHY this man had robbed all these banks. So when the podcast Hooked was recommended to me, I knew I had to listen. Not only was it a true crime podcast, but it is about a man who robbed a series of banks and why he did it! Completely fascinating, and an entirely different perspective on crime. A brilliant listen.

The first week of March I am doing a week-long certification in Leadership Profile 360° Feedback which I am super excited about! It’s a fantastic tool that offers an incredible amount of insight into one’s leadership strengths and weaknesses, and also into potential disconnects between how one sees oneself vs how others see them. I can’t wait to do it!
 
However, it’ll mean a lot of reading, studying, and homework for me [the #LearningNerd in me is looking forward to that! 😉] So consequently there will be no newsletter that week. I’ll be back to the regular schedule following that, so the next newsletter will be in 4 weeks!

Have a wonderful time until then, and hope you get 7 kinds of rest! 😊

Hugs,

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