The Eight Resting Needs—The Week of 12/26/22

Every week I will be reviewing a reputable news article and engaging with it from a mental health professional standpoint. These will be short posts following a three segment model: 1. The News=short synopsis of article 2. The View= My initial impression of the article, and the news impact in the mental health world 3. The Reflection= Useful ways to engage with this information/applications to caring for our mental health. These posts will be published 8am EST on Mondays!

The News= While this isn’t necessarily a news cycle is a recently published blog post that caught my eye on psychtoday. Claudia Skowron writes on 7 types of rest (referring to Dalton-Smith’s theory of rest). This is a really helpful concept framing how to tend to our different rest needs. There are 7 identified areas of rest that Skowron names: 1. Physical 2. Mental 3. Sensory 4. Emotional 5. Social 6. Creative 7. Spiritual .. Skowron also adds 8. Cellular/Systemic Rest. I will give a brief description of these: 1a. This is one of the first kinds of rest we think about…resting our weary bones, muscles and bodies. Sleep is included in this. 2a. Also could be considered “cognitive rest.” It’s unhooking from our busy minds through mindfulness practices, journaling, or even noticing the busyness of our minds. 3a. This is rebalancing our stimulation needs. What sensory experiences are you feeling overwhelmed in, and what would be good to get some space from? 4a. Allowing ourselves space and time to let down our masks, where we can be our full selves. 5a. Do you gain energy or lose energy from connecting with others? Perhaps you need some balance of the two. This is finding that balance. 6a. This is essentially giving your mind time to wander, or not be occupied by “production.” 7a. This is connecting to something deeper or larger than ourselves, however, you might define that. 8a. Being mindful of the balance of things we put into our bodies, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, all the stuff that can make our bodies work harder in certain ways. Here is the article in reference.

A picture of four tiles on a white background that spell out “rest” in a green font.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplashed

The View= If you have ever had the experience that you are resting, but you are wondering why you are still feeling tired this article might be a good one for you. The 7-8 ways to rest is good psychoeducation that brings awareness to parts of our lives that our minds don’t often give us credit for needing tending to. Our minds often focus on threat and scarcity, so they aren’t the greatest of steel traps for remembering things that are restorative. Making a mental or physical inventory of these 8 rests can be a good way to retrain our brain to better serve us.

The Reflection= Some of my close friends and family members give me (deserved) flak for how often I refer to being tired, and this article definitely gets me thinking more about what I am actually identifying. If you are like me..working full time, have kids, and try to keep up with home and chores, I find that I am often referring to needing more physical, sensory, social, and likely cellular rest. Maybe that resonates with you.

When you think of the rest you are needing right now, where do you think your biggest deficits are? What are some doable ways you might be able to make some ground in those areas? For example, I know that I won’t have much control of making gains in physical rest with a baby and almost 6 year old, but I know I can do a better job in finding avenues for cellular rest, and social need (could use a little boost in that regard..and have some people to reach out to.) I hope that you prioritize some ways of resting that have been neglected, and notice a difference this holiday week.

If you would be interested in trying a mindfulness activity that helps promote mental rest, try this!

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