The holiday season is in full swing! And you are probably planning your dream holiday. This is an excellent time to think about how to spend your time off work. Many people, however, complain that they don’t rest enough on holiday. Why is that so? Because we want to do too much! Usually, we want to take full advantage of leisure time, so we plan long routes, see many attractions, or engage in too many activities. But what we really need the most is less action and more rest. We all know perfectly well that a well-rested person is more effective and happier!
Rest according to Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith
It is not enough to combine physical and mental effort to rest completely. A doctor of internal medicine, Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, in her book “Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity” describes seven types of rest that affect a person’s psychophysical state. They include sensory rest, creative rest, social rest, and passive physical rest, i.e., sleep. Only with proper regeneration can we rebuild the body and feel good!
The basic form of rest is physical rest, that is, sleep. We have repeatedly written about the benefits of sleep, but it can never be too much! Dr Dalton-Smith emphasises that sleep is our most essential and basic need, and we have to meet it. She stresses that we should sleep at least eight hours, although this can depend on our lifestyle.
Resting skill of the 21st century
One might be tempted to say that nowadays, rest is a skill that we have to learn. Another form of rest is mental rest, that is, the ability to “cut ourselves off” from constantly analysing and processing our action. Modern man lives in a constant state of multitasking, so you need to make time to relax. After work, turn off your laptop and leave your business behind; you deserve mental rest!
Sensory rest is another form of relaxation identified by Dr Dalton-Smith. We don’t even realise how stimulated we are by the constant stimuli that bombard us every day. We are in a continual state of “sensory overload”. So shorten screen-time, reduce phone notifications, and limit the use of your electronic devices. You’ll quickly see the difference! You’ll become calmer and find balance easier.
Appreciate the beauty!
Creative rest is nothing more than allowing yourself to see the beauty around you and to interact with art, nature, or creation. We stimulate the depth of our own imagination by observing other people’s creativity. It is worth taking the time to experience beauty in any form – theatre, art, or music. It is essential to find something intangible that will allow you to rest mentally.
Emotional rest is possible only if the person we spend time with is someone with whom we do not need to pretend to be someone else. It’s amazingly comforting to just be yourself. You don’t have to tame your emotions so that they are easier to accept. Being authentic is a huge luxury. We feel that we no longer have to pretend because our loved one is supportive.
Find a way to relax
Social rest is nothing more than avoiding social contact. The pandemic locked us in our homes and gave us a break from toxic relationships and overbearing people. Prolonged isolation can be difficult for some, but everyone got some good out of it. That is, for a while, we had limited contact with others. Nevertheless, some people can rest effectively in the company of friends, and this too is beautiful!
The final form of rest is spiritual rest, which, according to Dr Dalton-Smith, “is based on a sense of acceptance and belonging to something other than our own self.” This can be interpreted as religion and a belief that our strength comes, for example, from the conviction that helping others makes sense.
We need every form of rest to be happy. Therefore, do not plan too much on your holiday, give yourself time for boredom, to do nothing, and enjoy the moment! Holidays are not another project to be accomplished – allow yourself time to take care of yourself.