How to Get the Rest You Need

Apr 26, 2022

During pregnancy and new parenthood, sleep can be like a unicorn. It’s elusive and sought-after, and often doesn’t seem to exist. 🦄

But did you know that sleep and rest are not the same?

That’s why even after a decent amount of sleep, you still feel exhausted.

You likely need a different kind of rest. In addition to actual sleep, there are several other ways to restore that can help you feel more focused, calm and rested.


  • Physical - Physical rest can be passive or active. Passive rest is sleep, and active rest is any restorative activity like yoga, stretching, or massage therapy that improves circulation and flexibility. 


  • Mental - Mental rest is vital to staying focused and feeling well-rested. Our minds are constantly at work, so schedule short breaks throughout your day to pause what you’re doing, slow down and take a mental break.


  • Sensory - Sensory rest gives you a break from screens, lights and noise. Whether you’re connecting virtually or in-person, closing your eyes for a minute or two during the day can give your senses a much-needed respite. Unplugging from electronics at the end of the can also help signal your body’s rest response. Be intentional about how you can create moments of sensory deprivation to increase calm.


  • Emotional - Emotional rest means having the time and space to openly express your feelings and to cut back on people-pleasing. For many people, simply naming their emotions can begin the process of self-awareness and can lead to emotional rest. Remember, all of your emotions are allowed.


  • Social - Social rest is differentiating between relationships that revive us and relationships that deplete us. Becoming aware of the effect of your individual relationships on your wellbeing can help you lean into positive and supportive relationships to better sustain you.


*An important consideration surrounding sensory, emotional, and social rest is social media. I urge you to consider your relationship with social media and with your smartphone in particular as you assess ways to improve your sense of rest and wellbeing.


  • Creative - Creative rest is especially helpful for problem-solving and brainstorming. It reawakens the awe in all of us. Allow yourself to take in the beauty of nature and to experience the arts to tap into creative rest. Step away from a project in order to see it more clearly.


  • Spiritual - Spiritual rest is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. It’s about engaging in something greater than yourself. Invite spiritual rest by adding meditation, prayer, or community involvement into your daily routine.


Now that you know all rest is not created equal, how will you prioritize effective rest?


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