The Rest Deficit
Updated: Nov 19, 2022
Feeling drained and depleted? It might be more than just sleep you're missing....
Hi friends, welcome to FALL! It’s 100 degrees as I write this, and I have yet to sip on my first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, but I can feel the change of the seasons deep in my bones…in my tired-ass bones.
Yep, I’m feeling pretty drained from a busy, busy Summer. You?
And I'm not just physically tired from getting back into a school routine with the kiddos, or cleaning the house, or work... What I'm experiencing is an all-over tired, a mind, body, soul level burn out that requires more than a Saturday sleep catch-up session or a day of vegging-out in front of Nextflix to fix. This isn't really surprising. After the heat, the playfulness, the longer days of the Summer season, we're all supposed to take a break. Fall is an invitation for us to slow down, to let go, to do less, and to get some real, replenishing, transformative rest.
In the book Sacred Rest by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith she shared that there are 7 different types of rest: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative. Most of us are deficient in at least one, if not more of these areas, and our go-to techniques to relieve exhaustion aren’t quite enough. Here are some interesting stats:
45 percent of Americans sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night reported feeling tired or fatigued up to three times a week.
Around 3 out of 5 U.S. adults say they feel more tired now than they’ve ever been.
According to a recent survey by OnePoll, 58% of respondents said they feel unfocused or disjointed, and 55% said no amount of rest helps them feel focused.
It’s not just a collective sleep-deficit we’ve got going on, people, it’s a REST deficit.
So what can we (realistically) do to recharge?
Spend time in nature. Nothing is better to revive the human spirit (in my opinion) than being surrounded by the sights, smells, sounds, and feel of nature.
Get creative. You don't have to be Van Gho to flex your creative muscle. Write in your journal, doodle, collage, cook a beautiful meal, check out an art exhibit, go to a concert...any activity that gives your analytical left-side brain ( and the worries it likes to chew on) a break, is great.
Unplug. Set aside a specific time each day to turn it all off - the news, the computer, tv, instagram, etc. Opt for a bath with epsom salts or a guided meditation (extra delicious if you use a Yogaleena eye pillow) to give your senses the rest they deserve.
Spend time with people who think you are an incredible human, exactly as you are. Sharing stories, laughing, and being yourself in community gives your energy a BIG boosts.
Move your body in ways that fee supportive. As Dr. Dalton-Smith says, rest isn't about stopping all activity. Its about investing energy in those activities that fertilize our souls. A yoga practice that feels good (not exhausting), a long morning walk, or a dance class can all help you feel more emotionally rested.