7 Types of Rest You Need to Adopt for a More Productive Life

7 Types of Rest You Need to Adopt for a More Productive Life

For a long time I thought that rest was useless. I felt that every minute spent doing nothing was wasted time and that the only thing that mattered for success was hard work. So I took very few breaks and worked until I was exhausted. I was one of those people who said, “I’ll rest when I’m dead.”

Except that by pulling too much on the rope, I ended up doing a burnout. For several weeks, I was unable to do everyday things. Mundane activities like getting out of my house, shopping, preparing food… seemed insurmountable to me. It took me several months to get back on my feet and get back to a normal life.

This experience made me realize that repose is just as important as work. Since then I have integrated 7 types of rest into my daily life to take care of my body and my mind while making each hour worked more efficient and productive. In this article, I will share with you these 7 types of rest and explain how to adopt them.

1. Physical rest

When we hear the word “rest”, we usually think of physical rest. It includes sleep, naps, but also relaxation activities such as yoga, stretching or massages.

How to take physical rest:

  • Take naps after meals: Naps help you replenish energy, reduce stress, improve memory and stay focused. Even a 5 minute nap can work wonders. A study conducted by NASA showed that pilots who took short naps were 34% more alert than those who did not.
  • Stretch regularly: Stretching helps keep your muscles flexible, strong and healthy. They also help reduce stress because they act directly on your hormones that regulate your mood. Stretch regularly, your body and mind will thank you.

2. Mental rest

The mind needs rest – it gets better and sharper after a good break


Do you tend to think too much? Do you wonder about everything all the time and it tires you? If so, you need mental rest.

How to take mental rest:

  • Take daily walks: Leave your smartphone at home and go for a 30-minute walk in the heart of nature. Look at the vegetation around you, feel the wind on your face, listen to the birdsong and let your mind wander.
  • Take a shower: Who said you had to take a shower in the morning or in the evening? If you can, take it in the middle of the day after a Deep Work session for example. Personally, I take my shower at 11 a.m. after my sports session. It gives me energy to tackle my tasks in the afternoon.

3. Sensory Rest

Between the bright lights of your screens, the vibrations of your smartphone and the noise of your notifications, your senses are continuously stimulated. Faced with this bombardment of stimuli, your body and mind get tired. So you need sensory rest.

How to take a sensory rest:

  • Work off-screen as much as possible: brainstorm on a board, take notes in a notebook, get organized with a bullet journal. Take advantage of every opportunity to work without a screen.
  • Do your meetings while walking: Rather than doing your meetings on Zoom, do your meetings by phone while walking if you can, you will get away from the screens.

4. Creative Rest

Are you working on a project, but you lack ideas? Are you running into a problem and can’t find a solution? You want to produce content, but you are out of inspiration? Then you need some creative rest.

How to take creative rest:

  • Change your habits: Do activities that you are not used to doing, develop new skills (painting, piano, dance, cooking…), meet new people. By shaking up your routines, you will expose yourself to new ideas that will bring you a new wave of inspiration.
  • Consume more content: If you lack creativity, it is often a sign that you lack raw material. To find it, read books, listen to podcasts, watch conferences, read blogs, follow interesting people on social networks, go to museums… By increasing the volume of input, to naturally increase the volume of output .

5. Emotional rest

When someone asks you “How are you?” you always answer “Good”, even when things are going badly. Because expressing your emotions is frowned upon in society. If you cry, you are seen as fragile. If you show fear, you are seen as weak. If you explode in anger, you are seen as unstable. So you pretend everything is fine. Just wearing this mask all the time is exhausting. This is why you need emotional rest. You must create moments during which you can freely express your emotions and release all your tensions.

How to take an emotional rest:

  • Practice journaling: Take a few minutes each day to jot down the things you think about. Write down your fears, doubts, feelings and thoughts to get them out of your head.
  • Have a heart-to-heart with someone: Call a loved one, or grab coffee with a friend and talk to them about what’s keeping you up at night. A simple discussion allows both to verbalize your problems and to feel listened to and supported.
  • Create a stress relief: Choose an activity that allows you to physically vent. You can run, practice boxing, sing, swim, walk, ride a bike or even smash everything in a break room. Physical activity remains the best way to free yourself from all your tensions.

6. Social rest

Do you spend your time in meaningless meetings? Have you agreed to accompany your spouse to a party, but are you dragging your feet to get there? Do your family or friends often come to visit you and you would like to be able to be alone sometimes? If so, you need social rest.

How to take social rest:

  • Prioritize asynchronous communications: Most meetings are a waste of time. They serve no specific purpose and last far too long. Avoid them as much as possible and choose emails to communicate instead.
  • Set aside time to be alone with yourself: Go hiking alone, do activities alone, travel alone. These moments of solitude are important for refocusing. This is what Bill Gates used to do at least once a year when he was still CEO of Microsoft. For a week he went to isolate himself in a secret cabin lost in the middle of nowhere to think. He called these moments Think Weeks.

7. Spiritual Rest

If you feel lost, aimless and wondering about the meaning of your life, you probably need a spiritual rest. This type of rest will help you find meaning by connecting with something bigger than yourself.

How to take spiritual rest:

Volunteer: Help people in need, pick up litter, plant trees, raise funds for a cause you care about.

Practice meditation: Meditation can help you feel more connected to others and to the universe. It can also help you detach yourself from your ego and material attachment to find deep meaning in your life.

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