Why we all need rest

Nicola Jane Hobbs - Feb.23.23

Rest is so important and often overlooked, we've reached out to Reflex Ambassador Nicola Jane Hobbs, Eating and Exercise Psychologist who specialises in psychoeducation for fitness pros to find out the types of rest she likes to participate in. She had this to say: 
Athletes know the importance of taking rest days to allow their minds and bodies to recover from the stress of intense training.

But it’s not only athletes that need rest days.

We all do!

Without balancing the stress in our lives with rest, we build something called ‘allostatic load’ – wear and tear on the body caused by elevated hormonal and neural responses to stress.

Rest is what allows our minds and bodies to recover from the stresses of daily life so we feel and perform our best.

But rest doesn’t just mean lying around doing nothing.

Rest is any activity that allows our stress responses to ‘switch off’, activates the
parasympathetic nervous system and shifts our body out of a state of fight-or-flight and into a state of rest and recovery.

Here are 10 types of rest to explore:

Physical rest
This includes naps, nutrition, calming breathwork, gentle movement, mindful

Mental rest
This includes non-thinking activities like baking, gardening, exercising, knitting
and cooking.

Emotional rest 
This includes journaling, therapy sharing your feelings with someone you
trust and taking a break from the news.

Sensory rest
This includes things like warm baths, soothing scents, loose clothing, calming
music and clean, tidy environments.

Psychosocial rest
This includes things like hugs, meaningful conversations, time with
people you love and solitude. 

Spiritual rest
This includes meditation, prayer, rituals and joining spiritual communities.

Playful rest 
This includes reading fiction, team sports, watching comedy and playing board

Creative rest 
This includes painting, cake decorating, knitting and awe-filled experiences.

Ecological rest
This includes time in nature, gardening, house plants and listening to nature sounds.
Altruistic rest
This includes activism, donating to charity and volunteering.

To help you get enough rest, you might like to reflect on the below questions...

1. What types of rest practices do you make time for on a regular basis?
2. What are the warning signs you need to prioritise rest?
3. What are the barriers that can get in the way of getting enough rest?
4. What types of rest can you weave into your week?
5. What might be some of the boundaries you need to set so you can honour your need for rest