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7 Types of Rest: Unlocking a Balanced and Fulfilling Life - How Therapy can Help

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

How Therapy can Help

In today's fast-paced world, finding moments of rest and rejuvenation is more important than ever. We often associate rest with simply sleeping or taking breaks from work, but rest encompasses a broader spectrum of activities and practices that can replenish our energy and enhance overall well-being. Inspired by the work of Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, this blog post,

Explores the 7 Types of rest and How therapy can help us cultivate a more balanced and fulfilling life.

1. Physical Rest

Individuals Therapy

Physical rest refers to giving our bodies the rest they need through activities such as sleeping, napping, and taking regular breaks. Physical rest is crucial for recharging our energy levels, reducing physical strain, and preventing burnout. Therapy can help individuals develop and practice healthy sleep habits, manage stress-related physical symptoms, and establish boundaries for better work-life balance.

Try this out: Incorporating a daily 10-20-minute power nap into your routine can improve focus, cognitive function, and overall productivity.

2. Mental Rest

cognitive-behavioural therapy

In our hyperconnected world, mental rest is essential to combat information overload and mental fatigue. It involves disconnecting from digital devices, engaging in mindfulness practices, and quieting the mind. Therapy can provide techniques such as mindfulness meditation, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and stress management strategies to help individuals cultivate mental rest.

Try this out: Taking a 5 to 10 minute break from screens every hour to practice deep breathing exercises or engage in a brief mindfulness session can improve mental clarity and reduce anxiety.

3. Sensory Rest

Sensory rest Therapy

Sensory rest involves creating a calm and peaceful environment by reducing sensory stimuli. It can be achieved through activities like spending time in nature, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music. Therapy can help individuals develop coping mechanisms for sensory overload and create personalized self-care routines that promote sensory rest.

Try this out: Allocating time each day to enjoy a quiet space, free from loud noises and bright lights, can provide much-needed sensory rest and relaxation.

4. Creative Rest


Creative rest refers to taking a break from tasks that require active creativity and allowing oneself to engage in activities that stimulate inspiration and innovation. It can involve hobbies such as painting, playing an instrument, or writing in a journal. Therapy can assist individuals in exploring their creative side, overcoming creative blocks, and finding joy in self-expression.

Try this out: Participating in a pottery class or experimenting with a new recipe can ignite your imagination and bring a sense of fulfillment.

5. Emotional Rest

Emotional Rest Therapy

Emotional rest involves processing and releasing emotions, allowing ourselves to experience and express feelings without judgment or suppression. It can be achieved through therapy sessions, journaling, talking to trusted friends, or engaging in activities that bring joy and comfort. Therapy provides a safe space for individuals to explore and address emotional challenges, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and cultivate emotional well-being.

Try this out: Engaging in regular talk therapy sessions can help individuals navigate and release emotional burdens, leading to increased emotional rest and resilience.

6. Social Rest

Social Rest Therapy

Social rest involves setting boundaries and taking breaks from social interactions to recharge and nourish oneself. It's about finding a balance between socializing and carving out alone time. Therapy can assist individuals in identifying their social needs, developing assertiveness skills, and establishing healthy boundaries in relationships.

Try this out: Taking an evening off from social commitments and spending quality time alone, engaging in activities like reading, taking a leisurely walk, or enjoying a favorite hobby, can provide much-needed social rest.

7. Spiritual Rest

Spiritual rest Therapy

Spiritual rest encompasses activities that nurture our inner selves and connect us to a higher purpose or meaning. It can involve practicing meditation, engaging in religious or spiritual rituals, or spending time in nature. Therapy can support individuals in exploring their spiritual beliefs, finding meaning and purpose, and integrating spiritual practices into their daily lives.

Try this out: Allocating time each day for quiet reflection, prayer, or journaling can foster spiritual rest and promote a sense of inner peace and fulfillment.


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Understanding and incorporating the seven types of rest into our lives can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling existence. Therapy can play a crucial role in helping individuals develop the necessary skills and strategies to achieve rest in each of these areas. By prioritizing rest and seeking support when needed, we can unlock the power of true rejuvenation and live a more vibrant and purposeful life.

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