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The 7 Types of Rest and Ways to Incorporate It - A Psychotherapist's Guide

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

The 7 Types of Rest

Many people tend to dismiss it when they’re feeling tired. However, even when we’ve gotten more than enough sleep, how is it that we wake up feeling low on energy from the start? When you’re getting enough rest but still can’t seem to shake off that feeling of exhaustion, you’re not the only one. Sleep doesn’t always work the way we want it to, and when struggling with sleep, it can be a concept you’re well aware of. Keep reading to find out what a Registered Psychotherapist has to say about the different types of rest and the tools and tips she shares every day with her clients on ways to incorporate them into everyday life.

The 7 Types of Rest and How to Make Them a Part of Your Life

Physical rest

1. Physical Rest

Creating Restorative Movement Many of us already know that the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is anywhere from seven to nine hours. However, did you know that there are different types of physical rest? The main types of physical rest are:Passive: Sleeping and napping are the two most common types of passive sleeping. Active: Stretching, yoga, massages, and more.Combination: You have to do specific things to ensure both types of rest are optimal for your body, like keeping hydrated and taking rest days from working out. If you feel like you’re having a problem getting adequate sleep, it might be ideal to see a health and mental health professional to figure out what the problem is.TIP: You can utilize the vast library of YouTube videos available online from creators like Yoga with Bird and Yoga with Adrienne. They have a large selection of videos that range from low-impact, light stretching to full body stretch with strengthening.

2. Mental Rest

Quieting the Mind Even when our bodies have received optimal physical rest, it doesn’t always guarantee that our minds are fully rested. People who struggle with getting adequate mental rest will be most likely be seen relying on energy drinks or caffeine to keep them active throughout the day. They will also find it hard to switch off their thoughts when it’s time to sleep. When our body is rested, but our mind isn’t, there are several remedies to try out:Meditation: When needing to tune out unnecessary thoughts and give some mental rest, it is great to try out. Changing your scenery: Sometimes, you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, and nothing does it better than taking a short trip. Go to a place that will give you the relaxation you’re looking for schedule small breaks: It’s crucial to take time out for yourself, especially on busy days. While taking breaks can seem natural when working in a physical office, working at home makes it difficult to schedule outbreaks. Consider using apps to help you with timing these short breaks. We particularly enjoy Stand Up! The Work Break Timer for its ease of use and simplicity. If your mental rest is not being achieved due to problems in your life, it might be worthwhile considering trauma therapy, family therapy, or even couples therapy, depending on your needs.TIP: Use the timer app on your phone or schedule breaks on your calendar. You can even get Alexa or Google to remind you to take breaks! Consider using YouTube videos like Container Meditation ([]( that will help you out when beginning meditation.

3. Sensory Rest

Recalibrating Our Nervous System InputBright lights, multiple distractions, and constant noise can be pretty overwhelming for your senses. They can even make you see or hear things when there are none. Taking a short break by even closing your eyes can help you relieve some of this sensory overload.TIP: When learning to control your sensory overload, consider limiting your screen time (on all devices) and turning off notifications. You can also use free tools like the Headspace and Calm App to schedule some time off from distractions.

Creative rest

4. Creative Rest

Feel InspiredIf you’re facing a creative block that makes you unable to concentrate on much and unable to brainstorm, you might feel stifled. Creative rest will ensure that you feel inspired in no time at all. Connecting with nature is ideal for clearing your mind of any distractions and starting with a fresh mind. Doing physical activities like walking, hiking, or even taking care of your plants will make you feel re-energized in no time.It is also a great time to use free apps that can help you get closer to your creative side, like the All Trails Hiking app, Colouring Books app, Sudoku apps, and more! Stimulate your minds with a little creative exercise. Getting cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is also ideal to reshape the way you think to achieve better ways around your creative obstacles.TIP: If you’re specifically looking to reconnect with your creative side once more, consider enjoyable hobbies like knitting, listening to music, watching movies, dancing, or playing creative games as a way to do that.

5. Social Rest

Reconnect With YourselfSome relationships fulfill our lives and those that drain us. However, it can be tricky figuring out which is which, and sometimes you need to take a break from it all to ensure you can sort out your priorities. It’s crucial to recognize who takes your energy and learn to say no to them. You can also organize game nights or movie nights with people who uplift you and energize you. Use the Netflix Party extension ( to start planning away.TIP: A quiet night in, without any Zoom calls or FaceTime to distract you, is just what is needed. Reconnect with yourself by journaling, organizing your space, lighting candles, and doing whatever you need to take care of yourself.

6. Emotional Rest

Healing Your heart when you need a safe space to heal your emotional side, it’s time to reflect and see what needs to be changed. It’s time, to be honest about your emotions without worrying about what others might think or feel about them. Seeking out support through therapy can help offer you that safe and open space to talk without worrying about how others might see or judge you. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these helpful therapy directories to help start your search for the right therapist for you: Althea: BIPOC DirectoryHealing in Colour, BIPOC Therapist, Open Path Collective: Optimal for reduced fee clients.

Another avenue you might consider is our therapists: We operate a full fee and therapist intern clinic where fees start at $50 per session. All our clinicians also have reduced prices available, so check it out ( Whether you’re looking for Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) or Solution-focused therapy (SFT) or any other type of specifical therapy treatment, reaching out to a therapist will be able to provide you with the optimal guidance and way to achieve your goals. We offer free 15-minute phone consultations so you can see who will be the best fit for you and your needs.

7. Spiritual Rest

Live Meaningfully Learning about life and the meaning behind it is essential when you’re looking to live a well-balanced and fulfilling life. Reading or listening to books is also a great way to understand the meaning of life and other people’s interpretations of it. The library is a great and cost-efficient way to start, if you have a library card, the phone app Libby offers you free audiobooks! Some of our favorites include: Peace is Every Step: Thich Nhat Hanh, Daring Greatly: Brene Brown, Grit: Angela Duckworth

TIP: Consider seeking out other like-minded souls through community platforms like Discord, and Reddit or meeting them through volunteering activities. Knowing what type of rest you’re missing and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle is essential when you want to live every day to the best of your abilities. Don’t let exhaustion become a habit when you effectively tackle it.

Want to Get Help?

Your mental health impacts all areas of your life. If you don't keep yourself healthy, your mental health might interfere with your everyday activities. It might also make you feel hopeless or afraid.

If you're ready to get help, let us know. Our team of professionals provides a variety of therapy options to people like you. This includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We also believe therapy should be accessible to everyone, so we offer online and in-person options.

Our 15-minute phone or video consultations are free and come without obligations!



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