The Types of Rest You Need to Stay Productive

Issue 44: You might not be getting the right type of rest

Happy Sunday. I’ve been thinking a lot about burnout and the risk of not being aware of the severity in which they feel that way. Throughout the pandemic, humans were forced to be resilient. Though resilience is something good to possess, it’s not a strategy. This would be the equivalent of saying the number one attribute of a professional boxer is they can take a lot of punches. At some point, resilience will give and you’ll break. A stock image I see used a lot is the visualization of a lot of matches in a row being burned with one being pulled out of the row so the chain of burn doesn’t exhaust all the matches.

This is where frequent rest is important. Since you don’t know when the final straw is for you, recovery needs to be consistent and persistent. Though people often think rest is only sleeping, it’s far from the reality of our human needs. Today, I watched this wonderful TED Talk by Saundra Dalton-Smith MD's talk "The 7 types of rest that every person needs" and it was enlightening.

TLDR, there are seven types of rest humans need:

  1. Physical rest

  2. Mental rest

  3. Sensory rest

  4. Creative rest

  5. Emotional rest

  6. Social rest

  7. Spiritual rest

Though I enjoy sleep and naps, I realized I needed much more rest in other areas. This weekend focused on a few focuses to help me rest up:

  • First, I sent this newsletter much later than I usually do. I wanted to commit to 9 am, but I was too tired. This is a trade-off I was willing to make (physical rest)

  • Bought a piece of artwork by Sarah Schwartz to admire in my house (creative rest)

  • Drove to Los Angeles and hung out in Manhattan beach with Jessica, then met with a friend in Atwater Village to talk about life (social rest)

  • Caught up with a friend discussing fulfillment and purpose in life (spiritual rest)

Everything I listed is tiny actions, but it pulled the match away so I could recover. As Khalia Braswell tweeted: rest is productive.

How are you doing with your resting? Is there a type of rest you're doing well at? What about the one you need to improve and how would you invest in getting more of it?

The Olympic Summer games commence next month in Tokyo. I view Olympians as the top performances in their craft and they remind me they do two things better than us: training and rest. If you want to move up in your career, do these two things together. Happy resting.

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