The 7 Kinds of Rest and How to Know Which One You Need

We think rest is as simple as taking a nap, but not knowing what KIND of rest you need may leave you feeling exhausted at the end of something intended to help you.

Summer is when we typically try to find some time to rest. You may need more than one of these kinds of rest so see what sounds like what you need and make space for it. If you want more details, listen to the “Holy Mess” podcast episode below. I go into detail on each type halfway through the episode.

1. Relaxation

This is the baseline for all rest. We need at least a small amount of this in our daily lives. Relaxation looks different for everyone. It could be going for a walk, taking a nap, watching a mindless show, or even doing some gardening. We need to find regular pockets of relaxation so we do not overdo it each day.

2. Reset

If you have not gotten regular relaxation for a long time, you may be due for a reset. This is when you have gotten off the path you’d like to be on. This could be something physical like the mail piling up and you need to finally sort it and deal with it. It could also be something emotional or spiritual that needs to be tended to.

If you have not done what bring you joy in a while this is rest that involves doing those things!

3. Recharge

You need a recharge when you feel empty or behind. When you feel like you have nothing left, it’s time for a recharge! This kind of rest often needs to be accompanied by some kind of sleep or a nap. A recharge takes more time than relaxation or even a reset. This kind of rest is needed when you are close to burnout.

When I was feeling this once, I went to an AirBNB with my husband for the weekend. The key was, I filled the weekend with what I needed most. I spent time with God. I spent time alone. I went for long walks with my husband and found the kind of recharge I needed.

You may need a whole day off work or a weekend for a recharge.

4. Take a Break

This kind of rest is ideal if you are in a season of life when long periods of rest are not possible. Since I have a little one at home right now, this is the season I am in. My friend Bekah has a chronically ill husband so she also is in a stage when short breaks are the only kind of rest that is possible.

Take a break from being constantly needed and mentally detach for a few minutes. This kind of rest could be as simple as a quick walk around the block or getting a quick nap. Very little relaxing happens when you are in a crazy season when much is being required of you. Some seasons of life only give us breaks so look for your opening, even plan for it and then take a short break.

5. Rest Before Something Big

When you know a season is about to get crazy for one reason or another, plan some time to rest. Plan family time or alone time to make sure you are healthy and rested before you get drained from stress.

6. Rest During Something Big

Take one day or even one hour and step away from the stress of the season. Go see your favorite movie! Go take a long walk in the park! If you have a job with a long busy season, plan ahead and take a vacation day in the middle. Your mental and emotional health will thank you for planning some rest in the midst of a full season.

7. Rest After Something Big

This kind of rest is like a recharge but with a celebratory bent! You made it! Mark those moments by celebrating with intentional rest. You may want to plan a trip to get away or simply a weekend full of what make you feel rested and joyful.

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