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How to Get Rest When You're Always Feeling Restless

Don't feel guilty, breaks are essential.
by Pia Regalado
Oct 29, 2021
Photo/s: Pexels
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Having a hard time taking a break? Blame it on the pandemic, which obliterated the boundaries between work and rest, psychologists said, as they offered tips on how to switch to relaxation mode and mean it.

Rest is a time to replenish energy, repair the body and refresh the mind, UP Diliman's Psychosocial Services said in an advisory to the community.

"Naka-focus ang buong araw sa trabaho o mga kailangang gawin. Pagdating ng gabi o weekend, wala nang energy o motivation na gawin ang activities na nagbibigay ginhawa. O kaya naman, pakiramdam ay hindi puwede magpahinga hangga't may hindi pa natatapos na gawain," it said.

Sleep and rest are two different things, so getting some shut-eye doesn't necessarily mean that one is fully rested said medical doctor Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of "Sacred Rest".

There are seven types of rest, according to Dalton-Smith:

Physical rest

This can be passive, like sleeping and napping. It can also be active and restorative, like doing yoga, stretching, or massage therapy.

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Mental rest

When someone starts to get easily irritable, forgetful, or having a hard time concentrating, it could be a sign of mental restlessness. Short breaks between work and studying or watching entertaining clips can help, she said.

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Sensory rest

Do long Zoom calls cause your eyes to twitch? Constant pinging of group chats getting to your nerves? You could be suffering from sensory overload syndrome.

Unplugging the electronics, turning the lights off, and shutting the eyes for a few minutes can help recharge the senses, she said.

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Social rest

Social overload? Find time to be alone, Dalton-Smith said. When feeling isolated or lonely, surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Turning on the camera when meeting virtually with friends and family can also help engage more fully.

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Creative rest

Ran out of creative juice for your next brainstorming sessions and pitch meetings? Get a refill by appreciating nature and arts, or make inspiration boards to help you come up with fresh ideas.

Emotional rest

A self-proclaimed "yes" person? Your "yes" needs a vacation. Check in on your emotions and learn to say "I'm not okay". It's okay. Emotional rest requires having space to freely express yourself, said Dalton-Smith.

Spiritual rest

Feeling numb, helpless, or disconnected from your beliefs and values? Meditating, praying, journaling and listening to calming music can help, she said. Spiritual rest is not religiosity; it's about hitting the reset button to realign and refocus on the things that matter in life.

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What can I do to rest?

Here are some tips on how to get rest from UP Diliman's Psychosocial Services.

Find rest that works for you

There's no one-size-fit-all activity. What may be relaxing for others may not be relaxing for you.

You can also try prying your hands away from your phones, where you can still get work notifications while scrolling TikTok or playing Mario Kart.

Commit to getting rest

Ask yourself: What kind of rest do I need? Don't be distracted by taking on more work, like side hustles or hobbies, if that's not the kind of rest you need.

Allow yourself to get mini breaks so you won't feel guilty for taking a whole day off. You don't have to do more work to "deserve" getting rest. Rest is necessary and it helps your productivity.

"Many people have few means to rest. Kaya kung mayroon kang opportunities para makapagpahinga, kunin mo na ang mga ito bilang gesture of gratitude at appreciation para sa sarili," UP PsycServ said.

Continue reading below ↓

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