If you take sleep out of the equation, how much rest are you actually getting?
The other day I wrote about why so many people are feeling more tired than a good night’s sleep will fix, today we’re going to look at what else you need apart from sleep so that you feel more energised.
And what you need is rest.
Rest isn’t sleep.
Rest isn’t about sitting down and doing nothing, well… not all the time.
Rest is taking a sacred pause from your everyday activities and giving yourself a moment to reset and recharge yourself.
Sleep vs Rest
To feel more energised you need to, of course, have some good quality sleep, but you also need to rest too.
When you sleep your body physically repairs itself, helps you recover from illness, and process the day you’ve had.
Whereas rest promotes physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Both sleep and rest are essential for you to feel more alert and energised.
Sleep is essential for the quality of your health and well-being and rest is essential to improve your quality of life.
You can try and get by on little sleep, or poor quality sleep, and you can dismiss rest as lazy, indulgent or not needed, but the effects will eventually catch up with you.
Lack of sleep and lack of rest will eventually lead you to feeling exhausted and burnt out.
Boost your energy
We live in a world that talks in the language of energy.
When people are feeling great, they might use words to describe themselves, such as:
- having a bounce or spring in their step
- firing on all cylinders
But when people are not at their best, they can describe themselves as feeling:
- burnt out
- running on empty
- worn out
This is because we’re energetic beings.
Yes, sleep restores our physical body, but we need to recharge our energy systems too. And we do that through RESTorative practices.
Although we live in a world that wants us to keep going, to keep consuming and keep producing, we’re not designed to go on, and on, and on, and on…
We need to stop, to pause, to rest, replenish and nourish ourselves.
Signs you need more rest
If you find yourself feeling or experiencing the following, you need to prioritise rest:
- Feeling lethargic
- Being forgetful
- Feeling grumpy or ‘out of sorts’
- Making mistakes
- Withdrawing from things, or people, you care about
- Waking up feeling tired
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Feeling a lack of purpose or direction in your life
- Frequently feeling ‘off’ or even getting sick
Rest with a magickal twist
I’m going to share with you 7 types of rest and 3 types of nourishment that you need to consider if you want to avoid overwhelm, exhaustion and burnout, or generally just feel much better.
You don’t need to do all of them, all of the time, but if you could do one or two a week, you’d quickly notice the difference.
You might find yourself already prioritising one type of rest, but you need to weave all 10 restorative practices throughout your life.
But don’t worry, this isn’t an arduous task, some of the activities only take a few moments to complete, most of it is about becoming more intentional about how you show up in life – and that’s always going to be a good thing for you.
And to make it more fun, for each type of rest, I’m also going to suggest a way you can make it more magickal.
7 Types of Rest
In a world that glorifies ‘busyness’ we can often see not being busy as being lazy.
But it’s not.
The opposite of busy isn’t lazy, it’s meaningful connection. It’s deep rest and nourishment. It’s presence.
Your body needs to have time to stop being active.
It’s easy to slip into the habit of burning the candle at both ends, running from one appointment to the other. Adrenaline fuelling your body instead of life.
In amongst all of the activities of life, take a moment to pause and gently stretch your body. Allow it to uncurl from the sitting, driving, carrying and lifting.
Gently stretch your body and feel the tension you’ve been carrying melt away.
Magickal rest to support your body
Massage your body and say affirmations to thank your body for all that it does.
You could even massage your body with an enchanted oil to energise or soothe your muscles.
Our minds are on the go all the time. Thinking, trying to solve something, even second-guessing ourselves.
Tasks often merge from one to another, we can even find ourselves mindless scrolling or staring at a screen trying to force yourself to work.
Try taking rests from focused tasks.
Set a time limit for a task. Then take a 5-minute break. And then go back to your task.
If you work for yourself, or from home, make sure there’s a clearly define ‘end’ to your work day.
Step into nature and let your eyes focus on something in the distance – this is particularly important if you’ve been sat in front of a screen for a period of time.
Magickal rest to support your mind
Hum, sing or whistle your favourite chant or song.
If you have to stay at your desk, give yourself a few minutes to look away from your screen and daydream about something you’re passionate about or visualise an intention you’re working on.
From an early age we’re often taught not to make a fuss or not to be too loud, too opiniated or too much. This can make it hard for people to express how they truly feel.
Yet it’s essential to express how you’re honestly feeling, or the pent up, repressed emotions can leave you feeling frustrated and undermine your self-esteem.
Talk to a trusted friend or a therapist, if you have access to one.
Magickal rest to support your emotions
Journalling is a great way to explore your emotions and uncover what you’re really feeling. Helping you to get clear on what you actually need to do and focus on.
Another way to release emotions is to write down how you’re feeling, or write an (unsent) letter to a person or situation that’s bothering you, don’t send the letter, but burn it somewhere safe and suitable. Let your emotions be transformed by the fire.
All day, every day, each activity, interaction and task you do creates an energetic exchange. These invisible ways that we spend our energy can leave us feeling drained without even realising what’s happened.
It’s essential that you learn to be intentional with where you spend your energy, as the phrase goes: ‘When attention goes, energy flows’.
Stop giving your time, energy and attention to things that leave you feeling anxious or depleted.
The Importance of Energy podcast episode
Magickal rest to support your emotions
Call back your energy and power by grounding your energy, so that you feel centred in your own body, rather that buffeted by the energy and emotions of those around you.
And here’s a second article on ways to ground your energy.
Cleanse your energy of other people’s emotions and expectations by having a salt bath or magickal shower
Throughout much of life we have learned to ask: ‘who do I need to be in this situation to be accepted or loved?’
This can lead to a lifetime of taking on roles or wearing masks to ‘fit in’.
Sometimes it’s handy, most of the time it just hides the truth of who you are.
Take a break from being the good girl, the people pleaser, the ‘fixer’. Stop being a chameleon or all-things-to-all-people and let yourself simply be.
Magickal rest to support how you relate to the world
In my book ‘Magickal Knickers and other ways to create a life of intention – Reclaim the Magick of You’ I share how we can create a life on our own terms, a life that celebrates who we are, and that it can start simply by consciously choosing your knickers.
Magickal Knickers podcast episode
As fun as it can be meeting people, visiting places and having new experiences, sometimes you just need to slow down and not expend all your energy.
Instead, choose to spend more time with people that really nourish you and celebrate you for exactly who you are.
And if you’re an introvert, ensure you have time alone to recharge.
Magickal rest to support your social interactions
Using the magick of your words, cast a ‘spell’ of ‘no’ as you decline an invitation to prioritise your energy turning inwards to focus on restoring you.
All day long our senses are taking in everything around us. What we see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
As well as what we think of as our traditional five senses, these senses are becoming more refined as we become more attuned to the world around us.
We sense and pick up on so much more both physically and intuitively.
Give your senses a rest by taking a break from bright lights and loud noises.
Close off your notifications on your devices that are designed to catch your attention.
Magickal rest to come back to your senses
Step into the void and surrender to the darkness by resting your senses.
Close your eyes or put on an eye mask. Turn off the any sounds, or wear earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. Lay down and put a blanket over you. And just allow yourself to surrender to the darkness. To deeply rest and be held in the dark.
3 Types of Nourishment You Need to Feel Rested
There are three types of nourishment that work alongside your rest to restore your energy. They involve you doing something, rather than taking a break from something:
What spiritual practices do you have that allow you to connect with ‘something bigger’ than the everyday normalcy of life?
Perhaps these are individual practices or practices you do with a community.
They could include singing, prayer, performing rituals, or sharing stories.
You could also volunteer for something that’s important to you.
Focus on doing an activity that fulfils your sense of purpose.
Magickal nourishment to support your senses
Choose your favourite visualisations or meditations. Remember the meditation isn’t to still your mind, but to rest it.
Take a walk in nature and be in awe of her beauty and the complexity of connections between everything.
Draw an oracle card or use some other form of divination to tap into your intuition and the messages from your higher self.
It’s all too easy to lose touch with what’s important to you. Caught up in the should’s and expectations of your family and friends, of your culture and the society around you.
Take some time to notice what beliefs and values are yours, and which have been inherited or absorbed from the world around you.
Then make sure your actions, and the way that you spend your time, energy and resources are aligned with your true needs, desires and values (and not just what you think you should do).
Magickal nourishment to help you live an aligned life
Create a magickal life philosophy.
This is an exercise I take people through from my book ‘Magickal Knickers and other ways to create a life of intention – Reclaim the Magick of You’
Essentially you’re creating your own rules for living your life. A life that aligns with your actual values and the things that are important to you.
Create a magickal life philosophy podcast episode
Expressing yourself in a creative way is essential to your well-being.
It’s not about being good at something, but allowing yourself the freedom to create something.
Art, writing, cooking, singing, pursuing a hobby, anything that appeals to you.
You are creating something for the joy of the creative process, not for the finished product, you might not even finish what you’re creating.
Magickal nourishment to support you express your creative self
Craft something to be used in your magickal workings.
- A mini-altar broom made out of herbs.
- Enchanted bath salts.
- Black salts to protect your energy and space.
- Your very own oracle deck, drawn or collaged.
- Decorating your own candles for magick.
Make time for each area of your rest throughout the month. You might find you need to focus on one area more than others to support how you feel or what you’re experiencing in your life at any given time.
Experiment with the types of rest and ask yourself:
- How did I feel during the rest, did you enjoy it?
- How did I feel after the rest, did it nourish or recharge you?
If you haven’t found something that you enjoy or that leaves you feeling recharged, you haven’t tried enough things.
Keep experimenting until you find what works for you.
CLEANSE AND CLEAR YOUR ENERGY
FEEL LIKE YOURSELF AGAIN, ONLY BETTER
Life happens, and sometimes it can leave you feeling less than your best self.
Clear the build up of energetic gunk, leaving you free to reconnect to what's really important to you once more.