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Brain Circuits

Relaxation techniques you may be missing

IbyIMD+Published 2 February 2023 in Brain Circuits • 4 min read

Have you ever found yourself what I call “Scratting”? If you are not familiar with the term, you can read in depth about it here, but suffice it to say, it’s a condition where you find yourself  running around like a frantic squirrel trying to do a million things, but in reality are getting very little done other than getting yourself worked up until you run out of energy and are forced to stop. Even then you may still find it difficult to slow down your busy mind. My innate tendency to ‘scrat’ keeps me searching for effective ways to switch off.  Reading this article, I understood  why my usual ‘reading-yoga-sleep’ strategies were no longer effective when I had a lot going on. I needed to expand my definition of ‘rest’.  Adding more of these types of rest into your routines can make you more productive and help you to recharge better.

Physical rest

 Do you need to reduce or increase your movements? This type of rest can be passive (sleep, staying at home) or active (walking, exercising).

Creative rest

When was the last time you did something creative? This is especially important if your work is analytical and focused on problem solving. Step away from your norm and do something that stimulates your mind in a different way: photography, creative writing, or even adult coloring.

Sensory rest

Are you overloading your senses? We all need breaks from the noise that surrounds us, and most of us know that, but still don’t do it. As an exercise this week, pay attention to when stimuli are starting to build up and look for ways to reduce it. Maybe just go sit in a quiet place for five minutes with your eyes closed, or perhaps go for a short walk in nature.

Mental rest

 Do you wait for brain fog to kick in before you take a break? If you don’t notice you are losing steam before it is totally gone, you are waiting too long. When you are busy, it can be hard to look for cues that you are starting to fade, so instead try building breaks into your day. For instance, use your phone or computer to schedule a five to seven minute break of some sort every hour.

Emotional rest

Are you a people-pleaser or do you bottle up your emotions? If so, you need time for an emotional break. Find a trusted person you can share what’s going on with or try writing in a journal.

Spiritual rest

Have you lost your purpose? Purpose is becoming quite the buzz word in the corporate world, but even if your organization’s purpose aligns with your own, you can lose sight of the big picture. If you are feeling disconnected, you need some spiritual rest. Think about what gives you a sense of belonging, of joy and focus on reconnecting with that.

Social rest

Do you need a social break? Sometimes we need to reflect on the people in our lives to determine who is giving us energy and who is taking it. Figure out how you can recalibrate your social interactions for more balance.

I found out that I mostly focus on three of these types of rest, and under pressure only on one (physical). No wonder I was exhausted! I decided to engage in all of them – even if briefly – and noticed that I recharge much faster.

Which types of rest do you tend to drop when you feel ‘too busy’ or ‘too tired’?

What is one that you could explore more often in the next three weeks? Try a few and feel your batteries recharge!

Further reading: 

Are you wasting your energy by scratting? By Giulia Francesca Mereu

The 7 types of rest that every person needs by Saundra Dalton-Smith


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