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  • Susi McWilliam

The Art of Rest: 7 Ways to Reduce Burnout

The Art of Rest






Lying in my bed, 8.40am just gazing out the window. The sky is grey, the trees are blowing gently. There is a stillness and quiet. I have never really been one for lying in bed unless I am ill. I love waking early and making the most from my days.


But what I have discovered over the festive break is a really deep love of rest. I never knew how much I needed this pure quiet time. My brain has had an opportunity to switch off fully, not planning, not running from one thing to the next just simply being present and mindful.


2022 taught me a lot about rest. My body had been overstimulated and I was being guided to deepen my understanding of healing, rest and repair.


What is your relationship with rest? I had shared post on social media about rest and many commented how they had struggled with this very thing. Mainly due to societal conditioning that rest equals laziness.


We are not designed to be on the go 24/7, 365 days a year. We are designed to move with the cycles of nature and right now in January in the UK that is winter. The days are shorter, darker and are inviting you to go inward and build reserves for the months ahead.


Rest can look different for many people. Although sleep is the main area that many overlook and see as a luxury. Sleep is a necessity. I really thought I was a great sleeper, sleeping approx. 7.5/8hours a night. Right now I am sleeping for around 9/9.5 as my body fights off a winter bug/virus and I am honouring that.


There are said to be 7 types of rest that we can utilise or require.

1: Physical Rest

2: Mental Rest

3:Social Rest

4: Spiritual Rest

5:Sensory Rest

6: Emotional Rest

7:Creative Rest


Physical Rest: Simply put this is areas such as sleep, napping but can also be things such as gentle yoga, releasing the stress in our muscles.


Mental Rest: Mental rest is required if your brain is racing you lack clarity and maybe your forgetful or. Feeling overwhelmed mentally. Tie to create some space for you, mental rest could be mindfulness, clearing some diary space so you can finish some tasks.


Social Rest: At this time of year especially over the festive season you can feel socially burnt out. Are you over committing, over giving. Maybe you work with a lot of people, are a parent or social butterfly giving too much of your time and energy away. It’s important to recalibrate and ensure you leave enough for you. Social rest involves creating some self care and me time.


Spiritual Rest: How do you feel spiritually, do you feel your life has meaning and purpose or are you simply going from one day to the next. Spiritual rest may involve mediation, prayer, volunteering. Connecting with a higher purpose. Something that adds value and menaing to your life.


Sensory Rest: This was a big one for me. Is your phone constantly pinging, back-to-back zoom calls, noisy environment or even lots of lights etc. Today our senses are inundated with information. Creating times to switch off from this, be phone free, get into nature, switch off that TV and take a bath can really support you.


Emotional Rest: You may find you need this if you are snapping at others, tearful, angry or even emotionally blocked. Having someone to talk things through with can help us here along with things such as journaling and allowing our emptions to be processed and expressed.


Creative Rest: Are you struggling to see the beauty around you, to find solutions. Creative rest allows you to connect with that sense of magic again, to look at things differently, to express yourself differently. This may look like a nature walk, writing, reading, baking, singing or even like I am doing right now simply daydreaming.



So as you can see rest covers a range of different things. Preventing overwhelm and allowing ourselves to check in in these areas will support you in finding the balance and joy you seek.


Which area do you feel you need more Rest?



With Love

Susi xx

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