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This type of rest may sound like you’re going to take an art or music class, but Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, who explores seven types of rest in her book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, notes that those are ­examples of creative work. Creative rest involves giving your mind a deliberate break to allow your creativity to regenerate. Anyone whose daily tasks involve “thinking outside the box,” she explains, will be subject to this type of burnout.

You might need creative rest if you’re experiencing these signs:

  • You regularly talk yourself out of self-care.
  • You feel selfish when you think about doing something for yourself.
  • You question the value of your work and feel underappreciated for your contributions.

Creative rest opportunities are all around us. Dalton-Smith suggests building small sabbaticals — even as brief as a half-hour — into your daily life. During these little windows of freedom, you can do whatever you like: Sip coffee in a new café and stare out the window, spend an afternoon in a museum, go people-watching in a park. Think of it as letting your mind wander off leash for a while. It can get ideas flowing again.

Meanwhile, if you’re midproject and starting to flag, she recommends a creative rest practice called “flow-break rhythm.” “Our bodies and minds have a natural rhythm for optimal performance,” she explains. “For most, those rhythms are in 90-minute to two-hour increments.”

Dalton-Smith suggests “flowing” daily activities in these time blocks, followed by 20 minutes of a scheduled rest break. Keep practicing until you get in the habit of flow-break-repeat.

Explore the 7 Types of Rest

If you’re feeling run-down, you might be deficient in one of the seven types of rest. Learn how you can also recharge your physical, mental, spiritual, social, sensory, and emotional self at “The 7 Types of Rest,” from which this article was excerpted.

Jessie Sholl

Jessie Sholl is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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