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Amelia Nagoski, DMA, coauthor with her twin sister, Emily, of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle explains how “human-giver syndrome” can run down our emotional batteries. If you’re someone who never says no, who shows up for everyone, and who rarely considers your own needs before jumping in to help, you probably have it — and you likely need an emotional break.

Here are some signs you might be suffering from an emotional-rest deficit:

  • You beat yourself up about the slightest mistake.
  • You feel depressed or angry when you think about your life.
  • You worry excessively.

Breathwork expert Ashley Neese, author of Permission to Rest, recommends using “the one-minute rest” when you feel yourself reacting emotionally to a situation — which is usually what we do when we forget to observe boundaries.

“Take one minute, seated or standing, to bring awareness to where you are,” she says. Notice the colors, textures, shapes, and sounds around you. This helps bring you back to the present moment, where it’s easier to have boundaries and say no if you need to.

To get some deeper emotional rest, Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, recommends evaluating your relationships and spending less time with people who leave you feeling drained. She also suggests noticing and releasing the habit of comparing yourself with others.

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, creative, social, sensory, and spiritual 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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