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7 types of rest

Neuro Café 16th March 2022 by Linda S

Three children are sitting on a road, leaning back on their arms as though taking a break from a long walk. They have rucksacks and might be on a trip somewhere. They are in a beautiful hilly landscape with a mountain ahead of them.
Taking a break


  • We can define 7 different types (see below).

  • Sometimes even if you get lots of sleep you feel exhausted.

  • Neurological fatigue can worsen overall fatigue.

  • Both your body and your mind need rest.

See the slides on the LEGS Members' Area.

1 Physical

  • Passive rest: sleeping and napping.

  • Active rest: yoga, pilates, deep breathing, massage.

  • Focus your mind one one activity or thought and facilitate rest.

2 Mental

  • Switch off your brain! When doing an activity, factor in breaks every 2 hours.

  • Write down thoughts, define problems and solutions to problems that might keep you awake to stop your brain from racing.

3 Emotional

  • Sometimes we feel unappreciated by others or taken for granted. It takes courage to stop being a people-pleaser or to tell the truth, to say you are not ok when asked how you are. Try and share a problem rather than glossing over things.

4 Social

  • It can be difficult to differentiate between reviving and exhausting relationships. Try and surround yourself with positive and supportive people and open up about your emotions. This could be in the real world or in the virtual world of remote communications.

  • Admitting you are not right is difficult to get used to sometimes, especially if people are telling you to "pull yourself together".

5 Creative

  • Try diverting your attention from problems to encounter some new ideas.

  • Get lost in poetry, artistic images or photos; consider some mindful and uplifting and positive quotes.

6 Sensory

  • We can easily get overload from computers, bright lights, multiple conversations, Zoom calls and so on. Try switching off for some temporary respite!

7 Spiritual or sacred rest

  • Saundra Dalton-Smith talks about rest here

Consider connecting beyond the physical and mental...

  • strive to feel a deep sense of love, acceptance and purpose.

Look for something greater than yourself...

  • meditate

  • pray

  • volunteer

  • develop involvement in your community

  • help others.

Tips and suggestions from our group discussion

  • We all need to find an inner sense of calm

  • Fatigue affects everyone differently, whether it be mood, sleep, ability to move and interact.

  • Some people found activities such as physiotherapy were exhausting. Concentrating caused mental fatigue and it was difficult to switch off.

  • Suggestion: Pick people up ’physically’ in your head and put them in waste paper basket. Say, ‘no, this is my time, go away, I am putting you in the waste basket and you have to stay there!’

  • Having a regular massage every 2 weeks can be beneficial.

  • When you are doing difficult activities try positive reinforcement such as speaking to yourself - ‘I can do it, I like it!’ This was learned by successfully attempting to ski down tricky ski slopes.

  • Your mind can conjure up all kinds of thoughts which get out of proportion. Write things down, see if it helps to shut down the thoughts

  • The problem in your head can be much bigger than it is in reality.

  • Stop fighting things such as insomnia. Let it be!

  • Washing up and ironing can be therapeutic, alternatively, wear wrinkled shirts!

  • Get your partners and entourage to understand that now you are in a different state that requires different things.

  • You do not have to fill your life with things like you did before being ill. This can be a positive thing.

  • Creative rest.

  • Go outdoors. Or just ‘be’ in your environment.

  • Lose yourself in a piece of art.

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