Resting is not about being unmotivated but rather it is one of the best self-care tools to rejuvenate and restore your energy. Healthcare workers and helpers are experiencing compassion fatigue, burnout and vicarious trauma at alarming rates. For this reason alone, rest is more important than ever. Remember, you are worthy of and deserve rest. The more you take care of you, the better you can help others. I will discuss four different types of rest and why you need to practice all of them.
Our minds were created to think, this is just what the brain does. There is no way to stop your thoughts but you can choose which thoughts you will entertain. Too much thinking about what you should do, all or nothing thinking, or imaging the worst case scenario, can burn you out. When you notice these types of faulty thoughts, stop and refocus the mind on something neutral or positive.
Schedule short breaks throughout your day. Some ways to rest your mind are gazing out the window, going for a short walk or taking a few, conscious deep breaths.
Shut off your phone and social media shortly after dinner. Electronics can overstimulate the mind and cause sensory overload, especially to a mind that has been working overtime all day. Set a shut off schedule and keep to it.
Are you pushing your body beyond its limits? Many empathic helpers do. Your body speaks to you in many ways through pain, tension and even illness. Learn to listen to your body’s signals and respond in a compassionate way to yourself.
Spend time relaxing and doing nothing. I know this feels lazy especially when you have so much to do but your physical body will thank you for it. If you are not getting adequate sleep, take a nap or lay down for fifteen to twenty minutes. During this time you can focus on your breath or listen to soothing music.
Emotional rest is essential for empathic helpers and artists, who people please. When your focus is outwardly directed on feelings, you can have a tendency to absorb too much energy from other people.
You need periods of downtime and solitude. Use this time to connect to your inner most feelings. Write in a journal or simply identify what you are feeling in this moment right now. Also, connect with emotionally supportive people, therapy or healers to help you restore your energy.
Spiritual rest is important for those who connect to the world of spirit. Without proper clearing, protection and channeling techniques, an empathic helper can suffer.
Make time to meditate. Focus on all of those people who accept, love and support you unconditionally throughout your life. Take in this positive energy. Some other ways to restore are pondering about your life purpose, spending time in prayer, attending a silent retreat and walking amongst nature.
You may also be interested in 7 Simple Ways to Calm an Over Stimulated Mind or Important Information About How Your Senses Get Overloaded
What will you do to rest mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually?
Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net