NCTV Episode 44

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-

  • A good book on the matter
  • 7 varieties of rest
  • Signs to lookout for, indicating which type of rest you might need the most
  • Practical tips to prevent the need for said rest variety
  • The Fortress of Solitude

Transcript

If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 44 which is all about rest, in its many forms.

So we’re in January 2021, covid drags on, and it’s the time of year when people are thinking about how they can set themselves up for a more positive year ahead.

2020 was obviously a testing time for even the most resilient people and the mental and physical health of many consequently suffered.

When you think about what you can do to achieve good health, most commonly, people may consider exercise and diet as the typical pathway to this.

However, what is arguably just as important and what often gets overlooked is rest itself.

You may be thinking, oh that’s ok, I get plenty of rest in the evenings in front of the TV. Unfortunately though, binging on that TV series you’ve wanted to watch is not one of them. That’s more likely to cause sensory overload which will then require a period of screen rest.

A book by Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith called Sacred Rest summarises this topic well by breaking rest down into 7 different varieties. Once you know what they are, you can then focus on the ones you may be most lacking in and address it accordingly to get you back on form, physically and mentally.

So what are they? Firstly there’s Physical Rest. You’ll know if you need this if over the last year you’ve gained a few more grey hairs, worry lines on the forehead or are suffering from stiffness, body fatigue and more aches and pains than usual. If that’s the case then you may find that stretching will be helpful in the form of yoga or Pilates, combined with gaining some extra sleep. If you’ve not done yoga or Pilates before, there are plenty of free classes you can find on YouTube, catering for all levels and it won’t be long until you soon notice the difference and feel better for it.

Secondly, there’s Mental Rest. You’ll know if you need this if you suffer from brain fog, have been very forgetful, you keep needing to re-read sections of a book or you have no idea what someone just said to you on a Zoom call because you’d zoned out. Put simply, mental rest can be achieved in the form of mindfulness and meditation. If you’re new to these then I’d encourage you to check out Headspace and Calm which are apps you can use to guide you through the techniques, helping you to find mental peace.

Third is Social Rest, which might seem bizarre when people are crying out for human contact whilst we’re in a third lockdown here in England. However, Zoom fatigue is actually more what this is alluding to as video calls are genuinely more taxing for our brains, especially for those more dependant on non-verbal cues like hand gestures and body language who no longer have these available to them. Our brains also suffer from having to maintain continuous eye contact as well as the continuous partial attention created when you have a gallery view of faces all at once. This is why you find some people avoiding a social video call, even when they’re feeling lonely. A few ways around this may be to turn your cameras off or just have a traditional phone call instead, that way your brain is only having to deal with a voice as opposed to interpreting other visual cues or even checking out your own face.

Fourth is Creative Rest. When you’re limited on what you can do or places you can go during lockdown, a great thing you can do to break the monotony is to express yourself through art. That may be by drawing, painting, writing, playing music or dancing for example. If you need some coaching on these, there are plenty of online classes you can join. Spending time outside in nature has also been proven to improve creativity.

Fifth is Emotional Rest. It goes without saying that everyone over the last year has had to make some huge sacrifices to contain covid-19 and that inevitably comes at a cost, leaving many people emotionally exhausted by it all. To achieve emotional rest, whether COVID related or in the broader sense, this can be done by acknowledging your feelings rather than hiding them or masking them even with alcohol, food or drugs. Doing this may not sound particularly restful but it’ll make you more emotionally resilient in the long run. Outlets for this may be talking therapies or even journaling which has been proven to alleviate emotional distress by focusing your thoughts and gaining perspective.

Sixth is Spiritual Rest. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be religious about it, although you can be, it’s more about tapping into what gives life meaning to you and your deeper purpose. This could be visiting your happy place in whatever way, shape or form that might be, physically or virtually, your fortress of solitude so to speak. Somewhere you know you can immerge from feeling happier, rejuvenated and content.

And finally seventh, Sensory Rest or also known as screen rest. What with Lockdown, more time than ever is now spent looking at screens, whether on the phone, TV, computer or tablet, it all contributes to sensory overload and the need for a break from it. To combat this you could try making official phone blackout times and put your phone in a drawer in the other room to stop you picking it up on autopilot. You could also log out of apps, meaning that you have to choose to log back into it again, forcing you to decide whether you really want to get sucked into the Facebook rabbit hole and doom-scroll your way into oblivion, for example. Enforcing sensory rest helps you to realise that you don’t have to be permanently available and when switching off for an hour or so, you’ll actually feel better for it.

So that just about wraps up this week’s NCTV, tune in again next week for some more bitesize bits to help your health flourish. Bye bye for now.