“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
This is Nevada’s official slogan for its Golden Goose. And whether you’ve been there or you’ve seen it in the movies, Las Vegas is exactly what you think it is: 24/7 flashy, fun, and wild.
But you know what doesn’t happen too much in Vegas? REST. And that’s by design.
Casinos take drastic measures to keep you awake as long as possible because sleeping people aren’t very big spenders. Establishment windows are blacked out so you can’t see if it’s day or night, oxygen gets pumped in through the vents, coffee is abundant and free, strategic background noises accelerate the heart rate, and good luck finding a clock.
Now, although we can’t all teleport to Vegas and feel artificially rested, we can still learn a ton from their fatigue-fighting, proven, multi-pronged approach (show tunes not required).
Beyond also experiencing it firsthand, I’ve heard so many of you say that you’re feeling extra drained lately. And this exhaustion epidemic isn’t due to the kind of sleep deprivation that’s, for example, caused by a newborn baby. No, it’s much more complex.
This week, we’ll explore the seven types of rest we all need to feel fulfilled and function at our peak. I’ll explain each one to help you identify and understand what’s making you so tired, and I’ll offer appropriate solutions so that you can react with the proper remedy.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Reentry shock + sensory overload = shut down
- Rest Test: take the quiz to determine what you need
- How not to bring your daytime thoughts into the night
- The surefire solution for blocked creativity
- Why social interaction is making you tired
Listen to the Full Episode
Do you need a jolt to attack the second half of 2021 with reinvigorated focus? Like a caffeine high without the crash, THE BOOST challenge is here to help you reclaim the year. It’s global, free, and online, and this is your LAST CALL because the fun starts today, so join us right now.
Featured on the Show:
- Join the BOOST Challenge right here.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
- Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
- Christine Hansen
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 10:00 am in New York, 4:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 9:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com coming to you from my womb home of Williston, North Dakota in the USA. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
I’m going to be honest. I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well last night, my sleep interrupted and then my brain and heart wouldn’t turn off. It’s not lost on me that I’m feeling depleted this morning. As I record an episode of unrest, and I’m going to share a little behind the scenes for those of you who are like me returning to your families abroad after years of separation, because you just might see some of yourself in my own story.
If you’re listening to this later and ever feel tired, this episode is worth listening to because it’s got some hidden insight on what many of us are missing. I promise to share some strategies to support so you too can rest and get the most out of your time with your loved ones or whatever creative endeavor you put your energy toward. And if you’re listening to this live on the day, the episode stayed with me to the end because I’ve got something just for you to boost your energy, momentum, no matter how crazy your life is right now.
Okay. So not only did I wake up tired, I felt depleted yesterday and maybe even irritable. In fact, there’s no maybe, my kids would attest to that. And when I look back on it, I think I’ve been on overload. If I’m not mistaken, this is the second going on third week that I’ve been in the US after a two year absence because of COVID.
We left South Africa when we ended the school year for my boys, that meant me wrapping up things at work so that I could take the 28 hours to fly without interrupting my client’s schedule. We had COVID tests. We had a visa scare. This 20 hour flight jet lag, and then we’re blasted by emotional, loving reunions with family. The first week I spent with my aunt having an amazing time, doing all the things we love to do in Minneapolis. And I did a little bit of work to squeeze in a few clients while doing my best to actually feel like I was on vacation, soaking up the sunrises and sunsets. Since then, I have flown across two states to be reunited with my family, with my mother and father. And along the way, we’ve had to adjust to some other things that are related to reentry shock.
Even something as simple, like different COVID procedures here in North Dakota, nobody is wearing a mask and only 28% of the people in this town have been vaccinated. So that’s another thing that we’re processing as we go by our normal day, sweet reunions, catching up, spending hours in the morning, drinking coffee, hearing about how things were for them during COVID. Sharing about what we missed. Just swells of love and getting exactly when I came here for right? Watching my parents embrace my kids and chuckle at their silly antics. Smelling the land again, hearing the meadowlarks, the state bird of North Dakota, singing to my heart at the same time. It’s like heads down and getting up early so I can work a six hour workday before lunch. So that then I’ll actually have time with my family. Fewer hours, but the same amount of work or even more, because I’ve got new projects right.
in the evenings, we’ve got TV running in the background when I don’t have TV at home in South Africa. So there’s a sensory experience of things I’m not used to. And US programs. I don’t know if you’ve ever lived in the US they’re big. It’s like, “And tonight! We’re going to have something unforgettable!” It’s like, I’m bedazzled by the lights and the music and the sound that kind of overwhelmed me. And I’ve noticed it’s like an overload, sensory overload and love overload. No wonder I need rest. So I knew that yesterday I could feel it in my body. So I had to do something hard instead of sitting at the counter, chatting for hours. I went upstairs and I curled up in bed and read a book because I knew that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t really be present.
And I took a run to shift my emotions. Also carefully noting if I run today that I can’t run the next day, because I’ve got to rest my body as well. And it all goes back to this idea of, I don’t like feeling like crap. If I start feeling that it really bothers me. And I said this once to my husband, “I just don’t like feeling bad.” He laughed at me like, “Oh, you’re like the only person in the world who doesn’t like to feel like crap.” But I really mean that. I really try to avoid feeling bad because I’ve had phases where I felt like crap, but I had been feeling that way for so long, I didn’t even know how I felt. And I didn’t know that I felt bad until I felt good.
So now, because I’ve tasted that, that optimal energy, optimal mindset, optimal joy, optimal focus. Anytime I move away from that feeling, I have a very, very low tolerance for that shift. And I do what I can to get back on track. And I know that does me good. And I know that does others good. I hear it all the time from new clients. They said they appreciate my energy. Because energy is my asset.
And I talk about that in another podcast.
To do what I’m here to do and to show up for those that mean the most to me in the ways that I meant to show up, that is what it’s all about, this energy and what I bring to all of that. And the way that I can continue that energy is to maintain it through rest.
And it’s the same thing for you and what I’ve learned along the way. We’re not just talking about sleep. I know when I was a mother of brand new babies
Because you’re so tired as a new mom. Right? So sleep is important. But what I’ve realized over the years is that there’s more. It’s beyond sleep.
So I want us to do a little quiz and see whether you’re doing everything you can to rest so that you can show up for your loved ones. So that you can enjoy your time reunited with your family or so that you can crush it at work. Whatever is important to you.
Okay. So do this little quiz with me and we’ll see how many points you get.
Okay. So every one that’s true for you, you get one point. Okay, here we go.
Number one, I consistently get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If that’s true for you, bing! One point.
Number two, I regularly clear my mind so that my thoughts don’t interrupt my sleep or weigh me down. If that’s true, you get a point.
Number three, I’m mindful of taking breaks from screens or auditory input, like the radio, TV, or the sounds of my children. All right. If that’s true, give yourself another point. Listen, if you don’t have any points yet, that’s okay. You’re not alone.
Number four, I’m intentional about not thinking about work and carve out time to do things that are new and inspiring. If that’s true, give yourself a gigantic point.
Number five, I am authentic with people around me and do not people please, or hold back my true thoughts or feelings. If that fits, give yourself another point.
Number six, I surround myself with people who make me feel good and avoid toxic people on social media and in person. All right. Does that fit? There you go. One more point.
And finally, I regularly pause and soak up moments where I’m reminded that I am connected to something much bigger than myself.
Okay. Time to tally up your points. How many did you get? Did you get one, two, maybe three? If you didn’t get any, or if you got half of them, no shame. Right? Just recognize. Unless you got all seven, you can do more to rest.
And that’s actually good news because if you got all seven and you’re still exhausted, then I would suggest you make an appointment with your doctor because something is going on. If you’re actively resting in all of these ways and are still feeling depleted, check with a medical doctor, because maybe your iron is depleted, or maybe you have adrenal fatigue or something that goes way beyond practices that you can have in your daily life. Right?
There’s so many ways that we can rest beyond sleep to rejuvenate. So I’m going to dive into this a little bit. And all of this is based on the research from Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith. She has a book called Sacred Rest, and you can check her out on TED Talks. She’s got a speech: There are seven types of rest that every person needs. And maybe you’ve actually heard about these before.
But it’s a moment for you to pause and think, am I actually doing them? Am I actually incorporating them into my life?
All right. So let’s walk through them. We’ll go through all seven. And I’ll share a little bit about how it’s going for me and, and ask you maybe what you could do for you. Cause I’m all about you. I love being rested.
Okay. Let’s start with the predictable one. That’s Physical Rest. And most of us think about sleep right? In an NPR morning edition publication, they talk about sleep. It says optimal sleep. For most people, it ranges between seven and nine hours a night, less than optimal sleep puts people at increased risk for a number of severe physical and mental health problems. Sleepless individuals are more prone to obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as mental health problems, such as anxiety, unstable moods, and even thoughts of suicide. Right? So check out that article. We’ll make sure you put it in the show notes about sleep, but that’s important, right?
It is worth paying attention to. And I’ve got more resources on that because I have interviewed sleep experts to help you.
But the thing is, the reality is it can be hard to influence your sleep. If you’ve got a baby, if you’ve got a breastfeeding toddler, if you’re going through jet lag, if you’ve got a snoring partner or if you’re going through menopause, right? So this is the one where we feel like we can control, but sometimes it’s out of our control. So what else can you do to master this? And that’s why we need the other six strategies, other six forms of rest.
Okay. So how many of you actually can get your brain to rest before you fall asleep.
So that brings us to the second form of rest: Mental Rest. You might recall an interview I did with Christine Hansen, she’s a sleep expert, and we did an interview together called Surprising Sleep Tips for Expats. And there she recommends doing what you can to drain your brain of all of those nagging thoughts before you go to bed. So it’s something as simple, that she recommends, as pausing in the late afternoon and writing down all that you have on your mind. So get it down on paper so that you don’t carry it with you in your head and heart when you put your head on the pillow.
So mental rest, one really quick tip on that is for you to make an act of practice. Some people I know take audio notes throughout the day to get the things on their mind. They might take physical notes on their phone, but whatever you need to do is get that down so that you know you won’t forget it or that you know if it’s a problem that has to be solved, it’s not going to be weighing on your mind at night, but that’s safe in, in your notes. And I think when I think about last night, I think that’s one area where I went wrong. I brought my daytime thoughts into the night, and that’s probably why I didn’t sleep well last night.
The other thing about physical rest, if we’re going back to rest number one is, are you physically resting? Meaning are you getting enough exercise so that when you do put your head on the pillow, your body can physically let go, or have you been sitting at your computer all day? And that energy is pinned up. So you see how these things are connected. Physical rest is connected to mental rest as well. Okay. That’s number two, very simple: start taking notes either in your phone or on paper before you hit your bedtime so that you can put those ideas to bed before you go to bed yourself.
Okay. Number three is about Sensory Rest. Sensory Rest. And this is so important for us these days, especially many people who have been living their lives virtually, sensory rest is how we are constantly on Zoom. We’re looking at screens. We’re having sounds, even if we’re running, we’re listening to a podcast, right? Our senses are constantly on overload. So sensory rest is important. And how active are you actually doing this? I know for me, I need sensory rest by the end of the week. And how do I know that when my family suggests we watch a movie, it overwhelms me. I’m like, “What? You want me to have things show in my eyes and in my ears?” I’ll either read or listen, but I can’t watch and listen at the same time because I’ve had so much sensory experience during the week. I need to shut down.
I need to shut down. Right? So are you allowing yourself breaks for the senses? And some of the people that I know have stopped listening to music or podcasts when they run, because otherwise they would have uninterrupted audio in their ears, depending on the work that they’re doing. I know that I need more sensory rest here, back in my womb home, because there’s something simple, things like a TV going on in the background. And that is a level of sound I’m not used to. I’m not used to advertisements. I don’t watch TV. I’m not used to the ads and those things are constantly going in the background, right? So that’s probably why I escaped to my room and just had quiet last night, because there were some subtle things that were creating sensory overload. So what about you? Based on where you’re at right now, how much sensory rest are you getting or is this an area that you feel like you could really benefit from?
What can you do to decrease the level of audio input or visual input? Maybe even the types of movies you’ve been watching with your family? I have two boys so often when we watch movies, it’s like the Hulk or something, you know, some action, adventure movie, super high sensory experience. That is not what I need to rejuvenate. Right? So check on your need for sensory rest. And if you do need it, make a plan on what you can do to literally block out sound, block out light, or reduce the levels so that you get that rest. It could be something as simple as locking yourself in the bathroom for five minutes and closing your eyes. Whatever you need to do based on your life and the chaos that you’re navigating, something small is better than nothing.
Okay. Number four is what’s called Creative Rest. Creative Rest. Now this one I think is really interesting. And I’ve realized this from my podcast, I’ve done, what, 234 weeks of creative content in a row. In addition to the creative work that I do producing content for my programs and for social media, creativity is part of who I am, but it’s part of my business. And when the creative wells run dry, you can’t force it. Right? So if you’re looking for creative rest, let’s say you’re a writer and you’re feeling blocked, or you’re an artist and you’re feeling uninspired. What I’ve learned along the way is to do something completely different. When I was getting bored with myself. So when you’re, when you are nurturing yourself with creative rest, you’re stopping what you normally do and then you do something different. For example, just instead of running outside, I went to the gym for a few weeks with my husband and I got inspired because it was a totally different context for me.
On vacation, we did archery, which was something I’ve never done, or I’ve done only once before. And it inspired me. Boxing on the weekend is a total departure from my regular runs in nature. Anything new can help give you a creative rest because new experiences help inspire you and help your synapses connect in new ways to help pour new creative energy into, into your work, right? So maybe you need creative rest and maybe you are creative and you’re feeling that slump. That means it’s time to stop pushing it, like trying to work through writer’s block, for example, and do something else to inspire you. So number four is creative rest.
All right, number five, this one is so important. It’s Emotional Rest. In an Inc article by Jessica Stillman, she returns to the work of rest expert, Ms. Dalton Smith. And she explains that having the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on people pleasing is critical for emotional rest. And emotional rest requires the courage to be authentic.
This is interesting because it feels a little counterintuitive that being authentic, it requires courage; feels like it’s depleting, right? But it’s about dropping the mask, dropping the mask. She says an emotionally rested person can answer the question, “How are you today,” with a truthful, “I’m not okay.” And then go on to share some hard things that otherwise go unsaid. So the fatigue actually comes from pretending that we’re okay. The fatigue comes from holding up the mask. So emotional rest is where you stop playing those games. Right? And I find that really interesting. It seems counterintuitive to me, but when you really allow that to sink in, there’s a lot of fatigue and exhaustion from holding those things up. Dropping the mask.
I would say just from my own experience, that if you have been in a deep, deeply engaged, emotional process, maybe you’ve been grieving. Maybe you’re going through conflict in your relationship, whatever that is. Maybe it can be good to also almost take a break, a creative break so that you can step away and replenish your emotional tank so that you can go back and return to those tough conversations with new fuel. So that’s emotional rest.
Okay. Two left, two left. See how great that is to have some of these strategies. If we haven’t done any of this, we have so much opportunity to increase our energy.
Okay, Social Rest is the next one. And this one, I find really interesting in times of present, because again, I’m going to tell you what the research says, but I have a little bit different take on it. Okay. So social rest is about understanding who gives you energy and who drains you, right? So if you’re feeling fatigued, it’s a good time to do an inventory of your social media feed or, mute who is toxic, identify who are your so-called friends and drain your energy and who actually really lifts you up.
So that’s about social rest. And this is again, very tied to the emotional rest where we’re aligning with our authenticity. Okay. And here’s where I think this is a little bit complicated in times of COVID because we are starving for social contact. We want to be socially connected, when we’ve been deprived. And what I’ve noticed is even when I’ve been around people who lift me up, who I feel good around, I have quickly gotten drained because I think it’s like, my tolerance for social has gone down. Kind of like in college when I could drink like a fish and now, you know, my eyes cross, if I have two glasses of wine, you know, our tolerance has gone down for those that, that sensory experience for that emotional connection, for that engagement. So,if you’re like me, maybe you need to work yourself back up to that tolerance for extended social contact.
Because we have been in isolation and maybe things that sort of contact has been reduced. So our tolerance level for that type of intensity has gone down. So that’s just a little tip in terms of, if you’ve left, where you live abroad and you’re back home with friends and family, or you’re engaged with a group of people that you haven’t seen a long time, and you’re feeling depleted and you want to spend time with them, don’t feel guilty. Maybe it’s simply a matter of building up that tolerance over time. And that giving yourself permission to take those moments of rest so that you can really build back your social tolerance of energy and, and have your focus and bring the best to those conversations and connections.
Let’s look so far before we hit number seven, we’ve gone through physical rest, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, and social.
And now the last one is Spiritual Rest. Okay. This is essentially taking the time to feel connected to something bigger than yourself. Could be a spiritual or religious practice or something as simple as looking up at the stars. In a separate Ink article with Jessica Stillman, she shares the benefits of seeking awe as a means of spiritual rest. She says awe is the feeling of smallness and wonder you experience when you stand before something vastly bigger than you. A significant body of psychology research shows awe helps us feel less anxious, more connected, and generally happier, right? So if we want spiritual rest, how active are you in inviting aw into your life? I did this yesterday because I paused and soaked up a rainbow that graced the sky, just outside of my parents’ house. And I sat there on the front porch and did not leave until that rainbow disappeared.
What about you? What’s the last time you invited awe into your life actively? Whether it was a sunrise, sunset, the stars looking up at the clouds, taking in a baby’s smile, whatever it is, that’s an opportunity for us to rest, to engage in spiritual rest. Something that we haven’t done, maybe actively.
Okay, there, you have it. Those are seven ways. You can feel more rested, deep rest that refuels you. And if you’re missing half of these, I want to celebrate that because that means there’s so much more you can do to refuel, right? And I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling depleted, I love having one more strategy at my fingertips to help me with that. Cause I don’t want to stay there and we’re all living Olympic level lives. Right. And getting a BOOST from time to time can go a long way in keeping your momentum, feeling, connection, feeling on purpose and just generally happy.
So beyond this podcast, I really want to do more to help you BOOST your energy. And today is actually day one of a 5-day challenge happening inside Expats on Purpose. So if you’re listening to this the day that it goes live, it’s actually not too late to join me. And I would love you to be part of this. It’s called the BOOST. It’s a 5-day challenge. Think of it as your mid-year energy shot. Something that I all know we need right now. It is a hundred percent free, completely online. There’s no strings attached. Basically, you’re going to get a very small investment, large impact. I know you don’t have a lot of time. For many of you, you’re traveling with a family at the moment and you’re trying to balance your family life. Maybe even your work life. So you don’t have a ton of time. That’s exactly what this was designed in mind to do, to actually help give you energy and focus so that you can do all of the things.
That’s exactly what this was designed in mind to do, to actually help give you energy and focus so that you can do all of the things. Okay. So I do that through daily teachings designed to kickstart your progress, thrust you ahead to your goals. You can join group calls for a deep dive into each theme. They’re like quick, 30 to 60 minute impulses for you. You’ll get coaching, community, and that ever-important accountability. And you’ll get powerful micro-assignments for the challenge that help you report your success, your stumbles, and ask questions back to the group.
Okay. So check it out. We’re going to be talking about a FOCUS BOOST, clearing up the fog, silencing the noise and steering your attention to where it matters.
Day two, you’re going to check out our MINDSET BOOST, where you can literally hit the delete button on negative thinking and install positive patterns.
Day three is about ENERGY BOOST, where you discover fresh and unexpected ways to generate more energy.
Day four is your RELATIONSHIP BOOST, zoning in on relationships that need a little TLC and you can make a rescue plan.
And Day five, is IMPACT BOOST, where you can listen to your inner voice and let it direct you to your passion with punch.
All you gotta do is sign up in the show notes and we’ll see you inside of Expats on Purpose.
There you have it. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with us Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening. I’m going to leave you with a quote from anonymous artist and activist Banksy: “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”
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