Leadership Rest


You’ve heard the old saying, “no rest for the weary”?

Or the misguided sayings, “sleep is for the weak” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”?

We must stop that nonsense. Real leaders rest. 

Rest is a form of intentional self-leadership leveraged to optimize effectiveness. It is a tool every leader has at their disposal. Rest.  Sounds simple, but it is not. If we were good at it, the stress and burnout levels we see today would not be as extreme.

When we sleep, our brains remove toxins that have built up during the day, repair cells, restore energy, synthesize proteins, and regulate emotions.  Sleep is like a shower for your brain.  Disregulated sleep interrupts all those processes, and negatively impacts your functioning the next day and over time.

Three great resources for you will help you get the rest you need:

1. Tony Schwartz wrote a great book highlighting the research behind why sleep is so important:  The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance

2. Arianna Huffington has links to resources related to sleep that you can access from her site here:  https://www.ariannahuffington.com/sleep-resources/

3. And this TED talk by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith identifies the 7 types of rest every person needs beyond sleep:  https://ideas.ted.com/the-7-types-of-rest-that-every-person-needs/amp/

They include:

  • physical
  • mental
  • sensory
  • creative
  • emotional
  • social
  • spiritual

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go take a rest.

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