The Underestimated Power of Rest

by Nancy Zwiers | 17 Aug 2022

The Bloom Report

The Underestimated Power of Rest

By Nancy Zwiers

I had a pretty hard-charging career over 40 years, and I prided myself on my busy productivity.  Unfortunately, my unwillingness to regularly rest translated into several periods of burnout that lasted months and in one case a full year or more.


In 2010, after a major setback, I brought a do-or-die mentality to my entrepreneurial work at Funosophy.   I ultimately did literally confront death the following year in the form of breast cancer that I believe was induced by chronic toxic stress levels (my whole body was in pain from rampant inflammation at the time).  While I am a proud cancer survivor, I self-diagnosed PTSD from that the intense experience. This experience jolted me into a new chapter as I starting focusing on “vital activities” that enliven versus deplete (see my Bloom Report article, Vital Activities Enliven  )


More recently, as EVP/CMO of Spin Master, I temporarily forgot those important lessons and took my hard-charging nature to new heights.  Working in the PT time zone for a company headquartered in the ET time zone meant that 6:00 am PT meetings were commonplace (although to my credit, I did draw the line and declined to participate in a weekly standing meeting at 5:00am PT).  I hired a personal driver so I could work during my 80-minute commute each way, interfacing with my Toronto and European-based colleagues in the morning and catching up on emails in the evening.  Monthly for over three years, I would take the red eye from LA to Toronto on Sunday night, hit the office by 9:00am on Monday, work into the evenings at my hotel, and arrive home late Friday night. 


When I finally made the decision to retire, I was physically and emotionally spent.  It took me a full year to recover.


Now that the go-go years of my career are behind me, I have the luxury of experiencing (and appreciating!) the value of rest.  Thanks to one of my colleagues at CMO Coaches, Craig Coffey, I’ve since been exposed to the 7 types of rest that we all need to maintain our health and well-being.  The list below is taken from a Ted Talk by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith (  


Take a look and see where you want to invest more time in rejuvenating rest:

  • Physical - Restorative activities like sleep, massage, or relaxationMental - Calming the mind, deep abdominal breathing, meditation, defusing negative self-talk
  • Emotional - Feeling comfortable expressing yourself, asking for help, or venting
  • Social - Tapping into relationships, engaging with people who bring a deep sense of connectedness.
  • Sensory - Removing background noise, harsh lighting, unplugging from technology, closing eyes, reducing overstimulation
  • Spiritual – Allocating time and energy to what you believe in, connecting to a deeper meaning, prayer, worship
  • Creative - Reawakening the wonder inside us, appreciating nature, doodling, imagining

Regarding this last type of rest, it seems particularly fitting for those of us in the play industry to make time for Creative rest.  As I like to say, “recreation” really means “re-creation”— play renews our authentic selves so that we can be fully self-expressed and enlivened.



Rest Relaxation Renewal

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