Meaningful rest is a type of rest which leaves the individual feeling rejuvenated. It exists in contrast to default actions – “the things that take no activation energy to start, the things [one] reflexively reaches for” (Nanda n.d.). Be conscious of your defaults.

The term is from Neel Nanda | Post 29: Meaningful Rest.

Things I want to do when I feel tired and low energy

  1. Watch youtube videos
  2. (Doom)Scroll on Reddit
  3. Play a video game
  4. Continue doing whatever is making me tired in defiance of my own bodily limits
  5. Lay on the floor
  6. Try to read, “be productive”, or some other mentally demanding activity which is different than the one which I was previously doing
  7. Eat, sometimes

Things that I feel rejuvenated after having done

  1. Going for a walk; be outside in general
  2. Get up, away from computer/etc, and talk with my wife, family, friends, etc
  3. Meditate
  4. Nap / sleep
  5. Play with the cats
  6. Stretch / flexibility work
  7. Zone out and let my mind wander
  8. Drink water
  9. Switch from sitting desk to standing desk
  10. If I’m working; taking any form of break where I let myself think about not-work
  11. Work out


Nanda, Neel. n.d. “Post 29: Meaningful Rest.” Neel Nanda. Accessed November 29, 2022.