This week’s episode features my conversation with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of Saair jordan mid 40 air max goaterra 2.0 red and black jordan 1 cheapest jordan 4s wmns air max 270 air jordan 4 retro military black red and black jordan 1 nike jordan zoom air cmft air jordan 1 nike air jordan 1 elevate low air jordan 1 low flyease jordan max aura 4 nike air max 90 red and black jordan 1 air jordan 11 cmft low cred Rest, about the 7 types of rest we all need and why they’re so important.
Honoring sacred rest can make a big difference in our quality of life
I’m excited to share with you my conversation with internal medicine physician, author, and speaker Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith as part of our Productive Living series.
Who is Saundra?
Saundra is a board-certified internal medicine physician, speaker, and award-winning author. She is an international well-being thought leader featured in numerous media outlets including Prevention, MSNBC, Women’s Day, FOX, Fast Company, Psychology Today, INC, CNN Health, and TED.com. She is the author of numerous books including her bestseller Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. Saundra lives in Alabama with her husband Bobby and their two kids.
How Saundra got started
About 15 years ago, despite having a fulfilling career and a busy family life, Saundra became burnt out. She was in one of the busiest times of her career and didn’t want to quit her practice or anything else she was doing. Rather, she wanted to learn how to thrive (and not just survive) in her career while still enjoying her family and maintaining her personal life. This desire has inspired her journey and life’s work, which is to learn more about her own rest deficits and teach others about how important rest is in their daily life, especially when it comes to productivity.
A typical day for Saundra
There is no such thing as a typical day for Saundra, mostly due to her busy schedule. She considers herself to be a multi-passionate woman, meaning she doesn’t limit herself to one area of interest. She wants to explore all her passions without limitations. As a result, she has a lot of freedom and for her, this produces a meaningful life. When she is free, she is able to be her most productive and happiest.
She does have some structure in her day when it comes to her morning routine, though. Each day, she tries to do a self-assessment to determine how she is feeling (something she never did before, contributing to her burnout). Is she tired or stressed out? What areas of her life are taking up the most energy for her and how can she restore this energy? If she can identify the area in which she is feeling the most depleted, she will focus on that area during the day. In the evening, she takes time to wind down her sensory input, simply because she tends to be on sensory overload a lot. She’s an introvert who enjoys space and peace and quiet. Because of this, she has to create white space in her evenings in order to relax. This allows her to sleep deeper and longer.
The importance of sacred rest
Saundra was inspired to write her book after seeing so many patients in her medical practice who were suffering from lack of rest, just like she was. She would check the patient’s vitals and remind them to relax but this wasn’t helpful long term. What the patients needed and wanted to hear from her was how to fix the exhaustion they were feeling.
Saundra began to have conversations with her patients about rest and how they are restoring themselves. This type of conversation was uncommon to have at a doctor’s visit and wasn’t always easy for her patients to understand. But, Saundra used her own real-life examples, which really helped her patients to see what was happening.
When writing her book, Saundra was sure to include her own experiences as well, recognizing the relief that comes when you realize you are not the only person going through a particular experience, especially when it’s your own doctor.
People pleasing work-aholic go-getters don’t excel at rest without an internal battle. Rest requires submission of the soul, and the soul wants what the soul wants. It fights back against rest by holding up all the pretty fruit busyness is producting. It never gives you time to cut inside that same fruit to see the rot and decay at the core. The decay that will inevitably surface when you’re ready to take a bit into the busy life you’ve created.
We all want to be the “busy bee”, but bees spend so much time creating sweetness for others but they rarely ever stop to taste this sweetness themselves. Saundra feels that this was the way her life was starting to go until she got a handle on it. She wasn’t enjoying the very life she worked so hard to create. When we talk about success, we have to separate productivity from actual satisfaction, because they are not the same thing.
Sleep and rest are not the same
In her book, Saundra goes into detail about the seven different types of rest:
Sleep is a type of rest, but one that is a passive type of physical rest, with physical having another type, which is physical active rest. Think stretching, yoga, or massage therapy. When we put all of our fatigue eggs into the sleep basket, since this is how we will battle and overcome our fatigue, we are omitting all of the other aspects of rest that we need. Rest is about restorative practices. What are the things that help you pour back in to the places that have become depleted because of the work that you do and the lifestyle you live? You want to go from cessation to restoration. That is what rest is.
Saundra states that the importance of the seven types of rest can depend on how you are using your energy. We go through different seasons of life where we are more at risk of a rest deficit than at other times. Most of us are already getting rest in some of these areas but didn’t know it had a name. There may be times when we need to focus on a particular type of rest because we are really depleted in that area for whatever reason.
One area that we all seem to struggle with is sensory overload, which can lead to agitation and frustration. And sensory overload doesn’t just affect adults, but children too! We are in desperate need of sensory rest. This means taking a break from all the noise and distractions that bombard us in our busy day. Try to find any moment of quiet that you can, even if it means using noise-canceling headphones or turning off your electronics. It can be uncomfortable to sit in silence, alone with our thoughts, but this quiet is so important to our mental health. Saundra even advocates for something like a sensory deprivation tank, which is a tool some of her clients use.
Mental rest is important too. Saundra states that a lack of mental rest can present as forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, trouble absorbing information, and trouble quieting our mind when we’re supposed to be sleeping. Things that can help include doing a brain dump before bed to free up your mind, meditation or mindfulness practices (this can even include knitting or crochet or even jogging, gardening, or fishing). Do whatever you need to do in order to get mental stillness. The activity that works will be different for everyone. The benefit of getting mental rest is clarity, something that is very hard to come by in our noisy lives.
Social rest is an interesting area as well. This doesn’t mean distancing yourself from others, but rather evaluating your different relationships and deciding if these relationships are draining your energy or pouring back into you. Many of our relationships are negatively pulling from our social energy. Who are the people in your life that don’t need anything from you and who do you enjoy spending time with?
How do we find the rest we need?
Rest will win every battle you initiate with it. You can either honor your need for rest or surrender to the one-two punch of mandatory rest.
We need rest and if you don’t get it, it will be enforced upon you. To get the rest you need, Saundra suggests you start by identifying your primary rest deficit. Which of the seven areas are you most lacking in? Once you identify that area, get intentional about restoring that particular area. Where in your day can you carve out time for a small restorative activity?
What does it mean to make a life that matters?
For Saundra, this means functioning from the highest level of your own personal capacity and pouring back into the world from that place. A lot of people are in functional burn-out and giving out of their emptiness. Saundra wants to see a world in which people are giving out of their fullness.
What do you do to get back on track on a day when everything gets away from you?
Saundra does have these days and when this happens, she will set aside time in the day to fix any deficits that she sees and restore herself. She tries to incorporate the restoration she needs into her day without taking away from her work and obligations.
Saundra’s last words for the listener
Evaluate your own feelings about rest. Think of rest as the thing you do that allows you to be your most productive, most successful self.
What do you think? Questions? Comments?
Connect with Saundra
- On Facebook
- On Instagram
- On Twitter
- On Pinterest
- Buy Saundra’s book
- Take the free rest assessment quiz
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