The latest segment of “Author’s Corner” in America Tonight with Kate Delaney features Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, author of the self-help book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity (2017). 

Dr. Dalton-Smithis a physician, work-life integration researcher, motivational speaker, and author. She has been featured in numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, FOX, CNN, Fast CompanyPsychology TodayInc., and as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. She has published several books, including the latest publication, Sacred Rest.

In Sacred Rest, the author shares the seven types of rest – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, and creative – that she found lacking in the people she encountered in her clinical practice and research. Dr. Dalton-Smith combines scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical steps to help her readers optimize their productivity, increase their overall happiness, overcome burnout, and live their best lives. 

America Tonight with Kate Delaney featuring Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith.

Host Kate Delaney asked her guest, “Did you get to that point where you were not getting the kind of rest you needed?”

“Yes, I burned out,” said the guest Dr. Dalton-Smith. “On the surface, my career looked very successful, but I got to the point where, you know, it was all glittering glam in the spotlight but when I came home, I was exhausted, my attitude was not in a great place, my relationships were strained, and mentally, physically, emotionally I was not in a great play.” 

“So is that what led you to write Sacred Rest?” followed up Delaney. 

“It is,” the author said. “It led me to research first. I really started to research on the processes, what is resilience, how do we manage stress as people say, which I believe is a bit of a misconception, but how do we at least or able to recover from the stresses that come into our lives and get to a better place. So that started the research. 

“Then my own patients pushed the book out because as I started working with them and seeing that so many of them were dealing with these very same rest deficits. It wasn’t something that was being discussed.”

What is rest?

Dr. Dalton-Smith shared her definition of rest. “I think what we have to realize is that rest is more than just sleeping because that’s what many of us think. They think that rest is just stopping, the cessation of activities, (and) laying down, which are a part of it but is not the big picture. 

“Rather than just putting all of our attention on the physical aspect of rest, which is primarily what sleeping does, we need to look at all areas of rest, and that’s where the seven types of rest came from… Being those other areas of our lives, that get exhausted. 

“When I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m tired,’ I always thought ‘I’m tired. I just need to get 8 hours of sleep.’ What happens when you get 8 hours of sleep and you wake up still exhausted? That’s a real desperate situation. That’s where I realized there has to be more to rest than just stopping and sleeping.”

Getting the right type of rest

The biggest eureka moment in Dr. Dalton-Smith’s research was determining the right activities to fix a particular rest deficit. 

“When I just say that I’m tired, I’m actually setting myself up for failure. Because when I say ‘I’m tired’ and I don’t quantify and identify the area that is being fatigued, then I think any kind of rest won’t fix it. 

“If I have an emotional rest deficit, going to sleep is not going to fix that. If I have a creative rest deficit, laying on the couch watching Netflix on Saturday is not going to fix that. So I have to be very intentional about doing those restorative-type activities that will help to pour back into the place where I have the energy deficit. 

To her readers, she offered this advice. “Remember one thing is that rest is something they must value because I think we’ve gotten into a mindset that it’s more important to work and grind and produce, and we’ve taken out of understanding that to be able to do that at our highest level of ability. To do that and still have a smile on our faces and enjoy the work that we are producing requires a time of rest, recovery, and restoration. 

Make sure to listen to the whole interview. 

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