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7 Types of Rest

Feeling exhausted despite a full night's sleep?


You're not alone.


Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a leading expert on rejuvenation, emphasizes that genuine rest encompasses more than just physical slumber. According to Dalton-Smith, rest is a multifaceted concept, with sleep being just one piece of the puzzle.


In her book, "Sacred Rest," Dr. Dalton-Smith outlines the 7 crucial types of rest every individual requires: Physical, Mental, Social, Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, and Creative.


Let's explore each type briefly along with some practical suggestions:



  1. Physical Rest: Lack of sleep and excessive physical exertion drain your body's energy. Consider passive rest like ensuring 7+ hours of sleep or active methods such as yoga or gentle stretching.

  2. Mental Rest: Struggling with focus and concentration? It's time for a mental breather. Try jotting down tasks, practicing meditation, or adopting a shutdown ritual to declutter your mind.

  3. Social Rest: Balancing draining social interactions with uplifting ones is crucial. Surround yourself with people who energize you, and don't hesitate to take breaks from those who drain your spirit.

  4. Spiritual Rest: Seek connection with something greater than yourself. This can involve volunteer work, engaging in spiritual practices, or finding purpose-driven endeavors.

  5. Sensory Rest: Combat daily overstimulation by incorporating sensory breaks into your routine. Limit screen time, silence notifications, and create a tranquil evening atmosphere to soothe your senses.

  6. Emotional Rest: Authenticity is key. Engage in conversations where you can be yourself, and consider seeking support from a therapist if needed.

  7. Creative Rest: Recharge your creative spark by immersing yourself in the beauty of nature or art. Visit a museum, listen to inspiring music, or simply bask in the glory of a sunset.

Dr. Dalton-Smith advises identifying the areas where you're most lacking in rest and gradually incorporating practices to address them. Begin by taking her Rest Quiz to assess your needs and delve deeper into her book for invaluable insights.


The importance of holistic rest is further highlighted in Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's book, "Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less." Like Dalton-Smith, Pang advocates for intentional and balanced rest as a cornerstone of productivity and creativity.


As Dr. Dalton-Smith aptly points out, if you're waking up exhausted despite ample sleep, the issue likely stems from a deficit in rest, not sleep alone.


This year, commit to revamping your approach to rest. Remember, true productivity isn't just about the work you accomplish but also the quality of rest you allow yourself. So, which type of rest will you prioritize today?


“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well.” - Diane Ackerman

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