Have you ever slept more than 8 hours but still felt EXHAUSTED? According to Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, sleeping is just a physical rest, you actually need 7 types of rest to avoid burnout.
1. Physical Rest
Lack of sleep and overtraining use up your body’s energy. There are two type of physical rest, passive and active:
• Sleep 7+ hours nightly
• Take power naps (as needed)
• Get a massage
• Use an ergonomic chair + desk
2. Mental Rest
Mental rest loss is caused by overthinking.
• Write down your to-dos
• Reference checklists (packing, groceries, etc.)
• Create a shutdown ritual to separate work and life
• Take a break from problem-solving
3. Social Rest
Evaluate your relationships.
• Spend more time with people who give you energy
• Spend less time with people who steal your energy
• If you’re an introvert, block out time to be alone
4. Spiritual Rest
Be part of something bigger than yourself.
• Work a job that feels purpose-driven
• Participate in faith-based activities (if aligned to your belief system)
5. Sensory Rest
The modern individual is overstimulated.
• Take a break from social media
• Turn off notifications (sounds and visual alerts)
• Limit video meetings
• Set a relaxing evening ambiance (soothing music, candles, etc.)
6. Emotional Rest
Emotional rest deficit occurs when you feel like you can’t be authentic. An example: An airline attendant who must always smile, despite rude passengers.
• Spend time with people you can be authentic around
• Try speaking with a therapist to release emotional labor
7. Creative Rest
Appreciate beauty in any form, whether natural or human-created:
• Take in a sunrise or sunset
• Go for a walk in nature
• Visit a museum or art festival
• Engage with inspiring music, books, documentaries, etc.
Dr. Dalton-Smith recommends starting with your 1-2 biggest rest deficits and not trying to eat the whole elephant at once. Then, over time, create daily and weekly habits to get all 7. Take her Rest Quiz to figure out where to start: