Sacred Rest: How the 7 Different Types of Rest Affect Your Day-to-Day
The welcome to the family bites podcast where we believe even closer relationships are closer than we think. Thank you for joining the family vice podcast where we have a senior purpose to help encourage and equip each of us to invest in our most important relationships, because we believe even closer relationships are closer than we think. And today, we have a real treat Dr Sondra Dalton Smith is joining us. She is a doctor of internal medicine. She is also a speaker has authored sacred rest recover your life. Renew your energy and restore your sanity. She has been featured on the CBS evening news as well as MSNBC FOX as well as featured in Women's Day. Good, housekeeping and Redbook. And now Dr Dalton Smith, all of that has led you to the family bites podcast. It's like the Everest podcasts, aren't you excited, I am all joking aside. I am very thankful that you would come and take some time to share in our humble little podcast here, and I've really enjoyed your book and is really of. An honor to to get to know you little bit here today. Now I've got an opening question for you. I'm reading all the things that you're doing my first question. Are you getting enough rest? I get that question often. And I am that's, that's the great thing about the whole concept of sacred rest is that you can continue to be active and still. Oh, well rested, still have joys they'll have teas and dual that while still honoring that principle that we need to have some away time, and some time to rest and to restore so that's, that's what we can get more into because because it is possible was great. And so, because I've never heard anybody say, I'm getting less busy. This is not happening. My circle of friends are always talking about how life is getting more busy, and how they feel like life. Sometimes is sucking energy outta them. The responsibilities are pulling the energy out of them rather than finding pockets of time in the midst of the business to real fine rule. Wrestle. How would you define sacred rest them? I find sacred rest that rest that we required to restore the energy that we put out in our regular day and it's sacred because it cannot be replaced with anything else. I think that's what so often gets us into that trap of feeling tired, all the time where you go to bed at night, and you wake up still exhausted is because we think that sleep alone should fixed, all of these other types of rest that we need, and it doesn't, and I think we've proven that over and over again sleep is important, but is not going to restore a social rest deca said or a sensory rest deficit or a creative restaff is said, we, we have to say that rest is sacred in all the seven areas and that all of them are equally important for us to feel whole. Sousse, wholeness that we're trying to achieve then. How did you start this journey? He's, I mean, it's a well written book. And it almost seems like you've had a little experience on the other side of not having that sacred rest that you're trying to encourage all of us to pursue. Oh, absolutely. I really started also may burning out is how it started off as a physician. I've always been taught that if you get the seven to nine hours, sleep and do these things that protects books. Tell you to do that. You should be full of energy full of joy full of case in just really have the life that you're going after as far as physically, and mentally and that this isn't the case for most of us. I think we see time and time again where that doesn't work. And so I got to a point where I really had everything that I have been striving for as far as I had my degree. I was actively in practiced I had two small children at the time both were under the age of two. I was happily married, but I was I had no joy and no contentment and no satisfaction. Even after having checked off all of those huge life goals. And it was during that time that I really got to this point. Where I had a relationship with God but it was more of a sideline relationship is what I'll call it, it wasn't something that I really thought too much about, but I would going about my regular day and doing things that I knew were benefiting other people, and I felt was honoring to him, but I really got to the point where I wasn't honoring the Sabbath, or really thinking that it was even anything that I needed it wasn't even something that was even in my in my thought process at all. And so one day I came home with my kids, they were from in preschool, or actually, in daycare, and I was so down. And I looked at all of these things that look like they should have made me happy. And none of it was, and I thought to myself, God is this, this is all there is. I don't eat them want to do it anymore. I don't I don't see this as being at the time I was in my early thirties. And I thought if this is what the next sixty years of my life is gonna look like. Then I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this anymore, and I just laid down on my four in the foyer of my house. And this piece came Overby that was so unbelievable that I just close my eyes and just reclined into it. And as I was laying on this floor, this hardwood, four freezing cold with this just overwhelming tease. It hit me that I hadn't just purposely shaved activity and like St. still disclose my life like that. The middle of the day, and probably twenty years. I run and run and run and run after my goals, and I never once thought to really really enjoyed them the really recline into them. And that's when I realized I need to change something I need to change how ongoing about my life. If I want my life to be the best early can be, and I loved that because you had you have a great career, a wonderful family. Your kids, probably are doing really will your Christmas card probably will look outstanding and the image that races. Why, why would someone like you not be happy? I mean you have it all. And it's yeah, go ahead. Yeah, you're exactly right. And that's what people were thinking on the outside. No one would've known. And that's why when I see, like sometimes I'll say, people who are in the media, and all of a sudden you hear that they committed suicide and you think how is that their life look so good. You know, they've got all these famous friends and all this stuff going on the they looked so successful. I can hundred percent understand how you how they, they can feel for the have a life that other people envy. And when that you are desperate breakout. I love that say that against our listeners can really grasp it a lot of people were pursuing a life that we can NB at the same time. We're desperately trying to break out of explain what look likes. Well, for me when I, sometimes now, even when I sit down with, with other doctors are authors speakers, or anyone whose, whose life is similar to mine in some way. And they look the oldest is like another doctor, for example. And they'll say, wow, you were on while you did a Ted talk and well you were on TV and they're like, oh, I'd love to do something like that. And so they're giving you all of this stuff that they that they're saying from superficially, but they don't know the stress that goes under that they don't know the hours of preparation the, the strain and all of the stuff that goes into those, those while moments and the pressure of that in. So if someone is, is just focusing ahead, having more and more while moments in their life, their not enjoying those moments because that's the moments themselves the preparation for them. Typically tend to be stressful. So the time that you enjoy them is when you step back and you, you actually break. Away from it for a moment. And you can look back on it kind of end say, it's not really that the striving death-making meet be and a checking something off my to do list is making me. Feel better was making me. Go better is actually enjoying it being able to give thanks in the middle of it being able to stop long enough and into into understand that you're not alone. That's you that God goes with you into these, these battles in these, these opportunities. There's such a release that comes when you can break away them from the responsibility of all of these different things, and just rest, and I think those two words that you use rest in joy for so many people or allusive, because they don't know what it looks like. I mean, I don't know how many people I feel like I have been wired to be achievers. Well, of course, in ministry is totally different how many people can you meet? How many people can you impact, and if I'm not careful I could easily. Get a great sense of pride, not sense, a joy necessarily in and how many people I've met with during the week or how many people give me a high five for a lesson, or a sermon or a one on one session, or how available I've been and that affirmation sometimes can replace true joy that comes from resting and knowing that God is pleased with you. You ever do you ever? Yeah. Yeah, I can totally get that, because that's, that's probably what got me in the most trouble. I'm I'll admit I'm a people pleaser. I like that a girl, you know, the high and all of that stuff that's kind of how I was hot wired as a as a teen to go after that, to go after those accolades, and to go after those type of accomplishments in. So when I as I became an adult is hard to kind of reprogram yourself to not go after that into constantly be kinda going after those, those affirmations from other people. But what happens is when we get into into a cycle of always seeking the approval of others. It puts unnecessary strain on our life, that then sets us up for emotional rest deficits social rest deficits, because the relationships often time aren't as authentic and is healthy, if they could be because we don't have healthy boundaries. When you're when you're trying to be a people pleaser you try not to have confrontation in so you tend to say yes, and to agree to things that you may. Not really want to. And so you end up getting yourself in one of those situations where you're pulling your your attention, and your energy in ways that don't align necessarily with your current season of lies, and I think that's where a lot of joy gets melted and the ministry when we, we don't have those boundaries in the discernment to be able to, to really save when a season has ended and there's something more that we're being moved into. And so we have to be willing to, to really move with God's so to speak, so that when a season ends, we don't we don't fear people, and what they will think about a season changing or ending, but we really want to honor him with our lives. And, and our activities. And so let's talk from a medical perspective, then I love the fact that you distinguish between true rest and sleep. Because in the news, I'm hearing constantly about how Americans aren't getting enough sleep every night. You hear especially right now in athletic, some kind of a sports fan rest and sleep is a big component. Tom Brady is, is touting how many hours of sleep. He's getting in the latter part of his professional career in football. And so from a medical perspective. Why is rest important? On the rust. We really have come bind the concepts of sleep and rest to the point where it seems like they're the same thing, but they're not sleep really is focused under the physical rest components. And when I started studying rast not just from the spiritual but from the scientific aspect of it. We have more than just one type of France, they do have the physical, but then we also have the mental and this fear chill and the emotional and sensory, and the social into creative in. So when you have all seven of these areas is impossible to feel completely rested, simply by sleeping sleep alone. Can't restore all those other areas? Why's that? Why is that though? I mean, and I totally track in with you, because you were speaking to my season of life right now, which I truly appreciate and people who listen. No, that usually have, folks. On that helped me, I'm get free counseling, basically. That's why we do the podcast here. Okay. But, but so I have experienced exactly what you're talking about were, I'll get a solid eight and I'll wake up and either because of I, I used to think it was intimidating my day. Oh, I've gotta do X amount of things today. But you're saying it's something different. There's other components in my life. That will I feel better when those components arrested Orlando's other areas of life, I have to rest in those or is it is just an inner satisfaction. What does that look like for me when I spit kind of rest? Well, you, you will feel better because if you're currently, if you're like I rise in your waking up, actually tired, you wake up you're like, oh, God. It's monday. But it's actually like Wednesday. It's Monday again. Right. So you're having that type of cycle where you're just every day. You're like here we go again. I'm so tired can the weekend come if you're having that type of behavior in attitude, and absolutely? When you start restoring your rest episodes, all of a sudden, it'll be like, wow, I, I have energy, I didn't realize that was possible, because this, this thing is rather we realize it or not, we're constantly using energy in different areas of our lives. And so we don't always think about how we use energy so someone who, let's say has to constantly come up with innovative ideas or create new things or brainstorm with other people, they're using creative energy. But when they hear the word, creative rest, they may be thinking, oh, I'm not an artist. You know, I don't need that because I don't I don't paint or I don't right? Or don't you know, I don't play music or something. But creative rest is needed for anyone who has to come up with out of the box ideas. So a teacher who launched to elevate her classroom, to, to be able to reach a student who may not be getting it and has come up with a new idea on how to teach that topic needs creative rest, because they've got gotta be able to go outside the box in so the problem with that is when someone is using that energy to try to come up with those ideas there then draining that part of them, south. They're draining that one of the seven and unless they replace it, it will stay drain. They won't understand. Why do I not feel good? So something deal off. I think that's the number one thing, people say, I just don't feel right. So they can't verbalize what, what bills bad out. But they just know something is not in alignment, something is not filled to the point where they feel refreshed and restored. Then when we're not in alignment like that, or we more susceptible to illnesses than his that absolutely. It depends. But it depends on the type of rest deficit. You're having so people with a physical rest deficit. So physical rest is not simply sleep sleep is a card of it. But it also includes people who tend to hold a lot of stress and tension in their body. So they may have chronic neck pain, or headaches. I strain, there's things that go along with just with, with holding a lot of stress and muscle tension. Those people tend to have a lot more episodes of bidding sick whenever I had someone who says, I stay sick all the time. Everybody else's well at work, and I keep catching colds over and over and over again, they're use a carrying a huge stress load that they may not even be aware that they are living under that, that level of stress that is actually suppressing their immune system to the point that it can't fight a healthy battle against normal bacteria. And so this is where this is such a profound concept for me, personally, I'm sure for all of our listeners will because many times. Have viewed creativity or physical exertion like exercise as outlets to gain, more rest or more energy. But I love the fact that you're saying, okay, there's a lot of different kind of creativity and physical exertion that could actually be pulling that energy, and not really giving you rest and I think that will be very, very helpful for a lot of our listeners who are trying to find that outlet in order to find that energy. Yes, that's, that's great. That's a great point because really what I try to help people to see really the first the first principle of this sacred rest concept, if that rest should equal restoration, when, when you say you're going to get rest in an area, you should be able to tell me what is getting restored. So for the example, physical rest, you mentioned exercise or walking. Walking can be part of your physical rest strategy, if we're talking about restoring circulation, and we're talking about improving the lymph addicts but you have to understand for it not then flip over into work. It has to be at a leisure pace. So when we're exercise walking or jogging for, for physical fitness, that's a stressor on the body as a health a stressor, but that's not exactly the same thing as physical rest because you're using the muscles. So they're not paying unwind. Do they're not being kind of relaxed they're actively being used. That's not a bad thing. But you didn't have to realise. That's why aftermath exercises. They will tell you to take a cool down walk. The cool down walked or the whatever, cooldown activity, the stretching, and all of that, that's the removing into rest, because we're trying to restore those muscles back to their healthy along gated position. And we're trying to get the circulation in the lymphatic back to a normal. Range in those areas. So so yes, it is somewhat confusing. But if we are always thinking about it as okay, I want, I need rest in whatever the area is what am I restoring? That's a great question. And I would encourage over listeners, first of all, if you haven't gotten the book kit to grab it either, get the audible or the hard copy, because then, you'll be able to make these kind of principals more real to your life, and asks these kind of questions in areas of creativity or my physical life or the list goes on and on what is being restored. That is a profound, profound piece of wisdom that. I think all of us need to engage so medically recipes important. But you also have been visiting your website a little bit. And I've also see that you have a real passion for relationships. So what role does rest play in developing healthier, even closer relationships. Now it's one of the surprises really that came out of the book, I was getting a lot of information from actually, the first one is the Email that I got from a young man who wrote that his wi- had read the book, it had encouraged him to do the free thirty day risk challenge that I offer on my website in, so I got the Email from him because he's fed with married for, I think he's like fifteen years and he was like, I, I hate to admit this, but we got to the point where we were just roommates sharing bills and taking care of kids in the same house under the same groups, but I had got really gotten to that point per their relationships had gotten just planning. It didn't had to let the sparks all that energy that you expect between a married couple and went into things that I had recommended within there was a dissertation, five minutes of Ida. I contact that imports. It's a face to face contact. I'd I contact which is a part of what social rest is about, as the rest, we get in the presence of others who we feel understand us except us in want to be in relationship with us. And so he and his wife had started doing that on a regular basis. Just five minutes face to face. I always tell people to start with that question. Everybody gives lie to when you say how are you today? It'd be say alright or good. And we don't really get honest answer. We say it was even think about what we're saying to actually answer that question with full sentences to express, and explain what's going on in each other in your life to that person who's so close to you. And that is what he came back to tell me was that he cannot believe how just having that face to face. Time with starting to bring them closer and closer together to allow them to fall back in love with each other. Because if you think about it, we fall in love. Face to face, and then be get married. Amber facing a from each other, and watching TV looking at kids like neck, computer screens. I mean, even in restaurants, now, you'll see very couples now but both of them with Ryan phones out looking there rather than at each other. Absolutely. And we do this here. We have a monthly premarital seminar that we offer folks who are thinking about or are actually getting married and one of the first exercises that we do in this workshop, as we ask people to turn their chairs towards one another and have uninterrupted I contact, and we only make him do a fright thirty seconds and it's amazing to me. First of all, how awkward it is for every couple in there. And Secondly, how hard it is to maintain. I contact without making a joke or breaking out into some kind of awkward laughter. And so I'm learning that, that, that important practice is also a learned skill. We have. Learn how to do that. Because you're right. We typically people have conversations looking at something else, which which, which is in Mary context. My wife and I know this, it robs us of intimacy because I really believe what you're saying is that, that I contact is one of the most intimate things that people can do. It's an that was the first couple Bennett mentioned that to me. And then after that, floodgates flew open because everyone that wrote back that was one of the key things that they had said was that? I, I we cannot believe how you know, there's five minutes were then turning into like fifteen twenty minutes because they were falling back in love with each other again. And, and that's the hope for every God centered Matt marriages that you stay so intimately connected with each other. That nothing could pull your part. Absolutely in. It's amazing. How something is simple is uninterrupted icon, ttacked can help facilitate. A couple of to reach that kind of new level of intimacy and whatever season of marriage the rent, that's just amazing to me. And so, so what other benefits does rest have on relationships? Well man, I really have enjoyed just having a mama. Teens is how it really has helped for Nita understand the pressures that my teens go through and be able to be more open to making sure that they're having those times, for emotional rest now, everybody needs emotional rest to be able to, to express themselves and to fill accepted as, if they can say whatever they need to say that, that your love is unconditional with them, particularly with within your children in. So what I'm finding is that as I teaching us to parent grids, a lot of teams when I do the like youth meetings, and I use it away at corks at most churches, I'll meet with the teens and. Talk with them. And then later on, I'll you the on either talking on stage to the parents or something. And what I'm finding is that when I'm sitting down with the teens, one of the key things they say, is that I always feel like I have to be a hundred percent that if I'm not like the top of the at the top of the pack, you know, on the varsity team getting the as that if I don't knock, all of those things, check them off my list that somebody I'm letting my parents down in what really hurts me with that is as an internal medicine physician. I see that on the other end when I'm in the ICU with a team that's tried to commit suicide with parents who have no idea that they even thought that and the reason is they're not communicating. The parents not asking them to be perfect. But because there's this, this lack of emotional rest in social rest in the family unit the relationships feel. As if it's superficial, as our Facebook friendships, that we only show them, the good, I will never let the end to see what's really going on. And we usually blame that on the teen because all they're just the ANC anxious teen or they don't communicate at this age, or, but we can actually create environments to, to provide a restful environment for our kids to actually open up, our do you have any suggestions of how we could do that gas? The first one is there are no electric allowed at any table where we are sitting together as a family unit. I can tell you is just your voice. Absolutely no. Because what happens is you have like a prime moment to engage with your teen idol. I and taints don't don't like either. They, you mentioned about couples not really feeling comfortable with that will teams are even less comfortable with that. But typically with grownups 'cause they already feel cut a self conscious about. So am I and where am I at this whole this whole world thing. So you have that, that isolated time for that foot thick teen. Twenty minutes at your eating together, if it's at your house, you know, maybe an hour, if you're at a restaurant used that time to really have some date conversations, and don't make it seem like you're having a conversation. It could be it could cut it could be as natural as whatever flows at that moment. I know my within our own family. You know, with the news, there are so many controversial virtual things that are popping up now from wall being built, to, you know. Pro-life pro-choice, whatever there's all the stuff that's everywhere on the news in so whatever we're at a restaurant, Matiz playing we whatever showing up we start talking about it. That's great. And then you get to hear what they're sought Sar and if they're thoughts are two children are raised in the church, but then have influences from everywhere. They're friends, you know, social media YouTube in, so I'm always interested to hear. What are your thoughts on it? And if they're thoughts aren't lining up with what we believe description shows. That's a prime opportunity to at least show it to them. We can't force it down. They have to come into their own understanding of the bible. But we can at least make sure they seen it. And I think also silence, we have a thirteen year old, and we have three younger kids after that. But I think my experience in. It's not much right now, I'm, I'm just white knuckling, and Ashley praying for Jesus to return for my girls. Become that is my goal in indefinitely before they start dating. And so, you know, so you could pray for that as well, Sandra. But, but, but here if I also. Silence is a great facilitator for conversations at least my thirteen year old if I if I do not create a loud environment in if I remained silent he'll Trues to break the silence as well. And so that might be another great little tip. So no eletronics at the table to help facilitate that try to get some. I contact and if there is something either on the news or current event at their school or a situation, that's come up, or that they let them drive the conversation somewhat. If absolutely you want him to, to understand that, that it is that it is, actually a good thing to look in someone's eyes. I tell my sons octa time when they're talking to their teachers don't do what I see. So many teams day when I when I there sprints come over though, say, yes, miss Smith, and they're like looking at the grounds, and I'm thinking, I want you to look at me. I'm interested in you as a person. And I want you to understand that. And you can't see that with, unless you're looking at me because either wise. It's just superficial conversation. And we have so many so much that now in our lives that I don't want. I don't want teens to think that that is what, what a real relationship looks like it's all superficial. No, some of it needs to be intimate where you are face-to-face in your, your uncomfortably, any others atmosphere, so to speak, and you are doing like together in so I appreciate that. Because when I think about okay, how do I get rest especially my role? Relationships. Sometimes I make it more complicated in the fact that there is a simple first step or next step. And it's just I contact that we could actually develop a more restful time in our personal life. But also more intimate experience with those that we love. That is such a great great to now. Let me ask you a question. So I've actually taken this personal rest of Cessna that you have developed. It's on your website. I choose my best, life dot com. That's I choose my best, life dot com or you can find it more quickly on rest quiz dot com. Explain what the personal risk assessment will help us understand about ourselves. We wanna help people there seven types of grass. They say, oh my goodness. I've gotta do seven more things. Already tired. I'm not giving you seven more things to do because usually there's you don't need to replenish. All seven the already are usually stable on a few of them. There's typically one or two that are really the ones that are draining you and so the rest quizzes Talal you to be able to identify where you're at in each of the seven area. So the quiz takes about five ten minutes. It's there's lots of questions, but it is very comprehensive to be able to give accurate score. But when I tell people is you should not you should not stay on every question for longer. It's kind of a rapid fire you answer you go to the next and then it gives you a score at the end. Let you say the ones that just go to the highest on are the ones you have arrest deficit in the ones that she's grow score lower on or areas where you're already excelling at getting rest. So you don't have to really do much more. If you've already developed a lifestyle where you're getting adequate spiritual and. Personal and creative rest, but you're needing more mental wrath because you can't kind of turn your brain off when you try to go to sleep at night. Then you can focus your attention on doing those specific Mitchell rest activities to restore that area. And I will tell all the listeners because I have taken this quiz. It is accurate. I mean, I was surprised he's like you said, sometimes we have this general feeling that I don't feel rested, but we can't pinpoint, but I but questions were outstanding and you're right rapid fire. Works best on this quiz. It will not take much time at all. But most people have to I'm an overachiever. I have three areas to work on. So there you go. All right. So. And I've not telling anybody what they are because I haven't told my wife yet. So definitely gonna work on those. So, but I also as I've kind of looked at your website again. It's I choose my best, life dot com. You have a lot of wonderful resources ranging from health and wellness to career and relationships. And so as people are trying to explore a little bit more about you. I was strongly encouraged them to start with the rest assessment, and I started reading your book before I took the assessment, then I found out that you had it. I'm actually going to start rereading your book in light of what I know about myself, and I think that might be a good strategy for other people to to employ as well. Do you agree I do? And I can't honestly I can't remember in the book where we introduced the rest quiz. But I do recommend that for most people, I recommend that they actually take the quiz first and then read the book because some honestly, some people are so tired. I wrote the book with. Mindset of exhausted, people don't have time to read. They want to get to the to the facts and move on with it. So the chapters are extremely short. If you probably have noticed that and I try to make it so that the, the examples that are given are the at least three examples are given for each type of rest that there's enough a riot that depending on your own personality and likes and dislikes lifestyle that one of those three will be something you can begin to implement, and then there are hundreds more that you can do, but that at least kind of unlocks the mind to think about what can be seen as rest. It's not as not something that is, I cut cookie cutter kind of thing. It's really individualized inside. I really want people to think about what do I need, they'll restored in that particular area? And when I appreciate is that there's something in each chapter that I've identified with either a story or example, or something like that. And I've never read a book like that before where there's every chapter, there's something in the in the way. That you've explained the way designed each chapter makes total sense, now that I don't get a lot, a, some things don't speak to me, but something always does. And so, I wouldn't encourage folks at check this out, you can find it pretty much on Amazon and other places. Right. And we will also have links to your website, the rest quiz dot com and your book so people can kind of embrace what a more holistic rest filled life looks like. And so this is Dr Sandra Dalton Smith's book, sacred rest, and what's the tagline again? Recover your life. Renew your energy and restore your sanity is amazing. And so, I really appreciate you writing this book, and I don't think I've ever read a book like this comprehensively looking from a spiritual emotional, and physical dynamic of what rest looks like. And so, again, thank you so much. I'm getting so much out of it. And I'm just I'm not gonna tell everybody where you live. But I'm gonna next time in your town. I'm gonna knock on your door. To stop by. All right. Well, thanks everybody for tuning into day. Don't forget to subscribe, and please. This is such an important topic. I would encourage that you share this episode with someone that you love in his easy to do. Either I tunes or Google play or either from our website, and just, please remember that even closer relationships, rests filled relationships and relationships that actually give you energy and not suck energy from you or closer than you think thanks for tuning into day, everybody.