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Cracking The Work-Rest Ratio Code

by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith on Oct 12, 2018

Sleeping Healthcare ProfessionalFeeling like you're constantly struggling for motivation and energy at your hospital, clinic or imaging center? The following advice has been excerpted with permission from Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith's book 'Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.' Here, Dr. Dalton-Smith, a featured speaker at Cassling's Investing In You 2018 seminar, offers valuable wisdom for persons struggling with a rest deficit.

"I feel like I have multiple full-time jobs." This is a common statement I hear from men and women who are overwhelmed on a daily basis. Their main desire is for work-life balance. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but we have got to stop talking about finding balance. 

Work-life balance does not exist. Everything in your life of any value comes with a healthy dose of work. You can not balance work and life because they are interconnected. When work-life balance becomes your goal, you set yourself up for failure. 

We become weary with work because we refuse to prioritize rest. Don't become another overworked statistic. Be the exception. Learn how to live a lifestyle of working from a place of rest.

Focus on a healthy work-rest ratio. There is an optimal amount of rest needed to restore what you pour out into your work. Identify the amount of rest you need to feel energized and at peace, and you will be well on your way to living your best life.

Identify Your Rest Deficits

Chronic insufficient rest ultimately leads to a rest deficit. This deficiency occurs when the amount of rest you get is inadequate to meet your daily energy expenditures. The Law of Conservation states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be converted to different forms or transferred. For every minute of activity, you are using energy.  Daily, you transfer energy from your reservoir to your activity account and use it to do life. The only way to replenish the energy lost is to receive a transfer of energy from another source.  Rest is the conductor connecting you to the energy refill you need. The problem is, if you don't get the right kind of rest, you will still feel empty.

When I first realized there were different types of rest, I was captivated by the revelation. How can rest be complicated? Isn't resting supposed to be simple? So if it's so simple, why do so many of us have such a hard time doing it? And when we do it, why do we still not feel rested? These were the questions which lead me on a quest to dig deeper, to uncover the hidden secrets of the well-rested and to recline there in that knowledge until I too found room to breathe.

Just in the past few minutes of reading this, you have used physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative energy. Each is drawing from a different energy pool. Each needing to be restored in preparation for the next time it will be called upon. Your body needs physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative rest. Omit any one of these, and you will feel the consequences of the resulting rest deficit.

So what kind of tired are you?

If you awake full of energy every morning and are dragging by the afternoon, you may be missing adequate physical rest to sustain your day. If you get out of bed tired in the morning and then become energized as the day progresses, you may be experiencing creative restlessness. And if you experience an overall lack of meaning and fulfillment, a spiritual or emotional rest deficit may be to blame. Understanding which type of rest you are deficit in is critical to correcting this imbalance.

If your job is mentally draining but physically undemanding, physical rest will fail to leave you feeling rested. Mental rest is what's required to bring your mental reservoir back to a healthy level. If you spend most of your day staring at a bright computer screen or hearing constant noise, your body will need sensory rest to feel renewed. If your circumstances cause you to struggle with faith and the meaning of life, your soul will desire spiritual rest to return to a place of peaceful contentment.

For every depleting activity in your day, there is a counter reviving activity to balance the scales.

(Excerpt from Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, Copyright 2017 FaithWords/Hachette Book Group)

Meet the Author

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker and board-certified internal medicine physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors’ Secrets. She has been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC and Prevention. She is the author of Set Free to Live and Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.

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