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Start 2024 with a rest reset

In the fast-paced rhythm of our contemporary lives, rest often appears elusive. As our lives become increasingly hectic, the need for comprehensive rest becomes even more important.

Rest is the most underused treatment for many chronic stress-related signs and symptoms. Over the past decade, I have been researching this topic and discovered there are seven types of rest needed for optimal wellbeing.


All fatigue is not created equal. To solve a problem, you first must diagnose it. This is where the seven distinct types of rest can change in how we think about and manage fatigue. Beyond the conventional emphasis on sleep, these facets encompass physical, emotional, sensory, creative, social, spiritual and mental rest. Each type addresses a unique facet of our lives, offering a comprehensive strategy for rejuvenation.

Physical rest: Physical rest is a foundational type involving both passive and active forms. Passive encompasses deliberate moments of stillness during the day, including sleeping. The active form is about allowing your body to recover through gentle movement, stretching and other activities that improve body ergonomics, circulation and flexibility.

Emotional rest: Emotional rest requires us to navigate and release emotions, fostering a healthier emotional state.

Mental rest: Our minds are constantly at work, juggling tasks and information. Practices like mindfulness and meditation are needed to give our brains the rest they deserve.

Sensory rest: Our senses also are bombarded constantly with stimuli. Sensory rest includes taking breaks from screens, noise and other sensory input, which is vital for restoring balance and reducing sensory fatigue.

Creative rest: For those who are always on the go, creative rest is a game-changer. Engaging in activities that spark joy and inspiration can revitalize the creative flow.

Social rest: Meaningful connections are essential, but it is vital to evaluate your social interaction. Social rest includes intentionally evaluating which relationships are contributing positively and negatively to your social energy.

Spiritual rest: Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, finding moments of spiritual rest is crucial. It is about connecting with something greater and cultivating a sense of purpose and peace.

This deeper understanding of the seven types of rest provides an empowering perspective on rejuvenation, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of our well-being.


Embarking on the rest reset journey involves practical steps that can be seamlessly integrated into your daily life:

Assess your rest deficits: Begin by identifying areas where you may be lacking in rest. This self-awareness serves as a compass for positive change, guiding you toward the types of rest you need most. You can quickly do this with a free assessment at

Create a restful environment: Tailor your surroundings to support the specific type of rest you require. Whether it is transforming your bedroom for physical rest or designating a quiet space for sensory rest, your environment plays a crucial role in fostering rejuvenation.

Schedule rest as a priority: Treat rest with the same level of importance as work meetings or social events. By scheduling specific times for rest, you acknowledge its significance in maintaining overall wellbeing.

Experiment with restorative activities: Discover and embrace activities that renew you. It could be indulging in a good book, taking nature walks or spending quality time with loved ones. Incorporate these restorative activities into your routine to create a sustainable practice.

A rest reset transcends the conventional understanding of what rest looks like. It goes beyond the notion of merely getting more sleep or going on vacation. It is a transformative journey toward balance and rejuvenation across every facet of your being. By incorporating the seven types of rest and embracing practical strategies, you can restore your energy and improve your life. Recognize that rest is not a luxury, but a fundamental necessity for sustained wellbeing.

Written by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician, speaker and award-winning author. She is an international wellbeing thought leader featured in various international media outlets and the the author of numerous books. Learn more at

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