Christian Blog and Online Women's Ministry in South Africa - Cup of Faith

Sacred Rest

In a world that’s constantly telling you that you’ve always got to be moving, working, creating, and producing, all while being a mom, manager, sister, daughter, wife, and, and, and… it’s unsurprising that most of us are on the brink of burnout. I have shared briefly about my own burnouts. In fact, I feel burnout is becoming super common and has become the latest buzzword. Perhaps it’s that we’re all just trying to go through the motions of this pandemic and are crippled by the fatigue that it brings, or perhaps it started even before then, and we’re all just trying so hard to keep up with the people on our timelines, not making time to properly rest.

God has a funny sense of humor and an amazing way of making sure you are exactly where you need to be, or in my case, you read exactly what you need to read, so I just had to share this story before I get into the review of DR. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s book. So, in the midst of the pandemic, I was contacted by DR. Saundra, herself, to be featured on the podcast. However, life took a bit of a tumble and between navigating the pandemic, homeschooling, work, and grief, the podcast took a backseat. In fact, we’ve just rebooted it, but for a long, LONG time, it’s just been gathering dust. Fast forward a few months, I was contacted by our local Publishing House, Struik Christian Media, who have since become partners to this platform and very kindly send us regular books to review and feature. Part of their last stack of books, they happened to include DR. Saundra’s book called Sacred Rest. So even though, I missed my opportunity to interview DR. Saundra, her book still managed to find its way to me and I am glad that it did.

Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there’s a challenge.

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In SACRED REST, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. SACRED REST combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, SACRED REST gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

I always feel like rest is sort of tricky. Sometimes, your body is physically screaming that it needs rest (she types while barely keeping her eyes open, trying to write this review after a full day of running around) but you still feel like you have to be doing something, and often, I feel like it is because we are so scared of being perceived as lazy. The next challenge I realise we have, which I hadn’t considered before is what sort of rest we require. In her book, Dalton-Smith goes on to detail the seven types of rest that she found is lacking in many of us and how each of these types of rest impacts every part of our lives:

  • Physical: The chance to use the body in restorative ways to decrease muscle tension, reduce headaches, and promote higher quality sleep.
  • Mental: The ability to quiet cerebral chatter and focus on things that matter.
  • Spiritual: The capacity to experience God in all things and recline in the knowledge of the Holy.
  • Emotional: The freedom to authentically express feelings and eliminate people-pleasing behaviors.
  • Social: The wisdom to recognize relationships which revive from ones that exhaust and how to limit exposure to toxic people.
  • Sensory: The opportunity to downgrade the endless onslaught of sensory input received from electronics, fragrances, and background noise.
  • Creative: The experience of allowing beauty to inspire awe and liberate wonder.


Her book goes on to explain that a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can impact your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. In her free resource at , Dalton-Smith works to identify your rest deficits with the help of a comprehensive quiz, that helps score you on all seven types of rest and identifies the rest deficits affecting your wellbeing.

So, through her book and the online quiz, I have identified that I require sensory, creative, and emotional rest, which makes a lot of sense. At the beginning of the year, when I discussed my intentions and prayers for the year, I said how I want to create more – I feel like I am the best version of myself when I am creating more often, but I am physically so burnt out at the end of the day, that I am not getting that chance to be creative. Of course, I require sensory rest because I am always in front of this computer or my phone, which does impact several areas of my life from how I connect with my partner and loved ones, to my mental health and even self-worth. The last one was emotional rest, which hit home hard – I am known for being a people pleaser, and realizing how much work I have to do in this specific area of my life was eye-opening because I am aware of the deeper impact it has on my life as a whole.

With that in mind, Saundra has helped me take the first steps in acknowledging the parts of my life that need more rest and with her book, I felt supported and ready to understand the impact of ignoring those warning signs and of course, the changes I can start making to live a more restful life.

You can purchase your copy of Sacred Rest from leading book stores including CUM Books

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