Restore Your Energy and Reduce Burnout with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Ep: 185

Do you often feel like collapsing at the end of the day?

When we think about rest, we often think of it as something to aspire to or wait for. Vacations, weekend stay-cations, and the occasional facial or massage are all things we do to try and rebalance our depleted energy.

But the hard truth is that the most common solutions to our overburdened lives just don’t work. 

What you actually need is to understand the specific types of rest you’re lacking. Only then can you RESTORE your energy in ways that truly contribute to balance and overall fulfillment.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment, Blake welcomes Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine physician with over 20 years of experience. Her personal journey with burnout inspired her to want to help organizations overcome employee burnout and leadership overwhelm. As the founding physician and CEO of Restorasis, she leads in the creation of healthier workplace cultures where innovation and performance can thrive.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the seven different types of rest and how to identify where you’re feeling depleted so you can target the specific type of sacred rest you need. You’ll understand the root causes of why you’re feeling so tired all of the time, and why the burnout solutions we usually turn to aren’t working.

Your biggest challenge might be the gateway to your biggest blessing. You have created your life, which means you also have the power to change it.


What You’ll Learn:

  • What burnout feels like (4:08)
  • Why so many of the “solutions” to burnout don’t really work (7:59)
  • Understanding the 7 Types of Rest (14:40)
  • The most common rest deficits people are currently experiencing (22:56)
  • How companies can help employees find better work-life balance (25:15)


Favorite Quotes:

  1. “I really had to make a conscious decision about what I wanted my life to look like. I had these very hard-set goals, I want to be a physician, I want to be a mom. And what happens when you get all those things you’ve been asking for and you’re not happy, you’re not satisfied, you don’t have any space or room in your life to even enjoy them?” –Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
  2. “There has to be a system in place for restoring the energy that we expend.” –Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
  3. “The more rested people are, the more productive they are, the higher quality work they produce, and the happier they are.” –Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
  4. “The old mentality about hustling and grinding actually leads to worse results. Employees that are focused, clear on priorities, and have time for balance produce better results.” –Blake


Resources from the show:

Which of the 7 types of rest are YOU most in need of? Find out at

Additional Resources: 

Rather than hoping the grass will be greener, identify what the RIGHT next step is. 
We can help you do just that. 

Get clarity on where you are on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

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Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 0:03 You cannot manage stress the same way that you manage your checking account. You can’t choose how much stress comes into your life and how much of it you’re going to deal with or not deal with. And I think we need to be aware of that. Because I think too often we think about it as Oh, well, I can manage to stress then I just need to quit, quit my job, quit whatever it is, I just need to get rid of stuff. Rather than seeing that really the issue is more than that. It’s about how do we replete the energy that we use. That’s where the focus had to shift for me because just trying to get rid of things wasn’t going to fix the underlying problem.

Blake Schofield 0:45 Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of the Bridge to Fulfillment, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is the Bridge to Fulfillment.

Blake Schofield 1:19 Hello, and welcome to the Bridge to Fulfillment today I’m really excited to have an expert guest Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith. She’s the founding physician and CEO of Restorasis, a professional development agency dedicated to restoring well being in the workplace by working with companies that care about their employees and want them to succeed at work. As well as at home, she helps organizations overcome employee burnout and leadership overwhelmed to create a healthy culture where innovation and optimal performance thrive. She’s a board certified internal medicine physician with over 20 years in practice near Birmingham, Alabama, his personal journey with burnout led her to her interest in the topic. Saundra, thank you so much for joining us today on the Bridge to Fulfillment. I’m really excited to be able to share your experience and expertise with our listeners today.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 2:09 I’m happy to join you.

Blake Schofield 2:11 Awesome. So I always start out like I’d like our audience to get to know who they’re listening to and a little bit about their background. So would you share a little bit about your journey and who you are?

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 2:21 Yes, I’m an internal medicine physician. Been in practice for 20 years now mom of a college freshman and a junior in high school. I’m married for now 21 years. And you know, really just loving some of the new changes that have come into my life after I burned out about 10 years, it was actually more than that about 15 years ago, I burned out. And it was kind of during that time that I really had to make this a conscious decision about what I wanted my life to look like, I had these very hard set goals, I want to be a physician, I want to be a mom. And what happens when you get all those things you’ve been asking for and you’re not happy, you’re not satisfied, you don’t have any space or room in your life to even enjoy them. And so that’s the place that I found myself. And it just kind of took me on a different journey that’s led to the work that I do now.

Blake Schofield 3:09 Yeah, I love that I often find, you know, most of my guests tend to be clients, but I do bring in select expert guests to be able to share their experience. And I’m always looking for people who have had transformational journey themselves. Because I often find that that is the case, when you find someone who’s truly aligned with the work that they’re doing as they went through some challenges to be able to actually figure out what was the right path for them. You shared with me, perhaps your biggest challenge might be the gateway to your greatest blessing. I love the visual of the gateway to your greatest blessing. Can you share a little bit about your personal journey in burnout? What was that looking and feel like as you experienced it, because likely there are some women listening today that are currently going through that are trying to understand what they’re experiencing and what that journey might look and feel like because often I think burnout is a key sign of misalignment in our lives. And I think it’s unfortunately become so normalized that people think that it’s normal life and they’re not recognize it until it gets to be too late.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 4:08 I look at burnout is just really being Body Soul and Spirit depleted. Every part of me was drained. It was one of those situations where I would go to bed at night and I’m thinking and I’m so tired, I just need to get more sleep and I would purposely try to get 789 10 hours which honestly most nights I was only getting four so when I got these kind of extended periods of sleep I’m like this will do the trick I’ll wake up feeling better or I go on a vacation and I you know spent a week away with my family and all of those things no matter what I did I still stay tired I’d wake up tired from 10 hours of sleep. I come back from beach trip still exhausted and you know this kind of desperate situation when everyone’s telling you Oh you just need time away What if time away to work and you still come back to your life feeling depleted? And that’s the place that I found myself where my body I mean physically are hurt my Mine was overly active. I mean, I would lay down at night and I would have a hard time even turning it off enough to try to go to sleep, I would go to events where I’m wanting to be in the moment. But I couldn’t be in the moment, I was always one step ahead or two steps behind dealing with the past or dealing with the future, I was never able to just kind of be present in the process of whatever that was. And so I think for a lot of people, that’s kind of the first part of it is evaluating are you pouring and giving of your talents and your gifts and your training from a place of depletion? Are you actually giving from a place where you feel like you’re full. And I find that most of the people that I work with, that’s their situation, they are giving from their depletion, they’re showing up at work every day. They’re what I call functional burnouts. They have all the World Health Organization, signs of burnout, they’re tired, they have lack of passion for the work that they do. And even when they do the work, they’re not doing it at the intensity and the quality of that they’re able to, that’s a lot of the world. However, we keep going, because that’s become normal burnouts, become the norm. And actually living a life that feels full and feels healthy now is actually almost looked at as the abnormal.

Blake Schofield 6:11 Yeah, I love you saying that. Because I think that’s really true. I spent 18 years in corporate America, I went through three really severe bouts of burnout before I finally hit what I call the breakdown moment. Because to your point, when I see with burnout is usually falls in one of two camps, I’m burned out because I don’t have the right habits, boundaries, perspective about balance, maybe I don’t know how to communicate or hold my boundaries balanced prioritize my time, like we’re missing skill sets. And I think that’s really common because most of us haven’t been taught those skill sets or don’t understand our fears, or limiting beliefs that are causing us to overwork and create these cycles. But then I also see the second camp, which many times has that, but also is doing work that’s actually misaligned with how they’re naturally work the right environment for them. And so the burnout is a result of both not that right habits, etc. But this misalignment, I’m not passionate about my work, it doesn’t fit me anymore, I’m being asked to work in a way that actually uses my energy up. Because it’s not actually how I would work best are the things I’m passionate about. And I think you’re 100% right is become so normalized, we know that the vast majority of people in corporate America are unhappy, unfulfilled in their jobs. Most people are living for vacations, like you said, or living to retire. It really breaks my heart. And it’s a huge part of why I do the work that I do is to help people understand. It doesn’t have to be a rarity that you can be fulfilled in your current life. It doesn’t have to be a rarity, that you have balance, and you are more present in your life and you’re not stressed. And you can shut off your mind. And you can enjoy your nights and your weekends. And so I just really value the work that you’re doing. Because I think there are so many of us that need to get our voice out there that there’s a better way so that people understand just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. And it doesn’t mean it’s the only option that you have.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 7:59 Yeah, that’s so true. I think too often when we are looking at burnout, or even burnout prevention, some of the techniques that we have introduced to people on how to improve that really are not effective. I’ll give an example. Like for years, I mean burnouts, not something new. It’s been out for ages, we’ve been talking about it for ages. And the number one thing of the past 10 years that everyone was focusing on, was stress management. So why are we more burned out and held than ever, if stress management actually works? And I believe it’s because stress management actually doesn’t work. You cannot manage stress, the same way that you manage your checking account, you can’t choose how much stress comes into your life and how much effort you’re going to deal with or not deal with. And I think we need to be aware of that. Because I think too often we think about it as Oh, well I can manage the stress, then I just need to quit, quit my job quit whatever it is, I just need to get rid of stuff. Rather than seeing that really the issue is more than that. It’s about how do we replete the energy that we use, that’s where the focus had to shift for me, because just trying to get rid of things wasn’t going to fix the underlying problem that I had no system for restoration in my life. It was all about pouring out. And I was only going to rest when I finished the work. And the reality is the work is never done. If you’re not working at your job and your career, you’re working at home, if you’re not working there, you’re working at your passions, your art, there’s always work to be done. There has to be a system in place for restoring the energy that we expend.

Blake Schofield 9:31 100% And what I love about what you said is I think we can look at a lot of things in society that had been issues for decades. And people keep throwing the same things at it and expecting different results right insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results if in fact, right it was just about managing stress and the problem will be solved. Everyone could figure out how to manage stress and no one would have any burnout issues again and I love you sharing that because a lot of my work and I have come to really understand is there’s so many band aids and how we do things as a society, whether it’s Oh, I just put my job and they don’t have stress anymore. Well, hello, that’s impossible. There’s no way you’re not gonna have stress. There’s no perfect time ever, when you’ll have zero stress, and everything will be fixed, and you have enough time to do things for yourself. But to your point, how do we actually get to the root? Cause? Why is it that I am depleted? Do I need to manage my energy differently? Do I need a system in a process that ensures that I have a base level that I’m taking care of myself, regardless of the things happening to me, and I definitely have found that to be the case, as well as many of the women that come to me are in burnout, and have absolutely no self care processes at all. And they don’t even know what their hobbies are anymore. They don’t take any time for themselves. They’re working themselves to the grind all of the time. And if we don’t fix those things, then we can’t ever get to a place right, you can’t pour from an empty cup. But even more than that, too, are we actually identifying why do we have those patterns? are we actually looking at the belief systems that are causing us to feel like we can’t take care of ourselves? Are we looking at the things that tell us, I’m so fearful if I don’t do x, y, z, I won’t have a job. Because at the end of the day, right, it’s so much deeper than just to your point, it’s so much deeper than just managing stress, it’s not actually getting to the root cause of what’s causing these problems. And then to your point, learning the right skills, habits, behaviors, processes, that can ensure that no matter what comes our way, we don’t topple over.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 11:31 When I first started this journey, as a physician, there was a bit of hesitancy to even dive into this topic. And even after I started doing research, if I’m completely honest, the research was 100%. Selfish, I had no intention of sharing it, no intention of writing sacred breasts, no intention of any of the you know, starting a workplace wellness company, none of that. Initially, when this journey started, it was just that I can’t survive like this. And as a physician, looking at other physicians committing suicide because of the pressure, and you know, having all of these other negative things that occur because of the burnout, escalating and getting to a place where it’s just not sustainable anymore. I think that is kind of what pushed me into wanting to share it because initially, it was just about survival. It’s like I can’t survive like this, I start off my book sacred rest talking about picking up my two toddlers at the time from daycare, coming home after a full day at work, six in the morning, six in the evening. I’m an internist. So my office hours include the hospital, er, in the ICU, as well as my physical building office. So I was all over the place, high strung profession, coming home with kids at 6pm. With a mindset of I need to feed these kids, my husband will be home in the door in 30 minutes. And when I walked through the door, on one particular day, I was just at the end of myself, all I could do was put the kids in front of the TV just to entertain them long enough for me to lay out on my four year floor. And as I’m sitting there, you know, laying out on my four year forum thinking, this is the life that I built, I have no one else, I can go back and say You’re to blame for this, other than myself. So there was a bit of ownership that had to occur there, that if I did the work to create this life, then I could also do work to create something better. But I didn’t have any type of framework of what that even look like. And so for me, the first steps was really just evaluating what part of me is tired, because it wasn’t just sleep, I said, I had already tried getting eight 910 hours. And that wasn’t helping. And so I had to just get really clear and really real about what is exhausted, because there was more to me that was being depleted than just the physical. And that’s really where the research I’ve done on the seven types of rest. That’s really where that came from. It’s like I wasn’t just physically tired. I was mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, creatively and sensory, exhausted. And I needed to get kind of high in tune that because honestly, as a physician, if somebody came into the ER and told me Hey, Doc, I heard, I would be like, and, you know, what am I supposed to do with such useless information? You heard? How do I even know where to look what test to order. But we say that all the time about ourselves, I’m so tired. That is such pointless information. It has to be more specific for you to actually have the power to be able to change it.

Blake Schofield 14:25 Oh, I love this. Can you share with us a little bit more? You said there are seven types of sleep what is some of the specificity so that people can begin to move from a place of I’m drained, I’m exhausted, I’m tired to something that’s more productive that can actually be utilized to create for momentum.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 14:40 Yeah, so the seven different types of risks the first one physical, most of us are very familiar with passive physical rest, sleeping and napping, but we don’t think about the active component of physical rest those things that include our circulation or lymphatics, our body fluidity or muscle integrity. So it’s things like stretching and walking In yoga and foam rollers, and massage therapy, all of those other things that are needed for your body to feel good, but also it includes the ergonomics of where you work. You know, a lot of people we work in workstations that are actually toxic to our physical body. And so you wonder why after sitting at that desk, or wherever you tend to do your workout, you get up and you’re like, Why does my arm hurt my shoulders or my legs swelling, you have to be aware of that that’s a sign of a physical rest deficit, your body is going through an experience that is causing depletion in ways that then need to be restored, that needs to be a process to reverse that. So for every activity that we do, or every amount of energy we expend, there should be a reciprocal area thing that we do activity that we pour back into. And so when you disassociate rest from simply being stopping or cessation activities, you can start looking at what are the restorative processes that I can do to fill those areas back up. So like with mental rest, so to speak, you know, if you’re someone who does lay down at night, and your brain won’t shut up, or you have a hard time memorizing things, or concentrating, that’s what a mental rest deficit looks like, it’s a mind that’s overly active and can’t get to that kind of serene, quiet, clear space that whitespace in the head, so to speak. And so for someone who might be experiencing that there’s multiple different mindfulness practices that can be helpful, something as simple as doing a brain dump at the end of the day. So instead of going to bed with that to do list running around in your head, write it down, it gives the brain permission to release it, the more you ruminate over it, the less sleep you’re gonna get, because your brain is gonna keep ruminating over it, when you release it on something concrete, like a piece of paper or a notepad, it gives the brain permission to let it go. So that you can get into those deeper levels asleep spiritual rest, that’s different for every person really just depending on their spiritual beliefs. But at the very core of it is the need that we all have to feel like our life has purpose as if we belong to something bigger than ourselves, that there’s meaning to our existence. And so whether that’s through a faith based system, or you get it through some other type of association organizations, that your communities that you’re involved with, we all need to feel like we belong, we all need to feel like we’re loved. We all need to feel like our life has purpose and value. And so finding those places where you connect with that, so that you’re able to get the infilling of those types of experiences with emotional rest, emotional rest deals with looking at specifically what we feel and how easily we’re able to be authentic and real and share those moments with others. And so vulnerability is one of those things that I think a lot of us tend to avoid. However, I understand that because everybody is in a safe place to be vulnerable. But there should be some people in your life that you do feel are safe places to have emotional rest. So whether that’s a counselor, a therapist, a coach, a pastor, I mean, you get to pick a brand, it doesn’t really matter, you get to pick who the emotional rest person is, but there needs to be someone. And too often, we feel like that’s not a part of something that we need in our wellbeing, kind of when we’re looking at our overall well being we think, oh, you know, I can deal with it, I can handle it. And I find that a lot of people carry an excessive amount of emotional labor. So they carry the weight of their emotions with no system in place for releasing them. And then when they succumb to that weight, whether that be suicidal ideations, or depression or anxiety or whatever it may be, part of the healing of that is emotional rest. At some point in time, you have to discuss it with someone, you have to be able to release that emotional load social rest deals with people in our lives and how they pull from our social energy. So every person is either negatively pulling from you or life giving positively pouring back into you evaluate every relationship and see which are pulling you which way, because oftentimes, we are more drawn to those that are negatively pulling from our social energy. And we omit time with friends and those who actually want to pour back into us, because they’re usually not as demanding as those people that need things from us. So to make sure that you’ve been room for that, and then the final two’s sensory and creative. Sensory rest is just like it sounds you evaluate the sensory inputs within your life. What are the light sounds, smells, textures, all the things around you? Do you have an office that’s sitting by the elevator and you’re hearing things all day long? Do you work in a noisy environment? You work at home and your kids are playing in the other room? And are the TV’s going all day long? What are the sounds and you know, are you on technology a lot, being aware of that sensory input, because whether you are cognitively aware of the sensory inputs around you, your body is aware and subconsciously, you’re going to respond to it. And most of us respond to sensory overload with irritation, agitation, rage or anger. And so if you notice that you start your day off pretty good, but then you’re pretty grumpy at the end of the day, there might be some external sensory inputs you’re experiencing, that you have written off is not affecting you and they really are. And that final one is creative rest, and it really deals with looking at what motivates you Creative energy is used in so many different ways, you know, from problem solving to when you’re trying to be innovative or think outside of the box. So you don’t have to be an artist or musician to be creative rest. If you’re solving problems, which most of us do on a regular basis, you’re using creative energy, and you need to have a system in place for filling that part of yourself back up. And for many people that’s experienced through beauty, whether its natural beauty, like the ocean, the mountain, the trees, or its manmade beauty, like music, or art or theater. But we all need to have times when we allow our experience of beauty to awaken something inside of us to pour back into that creative well, so that we feel that part of ourselves back.

Blake Schofield 20:42 I love the holistic approach of how you’ve looked at this from so many different angles to help people really start to identify and I would venture to bet, based on my experience now working with hundreds of women that people usually have more than one I would venture to bet people actually have, especially if you go through multiple rounds of burnout, the majority, more than half of these as they go through is that what your experience has been as well?

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 21:08 Absolutely. I think one of the number one questions I get whenever I present this within corporations, organizations is someone will eventually get the courage to raise their hand and say, What happens if I have all seven if I have a rest deficit, all seven. And the reality is we’re all using energy in these seven buckets throughout the day. But typically, there’s one or two that you’re using more of. And if you don’t already have created or adopted some type of system in place to restore that one, it’s going to be what’s more depleted, we have a free assessment at rest that we offer. And really, that was the reason behind that. Because so many people, you know, wanted to know which one of these is the one I need the most. So it actually gives you a score and all seven so you can kind of see where you fall. And when people take it at different times they will get different scores, because at certain periods, you’re using more of one type of energy than another.

Blake Schofield 22:04 Yeah, awesome. Thank you. I’m sure there are people right now that want to go to bat, we’ll have it in the show notes as well. So they can go take their own quiz and learn. You know, one of the things that that you do is go inside organizations and help them, right, reduce employee overwhelm, reduce the burnout. I’d love to hear your perspective, what are some of the key things you’re consistently seeing inside organizations? And I would venture to bet it’s almost ramped up in the last couple of years with Coronavirus and everything that’s happened as burnout has gotten worse. But what are some of the key things you see in the working world today that are the biggest drivers some of this? And then maybe on the flip side? What are the things that you see as an organization make the biggest impact for people?

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 22:46 Yeah, and that’s probably my passion right now is mainly working within organizations and helping them kind of rep back up the morale of their teams. One of the things that we’re seeing most often right now is specifically I would say post pandemic, but I think we’re more probably parry pandemic are in the middle of it, rather than over it at this point, would really be just the need to be able to have things that they can do to restore themselves at home and at work. It no longer can burn out prevention and burnout recovery, be something that we negate to Oh, on your vacation or on your weekend, or whenever you get time, it needs to be something you can actually do in different periods of your life. You can do it at home, you can do it at work, you can do it when you’re busy, you can do it when you’re free to learn ways to integrate it, so that the things that you’re doing become very habitual, but become very easy to incorporate in your life so that you’re not having to make time to restore yourself. You’ve built in restorative practices. And so that’s primarily what we do with a lot of companies is that we look at, when we sit down with their employees, we have these three and staff meetings and meetings with their leadership and we look at what’s the day to day look like for your people. Where are they expending their energy, not just from the leaders telling me where they expend their energy? Because usually the leaders have no clue where their team spending their energy. It’s what I’m finding is actually half the team members walk me through their day and let me know what’s draining you the most, what period of your day, do you feel the most exhausted? And then what happened right before that, what were the things that led up to it, because once we can identify where the energy drains are occurring, you can then build in those restorative practices. So your team actually stays energized for longer. So you don’t have this high energy morning and this let’s just make it to five evening, because everybody’s already at the end at themselves. You can have a system in place where people have an ebb, but there’s an ebb and flow to the day. You’re not high all morning and you’re not low all evening. You’ve built in some ebb and flow so that people can restore as they’re going throughout the day, and be more effective and more productive in the process because that’s really what most of the research now I’m showing the whole four day weeks. And all of these things that a lot of different countries are kind of doing a lot of studies on. That’s what we’re seeing is that the more rested people are, the more productive they are, the higher quality work they produce, and the happier they are. So one of the main reasons companies tend to bring me in is primarily with retention. There, people are leaving looking for greener grass. Now, that was the whole big thing about the great migration that happened. And whether everybody leaving one field and trying to do something else during the pandemic, for the most part, the main reasons people left was because they wanted better work life integration, they want it better work life quality. And so when you can help people understand how to do that within the current career they are in and you’re able to allow them to stay for longer. Now, granted, some people do need to leave because they’re just not in the right spot. But oftentimes, what I find is people they have passion for the work that they’re doing, they don’t necessarily want to leave the work they’re doing, they just don’t have the energy anymore to do the work. And so once you help them build back up their energy, they can then progress at a healthier level.

Blake Schofield 26:06 Your experience definitely echoes mine in a lot of ways, because you’re doing it in a corporate standpoint. And I think there’s so much need for that. Especially, I mean, if you could sit on the calls and the things I hear women struggling with, I had a client have 21 meetings in one week, 14 hours at one meeting. I’m like, Okay, we got to resolve this issue. Right. And so I think there’s so much opportunity from a corporate standpoint for corporate C suite and leaders to understand the old mentality about hustling and grinding, and more and more and more actually leads to worse results. But that employees that are focused and clear on priorities and have time for balance, produce better results. And you can accomplish a whole lot more with less, right? How do we actually focus on the stuff that matters, but to echo kind of what you said, right, a lot of women come to me and burnout, not all, but a lot of them. And work life balance, better work life integration, harmony is one of the big things and what I often tell my clients, when they come in, when they have no energy, they’re like, I don’t know, if I could do this, as I said, Give me three to four weeks, give me three to four weeks, you will feel like a completely different person, even in your same job. And that’s what I have found to be true. And when I tell my clients all the time is if you’re wanting to leave, because you want to get away from the toxic boss or the toxic work environment, and you want better work life balance, likely, it’s not just your environment, it’s also likely you and if you don’t learn these skills and habits, what happens is you just take them with you to the next place. And then you say, Oh, it’s just more of the same or actually worse, because you actually haven’t to your point restored. And so you just continue to go at a deficit. And so what I see is that helps women who are unfulfilled and want to make a change in their career, it helps them be better, more productive employees while they’re in their job, it helps them have much better balance, much less stress, much more energy to actually be more present with their family while doing a job search and improving their current work circumstances. Like I said, I think this work is so important. It’s the stuff that like, nobody teaches you. And I think, again, so much of what’s been out there is calendars and productivity and stress management. But if that stuff worked, it would have worked 30 years ago, when they rolled it out, right, it’s far more complicated, and far more complex than that. And I think that’s why the work we do is really tailored to each individual client, because I get into what you’re talking about, and get into what’s happening in the job, and what is depleting your energy and actually understanding what you need and what is pulling or giving you energy personally in your personal life and your work all of those things. Because to your point, you have to look at all of the facets to understand the root cause. And I think sometimes what’s put out there from a burnout and productivity standpoint is so cookie cutter, and it’s just this big, old bandaid, but it doesn’t really teach people the right skills. And so they begin to think, well, this is just the way it is or to get out, I have to leave this job or this industry or have to step backwards, I see that happen with women all the time. Maybe I can’t actually go for that VP job or the C suite job because I don’t want to sacrifice XYZ without actually understanding. There’s another way you don’t have to do that.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 29:11 Yeah, that’s so important. I think it’s such a great point. Because we don’t want people to shy away from their greatness. We don’t want them to feel like they don’t have the capacity for more. I think that’s probably at the heart of why I do what I do. You know, at the very beginning, as I said, I had no intention of sharing this is kind of like okay, I’m good. I figured what I needed. I’m good, what really kind of pushed me on this because I had so many different patients at the time and as a physician that were coming in, and they were telling me about these great opportunities that they would have and the worst they would say is I simply don’t have the capacity for any more in my life. And I would look at them and I would be thinking that’s such a great opportunity. That’s such a great opportunity for you to get into C suite and make a difference or to expand your reach and and the things that you’re doing and every time I heard someone say that I would walk them through this process kind of We’re on an intimate one on one basis, just physician to patient, because I do feel like it falls under wellbeing and well being and wellness. And so I felt like it fell under my realm of what I taught, even though we were going into things much further beyond their physical health. But I think that’s the very core of it, to be able to have the capacity to do all the things you’re capable of doing. You have to get a clear understanding and a true self awareness of how you restore of your own energy levels on what a rest deficit feels like to you, not to someone else. And then what restorative activities help you because each person is different. It can’t be cookie cutter. And I think that is why it looks like it’s failed. Looks like it looks like rest doesn’t work, because we’ve lumped it over into lying on the couch for 10 hours watching Netflix. And that’s simply not rest. For most of us. That’s actually just escapism.

Blake Schofield 30:53 Yeah, so good. Sandra, this has been such a fun and engaging conversation. I know our time is running short. So I would love just to open it up. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have? Or is there anything that’s just really on your heart that you want to share?

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 31:11 Well, I would probably say one of the things sometimes that people are like, Why don’t you include the gifts of rest within my book sacred rest, I divide up this conversation in the two sections, I talked about the seven types of rests in the first half of the book, and I’m talking about the gifts of rest. And the second half. And I have sometimes asked why that’s even there. And really, it’s there. Because I think we have to understand that when you rest, you actually gain more out of it than just the resting. Some of the gifts included things like what you mentioned earlier boundaries, it gives you a time to reflect. It improves how you communicate your needs with others, there’s so many other there’s a freedom that comes with knowing you can be truthful about what you do and don’t want to do, you can say yes and no with authority. And so I think it’s important to understand that it’s not just simply about resting and just getting your energy filled back up. There’s so much more that you gain in that process when you honor your need to rest.

Blake Schofield 32:05 Wonderful. Well, thank you, again, so much for taking time just to share your personal journey, your learnings and your passion around helping people better understand this because I think there’s no better time than now like this has been a problem for quite some time. But if I really look at what happened with the pandemic, and what’s happened, really with women in general, if you look at right, women’s Empower movement, and where we’ve reached in terms of the workplace, right, we used to have my mom, my grandmother used to fight just to have a job to be treated, you know, somewhat Okay, to make a decent living. Now we have 40% of the workforce, women are the breadwinners in their household with a lot of very successful women that are pulled in 150 directions. And the old methodologies, the old processes are not working anymore. And what I often say is we actually hold the key, you know, what is it 14% of the C suite is women today. And we’re 50% of the workforce, we are the ones that hold the key to creating that change, right by understanding these things, by creating the change and internally inside the organization to change the culture to become better balanced to understand the need for rest as equaling better productivity. And I appreciate that it seems very well aligned with kind of your perspective as well. And so I appreciate you coming on and sharing this because I think it’s time it’s time that we start to change the paradigm of people’s perspectives about what life has to look like, work is important. But work should not drive our life. And when I look at Americans in general, we’re killing ourselves for our jobs every day, because honestly, I think we’re so fearful that we won’t be able to support our families, it’s complete survival instinct thing, without understanding maybe inherently, some of the stuff our brain is telling us isn’t true. Or maybe in fact, we’re just missing tools or an understanding of how to create what we want. This work has fundamentally shifted my life in ways I couldn’t have ever envisioned. I used to work an average of 65 to 70 hours a week, during the majority of my career, I don’t even remember much of my daughter’s first year, she’s my second three kids, I don’t remember very much of her first year of life at all, because I traveled so much. And I was so stressed out, and I was achieving my team and I were the number two team out of 90 teams at JC Penney at the whole company, I went up to C suite, you know, all of the things, all of the awards, but I recognized that it wasn’t worth it. And so I like you went through my own burnout journey and said, Wait a second, I’m not willing to do this anymore. But I went through a lot of pain and a lot of sacrifice to get there. And I think what’s wonderful is to understand like, listen and learn from those of us that went through this so that you don’t have to go through it. Right that you can actually develop the tools use the tools and methodologies, the strategies without getting to a place where you are financially, emotionally, physically creating unnecessary negative consequences for yourself.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith 35:00 Yes, absolutely 100% agree. And I felt like that’s kind of my story, as you mentioned, as well, just with my sons and burning out while they were toddlers. And I’m just thankful that I did kind of come to my senses, so to speak, early enough to be able to enjoy their lives now with them at the stage where they’re getting out of the house, and they’re going to college and all of that I have no regrets. I feel like I parented and enjoyed the parenting journey and ready for whatever comes next.

Blake Schofield 35:27 I love that. And it’s not just that, too, right? It’s you, you have the peace of mind, and you enjoy it. But you’ve also now given your kids tools that they didn’t have, like, to me, that’s some of the biggest stuff, I look at free life of learning all this. And since then I think, I’ve been able to help my children understand, like, hey, these things I was doing, were really unhealthy. And there’s a much better way to live your life. And you don’t have to sacrifice all of these things for your job. And you’ll be much happier and much better balanced if you understand these things. And you apply these things. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Because not just are we changing our lives and the lives of people around us. But we have the opportunity to change the next generation. And I don’t know a mom who doesn’t want to do that, who doesn’t want to be a great example for her kids and have her kids have a better life. And she had it. So like I said, Thank you for sharing your passion, your knowledge, your expertise with us today. And for those of you guys listening, I hope that you’ve learned some good things to start to think about, where’s the burnout actually coming from in your life, and really start to challenge and understand that you have the power to create that change. And we’re here to help give you some tools to do so. So until next time, have a great week.

Blake Schofield 36:40 Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at  Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at  Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead.