Religion aside, taking a break on the Sabbath can be a good thing for your mental and physical well-being. It doesn’t really matter if you slow down on Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, just make the practice work with your schedule. You may need to start with smaller blocks of time. For example, carve out four hours on Saturday to slow down and enjoy the family. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to do everything and be the perfect person that you may have forgotten how to rest. Here are some ideas to get started.
Take Time for Spirituality
Go to where you worship, which could be a church, a temple, the beach or a synagogue. What place refreshes your soul and connects you to the higher power that is over your life? Enjoy the sounds of nature by going out to a lake or sitting in a park. Not an outdoor person? Make a space inside your home that lets you focus on renewing your soul. Light candles. Turn on some soft music. Create a worship experience that helps you focus on encouragement instead of negative emotions, and add meditation and prayer, if that’s your jam.
You may not be able to avoid all chores on the Sabbath, but you can take time to reduce the load. Do your laundry another day. Get shopping done before you rest. Plan easy meals. You don’t need to have the Sunday dinner that your mom and grandma made. Your Sabbath should be a day during which you engage in different activities from the rest of the week. To fully appreciate rest, you have to make the day separate from your normal routine.
Your Sabbath Isn’t Just About Worship
Puritans had a somber view of the Sabbath, devoting the entire day to worship and avoiding any type of recreation or pleasurable activities. Orthodox Jews often don’t even use electricity on the Sabbath. Yours can be what you make it. Watch a video with the family. Play board games. Unplug for a few hours.
It might be difficult to embrace a Sabbath when you first start out. For many people, it’s not natural to slow down from the busyness of life. It takes time to create a habit, and you may have to experiment with different things to find out how your soul and body are rejuvenated. When you first start out, you have to be intentional. Plan activities that will refresh your mind and body. Think about what activities you need to avoid during your Sabbath. What drains you and keeps you from focusing on your spirit?
It’s counter-cultural to keep the Sabbath in today’s society, and your mind may resist at first. Don’t think your Sabbath tradition has to resemble that of anyone else, as it’s about what makes you whole and what works for your family. If you’re struggling with a lack of busyness, give yourself time to enjoy the rewards of the practice. It may take three or four times before you really make a habit of rest and find yourself looking forward to a day off from your routine.
Take a Sabbatical To Renew Your Mind and Body
The world constantly reminds you that you need to be productive. It’s very easy to forget the need to rest. Extended periods of rest or a vacation can help you deal with stress, and getting some distance from your problems can give you a new perspective.
Rest is important to your well-being, so try to add some time to rest to your week. It sounds counterintuitive, but taking time to rest can actually help you be more productive. You don’t have to celebrate a particular religion to have a Sabbath; you simply need to make time in your schedule to slow down and enjoy life.