Sabbath or a Weekly Day of Rest

Hello there! I’m writing this on a Friday afternoon as I anticipate Greg getting home from work and the beginning of our weekend. Although I’ve mentioned it a few times here (last week to slow down, with inspiration, as an excuse, and as a kickoff to progressive cooking), I can’t believe I haven’t written a post about Sabbath in our home. It’s a great way for us to slow down at the end of the week and remember what's important as we turn our focus inward.

A few years ago I was searching for a way to get Greg off of the laptop for part of the weekend... this might sound a bit manipulative but it comes from a good place and it’s worked out ;) We had slowed down our lives successfully by editing our calendars and removing our excess possessions but I wasn’t feeling that connection that I craved. We both needed time to unwind and space to re-energize. I flirted with a digital sabbatical experiment and as I did some research, I realized what we needed was a weekly Sabbath. We needed that long span of time at the end of the week to do very little, recover from stress, and reconnect with each other. We needed a full day of rest.

I never practiced Sunday Sabbath as a child so I was really drawn to some elements of the Jewish Sabbath. Most religions have a day of rest and as we become too busy to take it, we may be getting more depressed. Greg and I drafted some guidelines for rest and we've been practicing something similar ever since!

+ Start on Friday at sundown,
right after work and continue until Saturday at sundown. Say a little something before starting, to acknowledge the shift and set intentions for the time.

+ Enjoy a nourishing meal as a family. Friday tends to be slow-cooker day around here so our Friday night meal is pretty easy and sometimes we have challah and wine! Include the aforementioned benediction? Great! Add a candle and dim the lights? Even better!

+ Limit cooking and cleaning. Other than Saturday breakfast, we try to stay out of the kitchen and away from the laundry. Also, limit shopping. And spending money in general.

+ Make it a digital sabbatical as well. No screens for 24 hours! (We’re constantly working on this one.) For us, this means laptops and controllers put away in a box but phones out for maps and photos. TV and Facebook are not restful.

+ Sleep and maybe get bored! Go to bed early, sleep in if you can, and take a nap after breakfast. This is where the actual rest comes in. And getting bored isn't a bad thing, that's when we get some of our best ideas.

So what to do instead? Read! Hike! Meditate! Have long conversations! Sit and smile! Consider a spiritual practice! Get reacquainted with quiet! Enjoy life!

You know I love rituals! Weekly Sabbath has become an important part of our routine and an important tool to break our routine. It helps us unwind at the end of the week, reset our nervous systems and patience, reconnect as a family as we focus on being present with each other, and catch up on sleep to re-energize for the weekend. (Greg might miss his laptop though;).

++ This weekly ritual was inspired by Tiffany Shlain’s Weekly Technology Shabbat: “Time slows down when you’re not online”. And for the future, I’m considering Friday Night Meatballs with our community. <3