About two months ago I was reading the book “24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life” by Matthew Sleeth. In his book, Sleeth (a doctor), argues that one must practice an unplugged Sabbath every week. I, being one who likes to experiment, decided that as a family we should attempt this. Eric, to his credit, agreed.
We picked one of his days off, and promised each other no cell phones, iPads, TV, computers, or video games. A day of quiet in our house. Sure, we still used the electronics in the kitchen (because we don’t eat without a crock pot in this house), but we didn’t use anything that would connect us with the outside world.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, at some points, I think Eric and I looked at each other with a “now what” kind of look. Eric’s not a reader, so sitting in the same room and reading for quality time together wasn’t an option. We love to play board games, but even those are limited when there’s only two of you (and a baby running around the room).
We got down on the floor and played with Sarabeth. She learned to roll a ball that day. I also ended up getting some awesome pictures of her because I wasn’t just quickly taking a shot with my phone and I planned ahead and got out my good camera and took the time to take the shots I wanted.
While I don’t think that Sleeth’s premise that you MUST unplug every time you practice Sabbath is entirely accurate, I do think that unplugging goes a long way towards helping build healthy boundaries with electronics and helps quiet the mind. When we’re constantly connected, there’s a lack of space to breath. A lack of space to think or get lost in ones own thoughts.
[bctt tweet=”Unplugging goes a long way towards helping build healthy boundaries with electronics and helps quiet the mind.”]
If Sabbath is a day of not working, then really, you have to define what is “work” for you and what’s not. For me, cooking is work, but having a meal prepped to just throw in the crock pot is not. So I did all my work the day before and we had a nice hot meal at dinner. For some, gardening is fun and so gardening would be something to do on Sabbath (I totally do not fall into that category either!). For parents of little ones, some Sabbath time means time without the littles. For us, this isn’t possible on a weekly or regular basis, so we enjoy the time when it comes, and make the best of our rest days with Sarabeth.
When we started looking at Sabbath, I wholeheartedly wanted to buy into the idea that we must unplug every time we have Sabbath. And that it had to be a set day of the week. And that there would be structure.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Every family is different.
Every family needs different things from Sabbath.
Each person practicing Sabbath is different.
Each person needs something different from Sabbath.
Each Sabbath day will most likely look different for every person and family.
We are not cookie cutter human beings. Meaning we can’t provide a one size fits all solution for every single person.
So, here’s my recommendation. Find what works for your family. Don’t be afraid to try new and different things. Try a day unplugged and see what it does for your family. But promise me you’ll try a whole 12 hours at least! It takes a few hours to get past the jitters of always wanting to check your phone and see what you’re missing out on (I promise, you can catch up the next day or it wasn’t really important in the first place!). Give yourself time to relax. Figure out what feels like work and what feels like fun. Do those things that feel like fun!
What kind of things do you do on your Sabbath day? Do you have any special activities that you do just to relax and get away from work?
In case you missed any of the #BTPSabbath series, click Here to see the list of blogs!