Start the Habit of a Day Off
Live the 24/6 Life. A day a week to do what you WANT to do rather than what you HAVE to do.
What if you could take one DAY a week to rest and enjoy?
Well, if you're part of a Judeo-Christian community, this may not sound so insane. It's what we know as the Sabbath Day or Day of Rest. It's a day of NO WORK and a whole lot of REST and ENJOYMENT. But, you don't have to be religious to enjoy the benefits of a day off each week!
Many of us live in an exhaustive state all the time. The demands on our time from our boss, family, friends, and the get-ahead-while-you-can culture can be soul-crushing and back-breaking.
What if you didn't have to succumb to those demands once a week?
As a Christian for 26 years, I heard about the Sabbath Day, but considered it a bit outdated. Who has time for a real day off from work and the demands of life? Yet I was curious about what it would look like for my husband and I to try this out. So about nine years ago, we began experimenting with the practice of a weekly day off.
It has become the most impactful and life-changing habit for us.
Each week, we look forward to our day of rest like children waiting for Christmas. Seriously! All week, we work hard, participate in family obligations, do groceries, clean the house, pay the bills, and other responsibilities. However, on the Sabbath, we stop, rest, enjoy, and reflect (more on this below). We sleep in, make an amazing breakfast, spend deep time in meditation and prayer, and then enjoy the day doing what we WANT to do rather than what we HAVE to do.
It's a day to recharge physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
How does that sound to you? I bet it sounds great, but it's hard to imagine. Well, imagine! It's a day where you don't have to think about work, finances, cleaning, shopping, driving in traffic, and participating in those undesirable obligations. Turn one day a week from a HAVE-TO-DAY to a WANT-TO-DAY!
Below are some suggestions on how to start the habit of a day off:
What day of the week do you want to try this?
If 24 hours seems impossible, consider starting with 4 hours a week and work your way up to a full day.
Make a list of what you might need to do to prepare (ex. get groceries, clean the house, pay your bills)
What are the temptations to break your day off?
Who needs to know about this new habit? Who else will be affected by it?
What kind of accountability do you need?
Stop: decide what you want to stop doing. Consider stopping from work and binging on TV, phone, or computer or at least slow down the use of blue screens.
Rest: engage in activities that restore & replenish (ex. sleep late, nap, lounge, read)
Enjoy: engage in activities that help you enjoy & delight in people and nature.
Spend time with people that are life-giving not draining
Make some time to be outdoors (ex. hike, walk, go to a park)
Do fun things (ex. art, hobbies, sports, cooking)
Reflect: engage in meditation, prayer, mindfulness, and/or reflection.
Taking a day off from a busy life may sound counterintuitive, but don't be surprised if you actually have more time and energy for creativity, productivity and patience the following week.
A day off might be exactly what you need to replenish your mind, soul, and body.