A day of rest, or a sabbath, is common in many religions.
When I was a kid in the early 70s, we had to take a day of rest because there was nothing else to do! Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I lived, had blue laws. They prohibited the sale of booze — and just about anything else — on Sundays. Grocery stores, and even Park City, our huge shopping mall with 4 anchor department stores and hundreds of smaller retailers, was closed. And being Lancaster, Amish and Mennonite-owned businesses and tourist attractions were also closed on Sundays. In fact, those businesses are still closed on Sundays.
It was sometime during the late 70s when businesses decided that in order to be competitive, they needed to be open on Sundays. As a result, that sacred day of rest began to disappear.
Who knew such a simple decision would contribute to an overworked and overstressed population and lead us down the path to our “get ‘er done” mentality? Once it became okay to shop on Sundays, it became okay to do other stuff on Sundays, too.
Still need to do laundry? Catch up on Sunday!
Backlogged at the office? Sunday is your day to get ahead!
Need to clean out the basement? Why not Sunday?
When I was an event producer, a colleague shared the story of how she had been so overwhelmed with all the details of multiple events she was planning that she had to work Sundays to catch up. But on one particular Sunday, she woke up depressed and couldn’t function. She was burnt out.
Smart woman that she is, she confided in a veteran planner. He urged her to take the day off, even though she couldn’t fathom doing such a thing. Take a day off? That would put her even further behind.
But she did it. She got outside. She went to the movies. She ate out. She watched TV and read some magazines.
She took a day of rest.
The next day, she was full of energy and got that work done. She was more focused and even had new ideas.
All because she had a day of rest.
Maybe the Amish and the Mennonites are on to something.
Do you take a day of rest each week? You don’t have to be religious to take it and it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday. Any day will do.
Just declare a day each week that is your day of rest and do nothing:
- no shopping
- no cooking
- no cleaning
- no laundry
- no work for your job
- no volunteer work
- heck, no driving if you can swing it
And while you’re at it, unplug, too:
- No social media
- No texting (only emergencies!)
- No internet
- Heck, how about no TV?
Instead, why don’t you:
- Take a long walk – even if it is raining or snowing
- Read a book or a magazine or the newspaper
- Have a quality conversation with your partner, kid, parent, friend or neighbor
- Just let the day unfold naturally without having any plans
Do this every week.
Schedule it. If you think you might forget, type or write it in your calendar. And then do it.
Let me know how it goes.
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