A secular sabbath is time away from your devices. If you dread a day of rest from the digital world, then you probably need one. It can be any day of the week, just whatever works for you.
If you want to implement your own secular sabbath, here are some guidelines:
A secular sabbath is a digital day of rest. It can be any day of the week, just whatever works for you. It can be more than 24 hours—you might end up extending it to an entire weekend sometimes.
That means you decide what you’ll give up. Some people forsake all technology, including phone and TV. Others use it as a “computer turnoff” day. It’s up to you what you give up, but if you find yourself dreading doing without a particular thing for 24 hours, that’s probably a good sign that you need a rest from it.
Remind yourself of the nontechnical things you like to do, and do those things. That may sound strange, but for those of us who live by technology, we sometimes forget the simpler pleasures in life—fishing, knitting, gardening, going to the dog park, having lunch with a friend.
Before your secular sabbath, write down some things you want to do on that day so that when the withdrawal symptoms hit, you’ll have a backup plan.
If you’re experiencing an intense longing for your email or IM or whatever, you’re doing the right thing by taking a day away. The symptoms will fade each week that you do this, and you might actually find yourself looking forward to your day of rest.
A sense of inner calm.
Being able to hear yourself think.
Reconnecting with family, friends and nature.
Rediscovering a favorite hobby.
All of these are benefits that go along with creating balance in your life.
This article originally appeared on YES! Magazine
Sharon Sarmiento wrote this article as part of Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.