Why You Need Shabbat For Self-Care

A Day of Rest

Yay, it’s Saturday!! Well, I’m writing this on a Thursday and it’ll be posted on a Saturday, but whatever. I’m sure this is true for lots of folks, but Saturdays are just my favorite days! Since I’ve started giving myself a set, non-negotiable day of rest I’ve noticed I’ve been way more productive throughout the week. But wait, doesn’t the title say #SelfCareSunday? Why am I talking about Saturdays?

First and foremost, #SelfCareSunday is just a more popular hashtag, and I think it has a better ring to it than #SelfCareSaturday. And second, because the day of the week isn’t nearly as important as the first half of the hashtag: self-care. Having a day of rest is an important part of self-care because rest is an important part of self-care.

Each of the Abrahamic religions has a day of rest:

  • ☪ Friday for Islam
  • ✡ Friday night through Saturday night for Judaism
  • ✝ Sunday for Christianity

Now, the way these days of rest are celebrated is different for each faith, and even for each family, so we’re not gonna talk about that too much. Just know that each of these 3 religions has a built-in day dedicated to resting/reduced work hours, and worship. Each of the holy days has its own prayers, rituals, and prohibitions. They’re meant as days to get closer to G-d, which sounds like self-care to me!

Any Day Works

Maybe a day of extra prayer isn’t really what you need in your life. That’s okay! But I’m willing to bet you could use a day of rest, a day where you don’t have to work, where you only do what you want to do.

Religious or not, we all need time to ourselves, and that looks different for each person. That means that some days will work for some people, and other days will be better for others. I choose Saturdays for self-care days because I get to look forward to Sunday afterward instead of Monday. My bestie/love of my life works weekends, so his self-care day is totally different from mine. And the stuff he does for himself is different from what I do, and what I do is probably different from what you do!

Now, this whole article comes from a place of privilege. I live with my mom and only work part-time, so it’s easy to put aside a whole day just for myself. When I was in school, it was pretty impossible to set aside a day, and work schedules can make it difficult to set aside a set day for yourself, too.

If you can’t set aside a whole day, try for a couple of hours. Maybe in the morning, maybe at night, whatever works best with your schedule. And speaking of schedules, make a self-care schedule. Mine includes playing ukulele, painting, reading, and writing. My bestie’s includes playing video games, gardening, reading, and hiking. It’s all about what makes you happy.

Most Days Blend Together

When I was working full-time, days all seemed the same. In school, the days all blended together until deadlines reared their ugly heads. I even thought being unemployed would be different, but it wasn’t; all the days still blended together until I didn’t know what day it was at all.

Look at it this way: there are 52 weeks in a year. Giving one day a week to yourself adds up to just 52 out of 365 days. That’s about 1/7th of the year. You deserve to spend at least that much time on yourself if you can! Besides, it helps to break time up into manageable pieces that don’t all blend together.

That means that you’ll have to get any chores done before your self-care day. Unless you like doing chores, of course! But see, this isn’t supposed to be a day of necessary self-care, like doing laundry and trimming your nails, it’s a day of the self-care that you want to do. It’s a day of enjoyment, not a day of need.

Your self-care day is the day that breaks up the monotony of all the other days. It’s a day to look forward to!

Rest Is For The Best

Don’t just listen to me when I tell you that taking a day of rest will help with productivity, there’s science to back that claim up. Working too much will lead to burnout, increased stress, and a boat-load of other negative side effects. And all of those side effects can and do affect productivity!

Let’s face it, any activity can feel like a chore if it’s done too much. For example, while I was in art school the very last thing I wanted to do in my free time was paint. But now it’s a part of my self-care schedule!

Being able to take a break from work, from chores, from as many obligations as you can on a regular basis is so so important. Nobody can do the same activity indefinitely forever, ya know? I can carry a backpack full of books while walking from class to class, but I couldn’t carry it around all day without rest. Think of the work week as that backpack full of books. The longer you carry it, the heavier it gets, until eventually, you’ll collapse.

Just put the backpack down! When you pick it up again it’ll feel so much lighter!

Tell me your favorite rest day activity in the comments! Thanks for reading 😊 Don’t forget to treat yo’self this week(and every other week this year)

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