Most of us do not have the luxury, like our children do, of taking off the whole summer. We have deadlines to meet, dirty diapers to change, duties to fulfill, work. Let’s face it—sometimes summer doesn’t feel like the beautiful childhood sabbatical it once was.
The idea of sabbath comes from the earliest Jews, who took off the seventh day of the week to rest from labor. The Christians have used it to represent Sunday, the day for worship and rest. No matter if we take an official weekly sabbath, few of us would argue the necessity of regular breaks.
Whether we’re stay-at-home or work-from-home parents, or if we have a full-time, outside-the-house career, a few tweaks can make summers feel a little more like the ten gorgeous weeks that stretched out before us as kids.
1. Change your routine.
Summer is the perfect time to do what you don’t normally do. If you normally sleep in right before the alarm sounds or your youngest wakes you, take advantage of early light hours and get up a bit earlier.
Sit on the deck and drink your tea outdoors.
Let your kids stay up a bit later and treat Wednesday like Friday.
Instead of heading to the gym, dust off your bike and ride the trails near your house.
Whatever you normally do, do something a little different.
2. Breathe the outdoor air.
Summer begs us to step outside, dig our toes into the grass and sand, and get some vitamin-D therapy. Pile the kids in the car on a weekday morning or evening and take a slow walk in the park.
Take a picnic dinner to your favorite spot and enjoy the extended evenings. If you’re the mom that doesn’t “get her hair wet” in the pool, jump in the deep end.
3. Do what’s restful.
If reading a novel is the way you rest, do it. If throwing a gathering is relaxing, plan an evening to have all your people over. Or if you need a complete break, schedule time for a long weekend nap. Take a social media break if you need to, and redirect your attention to the things that fill you.
Work some rest into your schedule.
4. Indulge a little.
You’ve eaten healthy all year and you’ve been pretty consistent with your early morning cardio class. If there is any season to do it, summer’s the time for the second margarita or the lemonade cupcake your neighbor just brought over.
It’s time to stay up a little later than normal to watch your favorite movie or binge-watch the last few Netflix episodes of your favorite show.
Summer is the season to spend the money you’ve been saving on those perfect sandals or the pedicure you’ve been dying for. Indulge, just a bit.
Even when we schedule small bits of rest in our summer weeks, we’re faced with opposition. Every project and person still competes for our attention. In order to turn your summer into a true sabbath, decide what’s essential and focus only on that. Those long-term projects might need to wait for the cinched-in discipline of autumn.
How do you sabbath during the summer?