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Shabbat to Shabbat:How You Recharge

05/11/2017 04:45:52 PM


Rabbi Samantha Shabman

I keep re-reading an article that I read in the Harvard Business Review last year.  The article  by Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan is entitled "Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure."

The topic is this: "We often take a militaristic,“tough” approach to resilience and grit. We imagine a Marine slogging through the mud, a boxer going one more round, or a football player picking himself up off the turf for one more play. We believe that the longer we tough it out, the tougher we are, and therefore the more successful we will be. However, this entire conception is scientifically inaccurate."

The article discusses the importance of COMPLETELY shutting off. Not taking a break from our tasks and scrolling through Twitter, but rather taking a break from ALL stimuli.  The article states: "If after work you lie around on your bed and get riled up by political commentary on your phone or get stressed thinking about decisions about how to renovate your home, your brain has not received a break from high mental arousal states. Our brains need a rest as much as our bodies do."

WOW!  This was eye opening to me. I do not know about you but my idea of rest is: texting, checking email, watching the news, running errands, playing on my phone, and thinking about what needs to be improved around the house. I then thought to myself, Judaism is WAY before her time. Our 3,000 year old religion was able to tell us, that no matter how many years pass, and how much the world changes, we need a complete and full break, we need a Shabbat. Perhaps there is something to be said about the prohibition of using cell phones, watching TV, checking E-mail on Saturdays.

The article made me stop and think, how can I use my religion to help myself? And in what ways am I cheating myself or harming myself by not giving myself the full rest I deserve and need?
Of course easier said than done. However, the authors of the article provide concrete advice:
"Give yourself the resources to be tough by creating internal and external recovery periods...downloading the Instant or Moment apps to see how many times you turn on your phone each day. The average person turns on their phone 150 times every day. If every distraction took only 1 minute (which would be seriously optimistic), that would account for 2.5 hours of every day.You can use apps like Offtime or Unplugged to create tech free zones by strategically scheduling automatic airplane modes."

I hope this Shababt, we are able to do whatever it is that we need to do in order to recharge FULLY and COMPLETELY.

Mon, July 13 2020 21 Tammuz 5780