I’m trialing something at the moment, a human or social experiment where I switch off from social media from Friday evening to Saturday evening, though usually, I extend it to Saturday night.
I did a podcast about it, interviewing my friend Channah about the Jewish practice of Sabbath.
I’m doing it for: a break away from something that’s so easy to flick to and browse, for the simple principle that it didn’t always exist so why should it always now, everything is temporary if Instagram dies (like Vine did) I don’t feel like I’ve wasted so much attention on it. Also, it’s a test on my will and to see what other things I can use that time for.
I think we all need time to switch off from things from time to time.
So far I’ve felt better than usual on Sundays and have more willingness to put energy into.
I didn’t have my own name for it then, you could call it Freedom Friday or Family investment time.
I like Switch off till Sunday.
Even today, (a Sunday) a reminder of it came up, as I was going back onto using my phone and social media – @hellobexa has a Sunday blog swap (on
I’m all for accessible Gurbani in life but all the time – no. No, because he won’t look up. No, because we can’t hold a conversation (or his driving guidance goes out the window). No, because he sometimes looks unsociable. No, because as a turbaned Sikh, I believe in order to be there for all, he needs to be present to all too.
I told him maybe Guru Ji wanted this for him to experience being completely present for a day. A gift from the Universe. And he even surprised himself, to maybe leave his phone alone on Sundays.
So far the experiment goes like this:
On Fridays I:
- Try (though harder with a baby) to finish any ongoing tasks or tasks that haven’t been fulfilled all week that require a lot of work or attention.
- Tidy and clean up my room late afternoon/evening – hoover, wipe surfaces, clean diffusers, empty the bins, I do the laundry and bed sheets every other week.
- Then I cook some food and if there’s enough left over use it for Saturday.
- I can spend Friday night – Saturday night doing things that bring me joy, relaxation, fun or simply focused family time.
So far I:
- Have gone for a run with husband Ji on Fridays!
- Read a few magazine articles outside in the sun.
- Visited family, chatted and cooked with them.
- Explored future ideas such as teaching yoga this September and restudying at some point.
Then on Sundays, I am open to going back on Instagram and Twitter, though I’m not actually in a rush to. I do something I want to (such as writing, podcasting.) I sometimes refer to it as Taran time and Daddy and daughter day.
I end the weekend drawing a rough schedule out for the week approaching and feel like I am beginning again. I plan or contact people I need to and overall I feel ahead of myself.
Though I’ve also learned so far it’s easy to get into overwhelm when a huge proportion of things you want to do, you do at the end of the week.
This happened earlier, I put on suncream and meditated for 23 minutes in the garden. It helped, I felt the overwhelm fade enough to write out just three tasks to do today. This blog post is one of them.
I aim to spread tasks out for the week, simple steps and seizing moments of time.
My friend Chanah who switches off for the Jewish practice of Sabbath says these key pointers:
Set yourself enough time to do everything before you plan to unwind or before sunset. Make the room clean and peaceful where you can.
You could start it off with a candle lighting ceremony or just simply saying – Ok all done!
Have enough food to avoid going food shopping or make a batch to eat.
Treat yourself! Shower, read, talk to people, do a face mask, meditate for longer than usual – whatever makes you feel good and create a sense of happiness or meaning!
Make time for yourself, your friends, Sangat.
Spend extra time on spiritual activities – learn about a bani, listen to Katha and so on.
Do Seva or good deeds.
Get stressed about cleaning, do what you can do and it’ll be worth it when it’s done.
Don’t be strict on yourself, your mental and physical health as well as your families come first. Don’t fall into – shoulds, what if’s, indecision and comparison.
Don’t do things you consider a chore or that generally make you go Meh!
Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out how you want or expected.
We go over more on the podcast and to find out more follow @secretly.ch.ana on Instagram!
So far I’ve found a little withdrawal in not using my phone so much those two days, it manifests into frustration and I end up falling into blaming husband ji. It needs some work but I’m going to continue my experiment as long as I can.
Have you done or are doing a similar challenge? What activities would you add? Let me know in the comments below!