is rooted in the Christian tradition. As far back as the second century, Sunday was a day of gathering to reflect upon Jesus’ resurrection. For believers and non-believers alike, Sunday has long been a day of rest and reflection.
Growing up outside of Chicago many years ago, our Sundays were reserved for family and church. And, depending on the time of year, watching the Chicago Bears. My friend Coco, a true southerner, says that Sundays in the South are preserved for faith and football. My friend Dan from the SF Bay Area cooks large meals for his Italian family every Sunday.
My experience is that Sundays in America have transformed into another day for productivity. There are countless reasons why this has happened: Kids’ sports are now commonplace on Sunday because unfortunately, most sports in the US occur outside of the school system. And, with children entering competitive sports at such young ages, weekends are devoted to their sports. So, Sunday is just another day to plan for and execute the extracurricular schedule.
Many American families are dual-income. So, Sunday is a day to get caught up and ready for the week. Grocery shopping, meal prep, and laundry. Yay! Because many of us are always plugged in to work thanks to our smartphones, our minds often start churning prematurely in preparation for Monday – robbing us from our day off.
There’s more social pressure to be doing on Sunday. Everything is open and everyone is busy accomplishing things — who are we to chillax?
In the last few years, I felt my Sundays inching away. I often felt cheated because I wanted to slow down and resentful because I could not. Like many of my friends, I had taken to rising very early to squeeze in exercise before the commitments kicked in. Wait, was this Sunday? Because it looked an awful like like Monday — just less traffic.
The idea to dedicate a day to slow down, spend quality time with our loved ones to BE and not DO is vital to our wellness. So much so that there’s a movement to reclaim Sunday. Have you heard of it? #selfcareSundays
Beloved Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently re-popularized slowing down on Sundays (#selfcareSunday) as a day for women to take care of themselves. Recently, Oprah is sharing her #selfcareSunday on her social media posts. Let’s face it if these two amazing souls are doing it — #selfcareSundays is a thing. Oprah and Michelle, like all of us, are yearning for fewer to-dos and a higher quality of life!
With its roots religious roots in Christianity, Sunday has been a day of rest in Switzerland for centuries. Only 38% of the population describe themselves as Roman Catholic, while one fifth doesn’t identify with any denomination at all. Yet still, Sunday is a day of peace and quiet for the Swiss. The majority of stores (grocery, consumer, services) and restaurants in Switzerland are closed on Sunday. That’s right, C L O S E D, people!
A popular Swiss saying is there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear! Regardless of the weather, most Swiss are outside with their loved ones taking strolls, hikes, skiing, biking – anything outdoors with family. And, for those of us who love the outdoors, it’s our church – our connection with humanity, ourselves, and a higher power.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”John Muir
While most of Europe has opened its doors to Sunday shoppers, critics call the Swiss tradition of no shopping on Sunday “outdated”, but, the Swiss carry on undeterred.
With the stores closed and a culture that protects Sunday as a family day, I now have #selfcareSunday with little effort. Now that I am out of the pattern of a busy Sunday, I realize no matter what I am, I can create a Sunday that feeds my soul.
What is your tradition on Sunday? Do you feel that you get enough down-time on that day? If not, I’m interested in how these tips might help and what you do to keep one day a week restful.
Our family just celebrated our first year of living in Switzerland. We are first-time…03 March, 2020
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