For centuries, people of the Jewish faith have honored the Sabbath, from sundown to sundown treating it as a day of rest and family. For centuries, and maybe since the beginning of time, people have needed to rest and rejuvenate their bodies and minds. Today, this is truer than ever, with the impact of our digital lives on our “real” ones steadily chipping away at our serenity. This is the idea behind the National Day of Unplugging—which happens March 9th at sundown through March 10th at sundown–to get away from the screens. Let Netflix fade from your view, turn off your phones and reconnect with the world around you. That’s why we’re excited for the Catalyst Ranch’s Digital Detox party this Saturday. It’s like a practice run to get you ready for the big day, and a chance to sample all the things you can do with your own unplug day, whether you join the masses in March or schedule your own.
The idea for National Day of Unplugging was born out of the Sabbath Manifesto, created by the Reboot Group, a Jewish organization seeking to “affirm the values of Jewish traditions and create new ways for people to make them their own.” It’s one way that anyone, regardless of gender, religion or country, can take the idea of the Sabbath and apply it to their own lives for their own mental health. Some suggestions for the day of unplugging include spending it outside or with family and friends, using the time for creative pursuits, meditation or to try something new. It’s about reconnecting with the things that you do when you’re not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and perhaps making more space for those things beyond Unplug Day.
To celebrate the launch of Reboot in Chicago, the Catalyst Ranch is hosting an Unplugging event this weekend, Saturday February 24th. It’s only $10 a ticket and the event includes food, drinks, and tons of activities. There will be workshops and meditation, a giant coloring wall, massage chairs, live music and interactive art to explore, and the night will help you make plans for how to spend your own National Day of Unplugging or host an event for others at home or at work.
You can pledge to join the Unplugging on the National Day of Unplugging’s official website, and even sign up to receive a free sleeping bag for your cell phone (though it will take about 2 to 3 weeks to arrive, according to the website). If you’re not sure how to host an event, you can sign up for help organizing and you’ll receive suggestions for activities and DIY instructions for hosting as well as a set of cell phone sleeping bags for your guests.
Tech in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the ways we use it (and how frequently we let it interrupt our lives) can be problematic. Whether or not it’s already a problem, a day of unplugging serves as a mental reset and refresh and gives us all a little more serenity. If you’d like to attend the launch party in Chicago, click here to get tickets. To learn more about the National Day of Unplugging, and to take the pledge or host an event, click here.