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52 weeks of Shabbat Project

What is Shabbat?

Shabbat is the day of rest. In the Torah/Old Testament, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Thus the seventh day becomes the day of rest, Shabbat. In Judaism, Shabbat is observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Different sects of Judaism and different individuals have their own rules to follow.

The most strict version of Shabbat rules stay the same in my understanding:

– no work (reading is allowed but not writing, cannot sign contracts)

– cannot start a fire (thus no cooking, no driving)

– no electricity (thus no phones, tv, internet, etc, you can leave the lights on just don’t touch the switch)

– spiritual time (going to synagogue for service, personal scripture reading time)

– rest (naps and walks are popular Shabbat activities)

– community time (big Shabbat meals with family and friends, cooking is done in advance and dishes are usually kept warm in the oven or heating plate)

In recent years, more Christians start to observe Shabbat in their own form. Their Shabbat usually happens on Sunday and still consists of spiritual time, family time, rest, a break from technology.

Interesting fact since sunset time changes through the year, Shabbat starts a lot earlier in winter due to daylight saving time compared to in summer.

The sabbatical is of course related to the word, Shabbat.

Why do I want to observe Shabbat?

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I realized last year the exhaustion from overstimulation is very real. 2020 had never ending news and I was drained after each week.

Elaine Aron, who is the pioneer of researching HSP, suggests hsp taking at least 2 hours each day and one full day each week to rest (no chores, no technology). The time is used to let our brain process information, get general rest, and replenish for the new day and week. Honestly, I suck at staying away from my phone at the end of the day. I still need to implement my rest somehow, so weekly Shabbat seems to be a good solution.

I want a pause in my week, a time I can just be in the present without worrying about keeping up with the world(I am aware that is a privilege), a time I can reflect and rest, a time I can be with my family fully, a time I firmly choose to stay away from technology and its endless stimulation.

Last year I have tried out a smaller version of Shabbat. Just by not doing my daily reading for a day, I felt much more rejuvenated after the weekend and more productive during the week.

This year I want to test out if a more full-fledged Shabbat can make me more rested and peaceful.

How will I observe Shabbat?

Most likely I will observe my Shabbat on Sunday, starting from the half-day. I want to work on increasing it to a full day. I want to use Shabbat as an incentive for me to clean more on Saturday as part of Shabbat prepping.

I will still use technology to read for fun but try my best to stay away from the internet. I will allow myself to cook and journal. I am going to avoid chores such as cleaning and grocery. I will encourage myself to meditate longer, to nap more, to take more walks.

Weekly Update

I will try my best to document what happened each week on my Shabbat. Following my journey by revisiting this post periodically.

Jan. 9th, 2021

My 1st Shabbat happened on a Saturday afternoon. I used hours looking through my cookbooks for easy recipes to cook for the next few weeks. I did not rush myself and fully enjoyed the experience. I then talked to my partner and we took hour-long naps.

100 day of meditation- what I learned

1. Detach from expectation

Maybe yesterday I had a great meditation day, but I would not expect the same today. Every day is different. My mood and energy fluctuate a lot every day and that is okay. Stop the expectation game.  give yourself more chance to mingle with reality. In the end, any kind of meditation day is okay.

2. Have a go-to meditation when you absolutely do not feel like meditating

For me, it is a 5-minute box breathing. No matter how tired or uninspired I am, I can always do a 5-minute box breathing. Then sometimes magic happens like what the ‘2-minute rule’ states. I planned to only do the box breathing, ended up doing unguided meditation for 15 minutes after that.

3. Figure out your own meditation time

Just because every meditation teacher says you need to meditate upon waking up, does not mean you need to do it. Of course, give it a try, but ultimately give yourself the liberty to find out what works for you. A little hint is when you have your brain fog the most. You know that feeling, when you are tired, a little more irritated than usual, you know you need to take care of something but you are just sitting on the sofa. For me, this brain frog always happens in the late afternoon. That is when I meditate and it helps me to recoup some energy and freshness to go into the night.

4. Try exploring different kinds of meditations, then mix and match.

There are 3 big types of meditations: mindfulness meditation, concentrative mediation, and expressive meditation. ‘The Transformation’ by James Gordon is a great read on this topic.

If I need to release a lot of emotions, I always turn to expressive meditation first (shaking and dancing) then I might transition into unguided mindfulness meditation.

Recently I started to do a 5-minute concentrative meditation first before I do my unguided meditation. It helps me to quiet my mind and better enter the mindful place.

It is a lot of fun for me to figure out what mix & match I need today to bring me back to balance.

5. You can be your own emotional first responder

With meditation, I learn to be my own emotional first responder. I never dreamed it could happen. When sh*t hits the fan, I always cry myself into exhaustion and/or ask for emotional support from my friends and partner. Now I always have a safe place (meditation) and a safe person (myself or my higher self or my inner wise guide) to turn to when I am upset. The good news is that this safe place and safe person are always with me. Knowing I can face my emotions alone in a safe setting gives me so much strength and comfort.

6. My emotions are valid but they do not have to control me or guide my life.

Being with my (strong) emotions in the safe setting of meditation for me is a way to honor my emotions, to tell them yes I see you, yes you are valid, yes you can feel that way. After this validation process, usually, the emotions start to fade and my logic starts to emerge again. Then I am in a more balanced state to decide what to say or what not to say, what to do or what not to do. 

7. Transcending the good day/bad day binary thinking

Figuring out how to meditate every day has unexpectedly help me to transcend the good day/bad day binary thinking. Now on a bad stretch of the day, I still encourage myself ‘do not give up on today just yet’. Maybe all I need is a little nap or mediation, then I am all rejuvenated again to face the next stretch. Maybe there are not inherently bad days, maybe I just need to figure out how to bring myself back to balance from moment to moment.

8. 100-day project works

For me, it feels like going to a specific playground. I go there every day and naturally I discover how it is different today. I think about playing there a lot so I naturally receive new ideas on what to explore next. 




乐观的思维,主要体现在人如何认知问题上。认为问题是暂时的 temporary,局部的 local,我们可以去影响改变的,即为乐观。




这个是积极心理学之父Martin Seligman的模型 PERMA

Positive Emotion 正向情绪,包括快乐,感动,对自然的敬畏等等

Engagement 对当下所做的事情的沉浸

Relationship 人际关系

Meaning 意义

Accomplishment 成就

对于世界未知变动感到不安的时候,我主要依靠意义和人际关系。而我的正向情绪和沉浸度都会下降。这个时候我就用forest/番茄时钟,保持短时间的沉浸度。正向情绪的保底措施,是冥想健身和写gratitude journal。



Biology 生理

Self-Awareness 自我觉察

Self-Regulation 自我调节约束

Mental Agility 认知灵活,可以从不同方面看问题

Optimism 乐观

Self-Efficacy/Mastery 自我成就

Connection 联结(与人,与神,与自然)

Positive Institution 好的机构

8个变量里完全受我们控制的是self-awareness, self-regulation, mental agility, self-efficacy。这几个变量,冥想/mindfulness都可以帮助我们练习。


Connection和Positive Institution都是有他人,外界的影响了。


好今天的mental model就分享到这里,下次分享intrinsic motivation内在驱动和self efficacy自我成就。

如何养育HSP小孩 – HSP part 2


  1. Overstimulation/Sensory Sensitivity










如果有繁忙的考试周来临之前,先提前帮助他们存储好更多down time带来的精力,保证他们忙起来不会精力耗尽。

  1. Emotional Reactivity/ Empathy









指出陷阱之后,可以帮助他们思考如何用他们的优点来处理眼前的问题。而不是简单的,你要更努力,你要更上进,你要下死功夫。比如我自己,就不太擅长坚持到底把事情做完。这个时候如果有人跟我讲,你要坚持下去,我也感受不到。但是我的优点之一是love of learning,我可以说服自己,完成一件事最后20%,可能会意想不到的收获,学到更多。这个就是strength based parenting讲的主题,推荐一下strength switch这本书。







  1. Depth of Processing







  1. 一些大方向建议




对于成年hsp来说,坏的童年对我们是会有很大的影响的。但是人是可以有post traumatic growth的(灾难后的成长),如果你是hsp觉得童年没有获得相应的支持,推荐一下cptsd这本书。



The Strength Switch

Women in depth #88 Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child https://youtu.be/oUIUucbWhZs

Women in depth #84 The Highly Sensitive Mother https://youtu.be/qJ3qhEV9MJQ

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