Six Senses: Transforming Your New Home Office into a Shabbat Sanctuary
How do you create #fridaynightmagic at home if you’ve been working… from home?
Whether you’re celebrating Shabbat on your own, with your housemates, or joining one of the many OneTable virtual dinners, let your senses lead the transition.
- Lighting Try turning off lights you usually leave on, draping fabric over a light to change its hue, or using twinkly lights or night-lights to create a Shabbat glow.
- Angles Sit in a different seat than usual, and see what you notice about the space. Maybe there’s a crack in the paint, a backwards book, or the carpet needs vacuuming. Let the to-do list rest, and just be.
- Set the Mood Light candles, set the table, and get creative. Write a note to your roomie or partner as their place card, or find a way to make your own seat feel special.
- Scented Candles Breathe into Shabbat, and welcome the fragrance of something new.
- Bread Whether it’s home-baked or store-bought, all bread smells delicious when warmed in the oven.
- Nature Consider fresh flowers (if available) or moving your house plants to a more prominent location for dinner.
- Savor Set aside a favorite beverage or side as a special Shabbat treat. You’ve made it through a tough week — welcome the weekend with something delicious.
- Sip Whether it’s a crisp glass of water, a steaming cup of tea, or a rich glass of wine — do your best to slow down and truly taste without distraction.
- Bake This is your moment! Try your hand at challah — our favorite recipe is on page 29 here.
- Finery Break out the wardrobe. From pajamas to black tie — ditch what you wore all day and welcome Shabbat with something new.
- Feng Shui Consider harmonizing with your environment by reconfiguring your furniture. Change your space, change your place, welcome Shabbat.
- Relax Create an at-home Shabbat spa. Hop in the shower or chill in the bath, do a face mask, trim your beard, do your hair… whatever makes you feel pampered.
- Voices Reach out to family or friends you haven’t spoken to. Catch up while cleaning up, cooking, or putting away the trimmings of your work day.
- Jams Create a playlist that transitions you from your work vibe into your Shabbat vibe. Whether that’s EDM, jazz, white noise, or top 40, use music as a way to tell yourself the week is over. And don’t forget to check out our Spotify playlist.
- Talk It Out Give yourself a verbal pat on the back and congratulate yourself for a week well done. Then tell yourself — outloud! in the mirror! — that you’ve done enough and you are enough, and you’re ready for Shabbat.
Jonathan Safran Foer writes that Jewish communities often use a sixth sense to understand the world — a sense of memory. Physical distancing can be emotionally and mentally draining as well, so here are a few transitions which focus on your inner state most of all.
- Appreciate Incorporate a gratitude meditation (page 8) into your Shabbat experience.
- Reflect Consider the week you just had, allowing your mind to rest on one thing that set each day apart.
- Read Aloud Your favorite short story, a beloved poem, or something new — get meaningful words in your mouth and narrative in the air.
- Breathe Ground yourself. Allow your thoughts to calm. We particularly love this one-minute guided breathing exercise from Headspace.