I really liked what Contemplative Scholar had to say about her rules for the sabbath:
… I will leave weekends completely open, letting myself spend some time on Saturdays catching up on whatever needs catching up on, or working further on writing. Sundays I will try to keep as “sabbath” days again — this worked for a while last fall, but fell apart towards the end and was hopeless in my ultra-busy spring (but I have good reason to think that this year won’t be that ridiculously busy again).
My rule for sabbath is really pretty simple: I ignore anything anxiety-producing but otherwise do whatever I want. Ignoring all “work” altogether is the ideal, but I do not make this a hard and fast rule. It can be hard to precisely define what counts and what does not count as “work.” And sometimes what technically counts as “work” can be fun and soul-restoring for me. But more to the point, what the sabbath is for me is especially a time for reorienting myself to being guided by the Spirit. I try to live like this all the time, of course, but my busy and highly-scheduled life can erode that sense over time, especially when things get really frantic. And so I find it helpful to have sabbath days as weekly times to “reset” how I orient my life, in case that is necessary.
My Congregational minister grandfather, in trying to preserve his family’s day of rest, is said to have outlawed all “work” on Sundays when my mom and her siblings were growing up. This was a drag for the girls who most wanted to sew dolls, then dresses and quilts. Eventually my mom and her sister were old enough to make an argument for sewing being “fun.” And then they got to do it on Sundays.
I relate this story, because it speaks to the same issues Contemplative Scholar brings up. Rest must be a release from anxiety, from everyday stress, as well as labor. But one woman’s labor is another woman’s fun. (And yes, for me, sewing definitely would be classed as work!)