It’s Sunday, one day closer to Monday, but luckily tomorrow is Labor Day, a national holiday, a day most Americans won’t have to work. The United States Department of Labor defines Labor Day as the “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our our country.” But for many Labor Day signifies the end of summer. It’s an opportunity to have a final barbecue/picnic with family and friends, to watch a Labor Day parade or to head out of town for a short getaway to the beach. For others Labor Day is an opportunity to work on a personal to do list. But how many of us use this day to actually rest our bodies, mind and spirit? Undoubtably, you spent the past week working 40 hours or more meeting deadlines, trudging through a long commute and dealing with office politics. At the end of such a week you may feel drained mentally, physically and perhaps spiritually.
It’s a natural tendency to fill up your long weekend with activities but at the end of it you may find yourself feeling even more drained and depleted; completely negating the the purpose of having a long weekend. You owe it to yourself to give your mind, body and spirit rest. I encourage you this Labor Day weekend and any holiday weekend to find time to rest. Rest isn’t just physical rest, but mental rest as well. You can find rest by enjoying a sunrise/sunset, going to a movie or taking a walk on a beach. You may even find mental rest by reading a book, catching up with family and friends or taking a hike in the mountains. Essentially, how you define rest will be unique to you, but whatever activity you choose shouldn’t leave you feeling exhausted. How many times have you said to yourself that you “need a vacation from your vacation.” Bottom-line, aim for rest to recharge, to reboot and to refresh.
by Marjorie Binette, MD