The Meaning of Labor Day: Keep Calm and Carry On

Labor Day is an excellent holiday for this time of year: it is our last hurrah before we really get down to business. As many of us gear up for school and work, Labor Day reminds us that just as we are ready to press our noses firmly to the grindstone, a little R&R can do us a great deal of good.

Labor Day was created in the 1880s to honor workers of all walks of life by recognizing their efforts and offering them a guaranteed day off. According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

As we move ahead into the new season, we should carry with us elements of the histotrical aspects of this day. That British motivational slogan from the 1930s sums it up perfectly, “Keep calm and carry on.” While this catchy phrase has become the motto of everyone from soccer teams to stock investors, it does give us some good advice about moving into the new season.

In summer, we kick back and relax; we take a mañana attitude. While we don’t necessarily recommend you put off your job or your education until tomorrow, there are elements of balance and calm we can bring with us as we transition into fall and the busy season. Here are five ways to keep your poise under the pressures of the new season:

Eat Regularly and Well – Good healthy food is usually the first thing to go. When we get too busy, we go for convenience and the cherry tomatoes of summer somehow get replaced by Snickers bars. But with a little bit of planning, you can keep your diet and thus your outlook on the healthy side. Staying hydrated is also an important part of this picture. Healthy eating is also linked to workplace productivity.

Get Enough Sleep – Shakespeare called sleep ‘the chief nourisher in life’s feast. He knew what he was writing about. Sleep is critical to thinking and learning. Lack of sleep can lead to accidents. It kills your sex drive, fuels depression, and even ages your skin. Sleep deprivation also increases your appetite and makes it even harder to maintain that girlish figure you worked so hard for this summer.

Stay Active – Exercise is very closely related to brain health. It improves memory, reduces stress, increases productivity, and can even make you feel happier. Staying fit boosts your self-confidence. And it feeds on itself: the more capable you feel, the more energy you have to accomplish your desires, the more capable you feel…

Make time for Friends and Loved Ones – When your life and your work feel out of balance, frustration is often the result. Touching base with friends alleviates stress, connecting with them on a regular basis can remind you why you are working so hard. Taking time to care for those you love has its own wonderful rewards – among them is making you feel good about yourself.

Give Yourself a Reward – Like the piece of cheese at the end of the maze, having something to work for can be a great motivator. It is also improves your sense of well-being.