Every year growing up, Labor Day (or in Canada, Labour Day) was a favorite holiday because our family went to a large picnic at the mill my father worked at. The mill employees worked hard all year, and this event was put in place to give back to the workers. Just imagine: all the food you can eat, games and an opportunity to kick back and take it easy. It was always such a fun day, but bittersweet because it marked the end of the summer.
On the website of the US Department of Labor, the holiday itself “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” I love that. Thank you to all of you hard-workers that help our societies move forward day-to-day.
Now I recognize that many of you are beginning to slip away into a depressive coma, knowing that school is right around the corner, I’m here to offer some suggestions for how you can “celebrate” Labor Day throughout the year and contribute to your own strength, prosperity and well-being.
Taking Breaks For Productivity
Many studies have indicated the value of taking frequent breaks, with connection to productivity and mental health. So often we feel stressed and bogged down by our workload and we feel we can’t take stop and smell the roses. The first step to fixing that is learning to organize your time, but beyond that you need to reward yourself by frequently taking breaks. In keeping with the Labor Day theme, here are three reasons how and why you should take a pitstop.
Exercise – An Added Strength
Incorporating exercise into your work routine will benefit your mental and physical health. During the day, find ways to get up and move around. If your workplace or school has a gym, take advantage of it. Strapped on time? Just take a few minutes and walk around. You will find that as you get your blood pumping, your creative juices will flow and you will be able to remember more.
Entertainment – For Your Inner Prosperity
This is a double edged sword, so before I go on…be careful. When I have been studying for a long time, I like to take a break and watch some short YouTube videos or if time allows an episode of my current Netflix series. It can be really easy to get carried away and waste time, but I find that during a break, if I can focus on something else, when I come back to my work I can stay on task longer and be more effective.
Food – Your Well-Being (and Stomach) Will Thank You
This of course is my favorite suggestion, but it has added merit. When taking a break, it is important to fuel your brain with a nutritious meal or snack. This DOES NOT mean ramen! I know, you’re a poor college student and you can’t afford anything nutritious (false), but it is going to increase productivity and happiness levels. Bite the bullet and buy some carrots, you’ll thank me later.
Anyone have their own suggestions for how taking breaks help you? Share your thoughts below!