Shayna Schmidt | Sept. 2, 2018
Summer is technically over on the Autumn Solstice (usually between the 21st and 24th of September) but for many of us, Labor Day marks the beginning of the end. Because of its denotation of the end of summer, we view it through a bittersweet lens and often forget that it was created to honor the long and toiled history of labor in the US. Before the 8-hour workday, people typically worked 10 to 16 hour days, 6 days a week and endured years of poor working conditions and strikes for their rights. Labor Day recognizes the strength and appreciation of the American workforce.
How to incorporate relaxation all year long
But Labor Day does not mean that we have to strive to put a year's worth of rest time into one day! Through the past century, the day has seemed to achieve the opposite of its intended effect. Relaxation has become rushed, and it ends up being a weekend where we try to pack all of our much-needed relaxation into 3 days. Yikes. Perhaps we need to spread it out a bit more. Here are some ways we can implement the “relaxation” mindset into our everyday life.
- Start your day a little earlier. Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not. If you don’t hit the snooze button and have even an extra 10 minutes to yourself in the morning, you can work on creating a morning routine that really works for you. Not only do you not have to rush to get ready for work, now you can actually sit down with your cup of coffee. Perhaps you can meditate or journal for 5 minutes before heading out the door. Morning routines work wonders, and are truthfully far more important than an extra 5 minutes of sleep.
- When you take a break, take a break. No multitasking. Actually schedule these designated times to relax into the day and perhaps leave your phone behind (we know… shocker). If you take yourself on a lunchtime walk but then end up answering work messages while you do so, it kind of defeats the purpose. So does scrolling through Instagram. Actually. Take. A. Break.
- Try some silence. It’s amazing when we realize how little time we spend in silence. We’re always listening to music, or a podcast, or talking to someone on the phone, or the TV is on in the background… what happens if you get quiet and listen to your thoughts? Many of us unconsciously avoid this, because it means dealing with some stuff we’d rather not. But even starting with just 5 minutes of silence when you’d typically reach for your airpods can make a difference. Try to use this time for mindfulness techniques such as focusing on breath, or observing surroundings.
- Try some Yoga. Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation. In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Good news for you-- Livekick is adding Yoga soon! If you're already a Livekick member, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can try it before the official launch. If you're not already a member, what are you waiting for?! Sign up today.
Although the way Labor Day is celebrated has changed, it’s important to take the time to remember and appreciate the fact that we don’t work 12-hour days and have better working conditions in 2018. It’s safe to say that many of us are “overworked,” and here’s your Monday message to make time for yourself throughout the whole year to relax.