With Labor Day around the corner, it’s time to begin saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Labor Day is not just an extra day off of work, it’s a day to recognize the hard work of our labor force.
Why Is Labor Day Celebrated?
The first Labor Day holiday was on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. It was held in accordance with the Central Labor Union to celebrate workers' contributions to the well-being of the economy and our country as a whole. More than a decade later, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law to make Labor Day a national holiday.1 Because of this, the first Monday in September is annually dedicated to the achievements and hard work of the American worker.
Let’s explore five ways that you can improve your work-life balance, because there should be more to enjoy in life than just our careers.
Monitor Your Work-Life Balance
We’ve all felt overwhelmed by work at one time or another, and it can seem like it’s taking over your life. It can especially feel this way if you own a small business or are still working from home due to COVID. These circumstances make it easy to feel pressured into making your job your whole world. If you find yourself working overtime and constantly wanting to think about work, it may be time to evaluate how to change your habits to give yourself a more balanced life.
Take Some Personal Time
It’s important that we all set some time aside to do something for ourselves. It could be reading a book, going on a hike, playing a game or just unwinding by watching a movie. It doesn't matter what you do but be sure to do something small that brings you joy every day. If you’re the type of person who puts everyone else ahead of themselves this might be difficult at first but keep working on it. Think of it as recharging your own batteries.
Put Down Your Phone
Don’t check work emails during all hours of the day. Preferably, communicate with your colleagues and customers so they are aware when you’ll be working and when you won’t be available to respond immediately. Creating, communicating and abiding by these boundaries is essential to maintaining your work-life balance. Take a little bit of time each day to put down your phone and just enjoy the moment.
Take steps to put your health first. Be sure to keep yourself mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. You should aim to eat a healthy breakfast before work and get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Work some sort of exercise into your daily routine as well. These practices will help you feel more energized and productive while also boosting your immune system and your general mood overall. Running yourself ragged will only drive you to burnout, which can be very difficult to recover from.
Prioritize Your Relationships
Don’t let work get in the way of relationships with your loved ones. Make time for quality time with your family and friends, even if you live with and feel like you see them all the time. This is not the same as spending time with them. Something as small as sitting down to dinner as a family, sharing things about your day, will recharge your relationships. Try to make room in your schedule to see loved ones throughout the week if it’s possible, not only on the weekends.
Work Stays at Work
Now that a lot of us are working remotely, this is easier said than done. Wherever you spend your time working, be sure to stick to your scheduled work hours and have a designated workspace. Making firm plans for shortly after your workday ends will stop work from bleeding into your non work hours and can help you move on with the rest of your day.
Creating a work-life balance is beneficial but it doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to gradually integrate these steps into your life to create a healthy work-life balance. Let yourself relax. Have fun and prioritize yourself and your personal relationships. You might even see your productivity at work benefit from these changes. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and remember to prioritize your health and happiness the rest of the year.