Why Taking Labor Day Off Is Important?
This weekend we are celebrating the last holiday of the summer, Labor Day. While we usually have big plans for the holiday, do we really know what we are celebrating? Labor Day is a day that we use to pay tribute to the working Americans. Without people who work for our country, we would not be where we are today. We would have no doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, teachers, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, etc. This holiday is the one day a year that we use to simply thank those who work hard for their community and help us prosper as a whole.
Labor Day has been celebrated since the 1800’s, when working conditions were not ideal or safe. Children as young as five worked in factories and the average American worked 12 hours days for 7 days a week in order to provide for their families. Not to mention that the working conditions were not only unsafe, but unsanitary. During the late 1800’s, workers began to become fed up with these conditions and the poor pay that they were receiving so many began to participate in rallies and strikes. This was all in an effort to improve their working conditions, pay, and hours. Most of these rallies became violent, in fact one rally in particular left several protesters and police officers dead. Following this horrific rally, on September 5, 1882, approximately 10,000 workers took off work in order to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. This march became known as the first Labor Day parade. At first, the holiday was not nationally celebrated, that is until it was brought into the public eye. Eventually, on June 28, 1894 Labor Day was declared as a national holiday.
Since this is a holiday that we use to thank our workers, we typically find that most businesses close and give their staff a day off. Even though it is only one day, it is important for everyone to take care of themselves. Balancing work life, home life, and yourself can be challenging at times; so if there is a chance to take a break, don’t hesitate. Most businesses find it possible to close their doors for the day, however this is not the case for everyone. We can not have all police officers, firefighters, and doctors taking a day off all at the same time. Just like every restaurant, food store, or gas station can’t take the day off. Or our Jersey Shore and Toms River businesses that thrive on seasonal crowds over Labor Day weekend. However, if you find yourself working this Labor Day, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself that day. Find some time within that day to do something for yourself. You can indulge in a meal, buy flowers, or just sit outside at the end of your day with a glass of wine. Whatever it is that makes you happy, be sure to squeeze that into your schedule this Labor Day.
Labor Day is also a time to thank small businesses. Ones that are built from the ground up by hard working individuals. There is no better feeling than to support local and those business that thrive on our Toms River community. Not to mention for small business owners, it is important for you to take time for yourself as well. Hard work does pay off but it can also burn you out if you do not create a balance. Self care and hard work go hand and hand. That said, if you own a small business and do not have the chance to take off of work for Labor Day be sure to schedule some time off for yourself in the future.
It is important for everyone to take a day off here and there, even if you are not necessarily sick. Some people call them “mental health days”. As we know, life can be stressful and juggling all of the different things that life can through at you can take a toll on one’s health both mentally and physically. Prolonged stress creates havoc on the body. When we say stress we do not necessarily mean just feeling the pressure that you get when you are overwhelmed; stress can be tagged as a day filled with non-stop errands or a work week full of meetings and calls. Stress can mean different things to different people but what is important is that we understand what exactly happens to our bodies when stress is present. Prolonged stress can lead to overeating, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, tense muscles, and can even lead to a weakened immune system. Most Americans work at 9-5 job for at least 5 days a week, others work 7 days a week, and some even work 12 hour shifts. Whatever it is that your workload consists of, be sure that you are taking care of your mind and body daily.
Use this Labor Day to prioritize yourself. Do something that you love with the people that you love. Take time to reflect back on yourself and how hard you worked to get to where you are now. Life does not come easy and it is all what you make it, so cherish what you have accomplished. Happy Labor Day! Thank you to all of our workers and small business owners, your hard work does not go unnoticed!