On September 5th, 1882, people protested in the streets of New York in a parade to gain
a recognition and called for changes in working conditions to employees. This was the first-time
Labor Day was celebrated. In 1887 Colorado was among the first states to pass a law that
recognize Labor Day as a holiday. We celebrate Labor Day to recognize the contributions of
those early American workers, their hard work, and their achievements in improving working
conditions for all of us. On Labor Day, we should recognize and learn to appreciate their efforts.
Thanks to them, we can be treated with a dignity, respect, and have a safe work environment.
The majority of us benefit from this aspect of history (except for a long weekend to
enjoy and rest). The changes made as a result of their efforts in how workers are treated is a
remarkable example of how hard work, persistence, courage and caring can make a difference.
I encourage you to shift this perspective to a personal level, where you as individual have the
ability to choose to celebrate. You have worked hard, and you deserve to be praised for your
efforts. Allow yourself to take a break from time to time, to acknowledge and appreciate your
progress as well as your achievements, as an employee as well as an individual. Our brain needs
rewards to identify that we are on the right path, which will motivate us to continue in the
direction we hope for. Help your brain to succeed by setting clear boundaries between home
and work while practicing being present in the moment. Also, not all of us may like to
go to work every day, but routine provides us comfort. It can help us feel stable and under
control. Finding a healthy balance with our paid work and the other parts of who we are can
help us feel more accomplished and satisfied.
This annual holiday can be as a reminder for us, that things can be hard, yet with
intention, dedication, commitment, and practice we can change things that do not serve us
well. It is within us to change what we believe does not work for us anymore, what has become
toxic to us. We can use this time as a for self-reflection where we can check with ourselves if
our old habits have become our obstacles, and how we can learn to let go of them by adapting
healthy ones instead.
We tend to stay with what is familiar even though it may be unhealthy for us. We, as
any other object in our universe, tend to continue doing what we are used to since it is familiar,
therefore it feels safe. Yet, just as we needed this movement to create a change in our society,
we also may need to create a movement within ourselves to have a better and more fulfilling
lives. Our prosperity and well-being depend on us and our actions, on our thinking process, and
on our physical well-being. It is within us to create a positive shift in our own actions and
thoughts. We are not just employees, we need to learn to find the healthy balance between our
paid job to our other roles in life, such as being a parent, a partner, a daughter, or a son. These
roles are not paid in monetary compensation, yet they are the most meaningful and rewarding
aspects of our lives and therefore our hardest work. Your work is to learn to balance all of these
roles together while taking care of yourself.
You can start small, focus on being aware of how you breath. Our breathe reflects on
how our body is doing, how we are dealing with the situation we are in. By focusing on our
breathe, we can learn what we need, right in the moment, to better deal with our situations,
especially stressful ones. It will help us to take a moment before we act to gain a healthier and
wider perspective of what is going on around us. We will be able to reevaluate and treat ourselves and others fairly and with respect. This Labor Day can be a time where we can work on creating a better environment for ourselves and our families.
I would like to leave you with some questions that might help you to work on improving
yourself this Labor Day:
- What steps can you take to feel more accomplished in and outside of work?
- How can you celebrate your successes?
- How can you start honoring your work and the different roles in your life?
- How can you treat yourself kindly and respectfully?
- What actions do you need to take to be in a better place, financially, emotionally, mentally and/or