We’ll be the first to admit it: Labor Day is a holiday we take for granted. Holiday weekends often come as such a relief to a long workweek that half the time, we forget to plan something to do with the day off — an ironic situation to find ourselves in on Labor Day, of all national holidays. This year, we’re celebrating like it’s 1894 (in other words, like it’s actually Labor Day) and are making it a point to have a day off well-spent. Here are five ways you can soak up the end of summer too, and put a non-laborious Labor Day on the books while you’re at it.
Actually take the day off (don’t even think about checking your emails). One key right the Labor Movement fought for was reasonable work hours, but now that we’re over a century past the first national Labor Day, we’ve gotten worse about work-life balance. Polls and surveys have shown that the majority of American employees don’t use all, if any, of their vacation time. However, studies also show that workers who do take time off are statistically more likely to get a raise or promotion, be more productive in the workplace, and be held in higher regard by their boss.
Go on a picnic. If the uptick in COVID cases has taken neighborhood barbeques off of your activity list, a great alternative is meeting up for a picnic. Go with your household, or have friends bring their own food and blankets if you want to maintain a little extra distance. You’ll be glad you spent a little extra time outdoors before the weather cools off.
Watch a movie in the backyard. Want to make the most of these last warm evenings? Take your laptop and a projector into the backyard and screen a movie. If you don’t have a portable projector screen, you can hang up a sheet or project against a flat, light-covered surface like a garage wall. An outdoor screening under the night sky beats an air-conditioned theater anyday.
Set up a mini fitness challenge. Thinking about hitting a new personal best, clocking more miles than your jogging buddy, or beating your old step-count record? Dedicate a day to working towards a new fitness milestone, either solo or with a friend, and you’ll have something way better to brag about at the office on Tuesday than another barbeque.
Support only local businesses for 24 hours. Not all industries get Labor Day off (and many small businesses can’t afford to), so take some time to support the folks that are working hard during the holiday. Skip the chain grocery store for the local market, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, and pick up a few back-to-school (or back-to-office) supplies from a local boutique rather than a major office supply chain.