To rest or not to rest, that is the question.

-Try not to labor this Labor Day weekend.

As the holiday weekend approaches, I hope you take some time to rest and relax. I know it’s tempting to make lots of plans. However, we all need the mental and physical opportunity to rest. Then it’s easier to be our best when needed.

It’s interesting to note that Labor Day originated in the U.S. during the late nineteenth century due as an effort to improve working conditions, reduce the number of working hours, and advocate for better wages and benefits for workers.

Unfortunately, for all our hard work and good intentions, workplace stress remains high in the twenty-first century. The 2023 Work in America survey by the American Psychological Association shares these unrestful statistics:

77% of workers have reported experiencing work-related stress in the last month.

57% indicated experiencing negative impacts because of work-related stress that is sometimes associated with workplace burnout, such as:

-emotional exhaustion (31%)
-didn’t feel motivated to do their very best (26%)
-a desire to keep to themselves (25%)
-a desire to quit (23%)
-lower productivity (20%)
-irritability or anger with coworkers and customers (19%)
-feelings of being ineffective (18%)

For a mindset reset on the value of rest, here’s a collection of quotes spanning cultures, eras and disciplines. I hope they inspire you to kick back and relax “for real” this Labor Day weekend.

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…Including you. – Anne Lamott

Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest. – Ashleigh Brilliant

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. – Lily Tomlin

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. – Leonardo da Vinci

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither. – Alan Cohen

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb

Success … was often a matter of knowing when to relax. – Barbara Taylor Bradford

He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities. -Benjamin Franklin

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. ― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Til next week,
Jo-Aynne Von Born, Leadership/Executive Coach

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