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Labor Day: Why You Should Do Something for You

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

The first Monday in September we take time off in observation of Labor Day. Not just the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day was set aside as a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The early activists in favor of this holiday pushed for recognition of the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. New York was the first state to introduce the bill to recognize Labor Day, but it would be the state of Oregon that would be the first state to pass a law recognizing Labor Day on February 21, 1887. Four more states-Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York would follow suit in 1887 to pass laws creating Labor Day as a holiday. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act and President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September the legal holiday for Labor Day.

Across the nation, Americans have unique ways of celebrating Labor Day. Some areas have parades while others have picnics, parties, and other festivities. Regardless of the means, the purpose is for workers to appreciate their own hard work in making this great nation what it is today. Rather than use this day as a day to catch up on housework, I encourage you to do something nice for yourself as a means to both celebrate you and manage stress. Below I will share 7 budget friendly ideas for doing something nice for yourself this Labor Day thus balancing your need for work and accomplishment with self-care and self-nurturing.

Beach Trip

If you live anywhere near the shore, grab your sunscreen, your favorite cooler and snacks, your beach towel and head to the beach. If you really want to make it fun and creative, grab your beach ball, flotation device, or surfboard and enjoy the sun and waves. I did today and absolutely felt rejuvenated soaking up the vitamin D from the sun and listening to the roar of the ocean waves.


Grab your charcoal, lighter fluid, and fire up the grill or fire pit. Get together your favorite group and split the costs for food and beverages. Put on a little music, start up a few card games or board games and enjoy the laughter.

Movie Night

Have your crew vote on a theme and/or movie, grab some popcorn, candy, and drinks, and prepare to laugh, cry, or jump out of your skin to a good film. If you really want to make this experience unique, move your movie night to outside under the stars.

Solo Spa Day

We carry all the tension in our bodies from the hard work that we do. Spa treatments can help improve a person’s mood, which can boost their productivity at work or school. A pedicure or massage may be just the ticket to allow you to melt your cares away.

Next Town Over

Take a quick drive to the next town or city over and learn 3 new facts about it that you previously did not know. I like to visit the historic downtown areas, read up on the local history listed on any historic markers, and find the hidden gem of local eating.


If you are on social media, visit a few of the book groups for recommendations or head over to Goodreads and find a good book. If reading books aren't your thing, maybe try finding the audiobook version while you sit back and relax. I will even say we can include graphic novels, Manga, and comic books as options.

The Great Outdoors

Whether you decide to explore you own backyard, garden, take a hike in the woods, or visit your local park, spending time outdoors in nature is a good way to help you recharge from the stressors of the work week. In the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes lose our childlike wonder. Reconnect with both it and nature.

There is a scripture at Ecclesiastes 2:24 that states, "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God," (New Internation Version). All work an no play is no fun. You work hard and it is important to take time out for your mind, body, and spirit to rejuvenate. I hope these brief tips on budget friendly ideas to treat yourself this Labor Day. I hope that you have found something useful here. If you have any other ideas that won't break the bank, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Thinking differently about self-care or self-nurturing takes work but it doesn't have to be time consuming or costly. And please remember, as you begin this journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Enjoy your Labor Day and happy reading.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

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