This Monday is a public holiday where I live, a day we celebrate the union movement and the call for “8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, 8 hours for rest”. You can read more about Labour Day here.
Labour Day has a particular significance for me this year, as I contemplate a life thoroughly uprooted and disrupted by mental illness. Goodness, last year I was just so grateful to have an excuse not to work on this day – and I suspect I may have seen a client anyway! (Note to other would-be self employed people: boundaries are good, and prophylactic against mental ill health.)
Within the last fortnight, I’ve accepted the reality that I can’t work for now – at least, not in the manner I’m used to. I may be able to earn money in other ways, but not doing the demanding, client-based work I’ve done in the past, and which I hope to return to.
This means Labour Day has taken on a whole new meaning. Sure, I could have spent the day catching up on TV or in the arms of the beloved or cooking, and I’ve spent time doing of all these things, but what I’ve been focussing on is how to bring even more balance back into my disrupted life. So I have been setting up coffee dates with friends (social connectedness), making sure I’ve already completed and written out my homework for tomorrow’s DBT group (organization), spent time doing things I love (self-care), and planned out my exercise regime for the week (physical health).
Does your nation/state/city celebrate a Labour Day, and if so, what does it mean to you? How important is a balanced life to your mental health?