Parades and speeches filled many community’s streets beginning on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City, the first Labor Day celebration. Workers used the holiday as a platform to talk about their needs.

Today’s workers face different pressures and needs than those when Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894.  Many industries have decreased staff and increased responsibility. Workers must achieve higher productivity. For some people, work-life balance suffers and stress increases.

According to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey, people experiencing higher stress levels are more likely to eat fast food, avoid exercise and even use drugs or alcohol rather than healthier behaviors such as exercise, good diet, meditation or therapy.

Counseling & Recovery Services of Oklahoma’s staff and clients use Sanctuary tools to help identify and change behavior caused by stress.

  • Identify when you become stressed. What triggers the stress? Identify how you react to it. Identify a safety plan of what to do when you feel those triggers.
  • Turn off and tune in. Give yourself a break from the cell phone and computer. Let technology work for you. This includes limiting leisure time with social media.
  • Create a to-do list. This helps you better manage the work ahead for the day, week and month.
  • Take short breaks for stretching, breathing and walking.
  • Replace unhealthy coping strategies with healthy ones. You can do this through a self-care plan. Be positive about small victories.
  • Take care of yourself. Many employers have Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Wellness Programs to help you decrease stress and create healthier behaviors.
  • Get enough rest. Many people create a technology-free zone in their bedrooms. Identify and eliminate your barriers to getting seven to eight hours of sleep daily.

Let’s use Labor Day as a time to identify ways to better manage our work-life balance and achieve health, happiness and productivity.

As a reminder, Counseling & Recovery Services professionals are available to help when stress and behaviors negatively affect you.

The Tulsa and Sand Springs offices are open Monday through Friday, except for holidays. Both offices will close for Labor Day.

For youth ages 10-17 in crisis due to emotional, behavioral or substance sue issues, the CALM Center is always open, including holidays, to provide intervention and support. Call 918.394.2256 any time of day or night.