Read a book You know that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for months that you never got around to reading? Now’s the perfect chance to start it. And no, medical journals don’t count. Benefits7 of reading include greater empathy, easier social interaction, higher levels of creativity, and more. Spend quality time with family and friends It can be tough to see your friends and family as much as you’d like with the busy schedule that doctors have. Fortunately, most people are off on Labor Day, so you have the perfect opportunity to get together with them. Besides the boost in happiness that interaction with friends provides, research shows the “friend effect”8 can also improve your immune system, reduce stress, and even improve your life expectancy. Learn a new skill Always wanted to learn how to paint? Or maybe try that recipe you’ve had in your pantry for years? Besides reducing stress, a recent study9 concluded that hobbies can lower blood pressure, body mass index, and more. Additional research10 shows leisure time activities can reduce persistent fatigue. There are usually all kinds of weekend classes you can sign up for and who knows, maybe you’ll discover your new favorite stress-relieving hobby.
Volunteer Volunteer work has many benefits11 and might help make your three-day weekend feel a little more rewarding and give you an energizing boost come Tuesday. Soup kitchens, food pantries, animal welfare groups, children’s groups, and many more are always looking for help. 1 Hilton, L. (2016, February 5). Why burnout is increasing among U.S. dermatologists. Retrieved September 01, 2016 2 Coon, J. T., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011). Does Participating in Physical Activity in Outdoor Natural Environments Have a Greater Effect on Physical and Mental Wellbeing than Physical Activity Indoors? A Systematic Review. Environmental Science & Technology Environ. Sci. Technol., 45(5), 1761-1772. doi:10.1021/es102947t 3 Gladwell, V. F., Brown, D. K., Wood, C., Sandercock, G. R., & Barton, J. L. (2013). The great outdoors: How a green exercise environment can benefit all. Extrem Physiol Med Extreme Physiology & Medicine, 2(1), 3. doi:10.1186/2046-7648-2-3 4 Physical Activity and Health. (2015). Retrieved September 01, 2016 5 Rosen, L. (n.d.). The Amazing Power of "Tech Breaks" Retrieved September 01, 2016 6 Sleep, Learning, and Memory. (n.d.). Retrieved September 01, 2016 7 Billington, J. (n.d.). The Untold Power of the Book. Retrieved September 1, 2016 8 Blue, L. (2010, July 28). Recipe for Longevity: No Smoking, Lots of Friends. Retrieved September 01, 2016 9 Pressman, S. D., Matthews, K. A., Cohen, S., Martire, L. M., Scheier, M., Baum, A., & Schulz, R. (2009). Association of Enjoyable Leisure Activities With Psychological and Physical Well-Being. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(7), 725-732. doi:10.1097/psy.0b013e3181ad7978 10 Eriksen, W. (2004). Do physical leisure time activities prevent fatigue? A 15 month prospective study of nurses' aides. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(3), 331-336. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2002.004390 11 Benefits of Volunteering. (n.d.). Retrieved September 01, 2016