It’s been a tough week. Thanks to mostly the unvaccinated and the delta variant, the pandemic continued to surge. Meanwhile, kids, teachers and other school personnel are heading back to school. Many adults who’ve been working from home are now being expected to return to their offices or other places of employment where mask mandates are being ignored. Healthcare workers, especially in hospitals, are beyond burned out. Firefighters, also exhausted, continue to fight fires in California. Residents and workers in Louisiana and parts of the northeast are just beginning their long recovery from wind damage and flooding from Hurricane Ida. Yesterday, news from Texas about its new ban on abortions hit. A few days before that, also from Texas, it was how the state legislature had passed a new law to significantly restrict people’s rights to vote, affecting mostly Democrats — mostly poor, non-white and working-class people. I’ve gotta say, as a therapist whose practice — as is true for all therapists — usually “chills out” in August thanks to end of summer vacations, including mine, I’m exhausted and very grateful it’s Friday and the forecast for this Labor Day weekend looks so inviting.

Got empathy? If so, then you’re probably overly stressed, like most of my clients, and, maybe, like me, exhausted, too. Let’s make this Labor Day weekend the brief retreat we all need! Why? Because, afterwards, we’ve got a whole lotta work to do.

If we don’t put our best “Stacey Abrams'” foot forward in Texas and multiple other states across the country, what’s left that’s still functional in our constitutional democracy will end by 2023. What’s at stake is mind-boggling — climate change, our infrastructure, the economy, civil rights for everyone who’s not white, cis-born male and straight, Social Security and Medicare surviving beyond 2034 (i.e., most people’s retirements and access to health care once they’re 65 years old) and more.

So, what are you going to do to renew your energy this weekend?

This evening, I’m going to participate in a drum circle that kicks off my city’s Labor Day festivities. Tomorrow, I’ll do some errands and chores, get caught up with paperwork and billing and enjoy a long walk with my dog plus, hopefully, a bike ride and pick a friend who’s returning from Europe up at the airport. Sunday’s my day of rest and spiritual renewal — church via Zoom and livestream and probably a couple of Al-Anon meetings plus another walk with my dog. Monday, I’ll enjoy the local Labor Day parade and a concert/dance where a friend’s going to help me continue to learn to swing dance.

By Tuesday, hopefully, I’ll feel renewed and ready to get back to work! However, having taken a step back to look at the big picture, I’ve decided my practice is now full so, as I wrap up with current clients, I’ll have more time and energy to enjoy the things I love to do with people I love as well as some volunteer work to, hopefully, make my small contribution towards turning this currently overwhelmingly daunting mess around.

Hope everyone has a safe, relaxing and renewing Labor Day weekend!