5 Ways to Celebrate All Your Hard Work

Do you know that Labor Day was designed to observe the economic and social contributions of American workers? No matter what you do or who you are, you are a part of our American economy and work hard each day to help sustain it. And what better way to honor that working than to take a full day to take care of yourself –a Mental Health Day!

Here are some tips to get the most out of your day off:


  1. Shopping: Next to Black Friday, Labor Day hosts some of the best sales of the year. And it’s a perfect time to get all those back-to-school needs for your family. Here is what you can expect from 2013 Labor Day Sales. Remember that your favorite online stores give discounts as well—it’s a great way to avoid traffic and long lines!
  2. Swimming: Summer weather is going to quickly turn cooler . Make sure you take advantage of it while it is warm! Find a community pool near you and take the family. It is cheap and fun. Remember the sunscreen and drinking water!
  3. Hit a Home Run: Participate or go watch a sports game. Baseball and preseason football are in full swing get out on the field. Better yet, take the kids to a nearby park and teach them how to pitch, ride bikes, or throw a Frisbee.
  4. Go to the theater: Both live theater and the megaplex are certain to have shows playing. Check out what is playing near you and take a friend to enjoy the performance with you.
  5. Stay Home: If crowds, traffic, and organizing schedules stresses you out, STAY HOME! There is nothing wrong with taking a day off just to relax. Perhaps you want to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show; maybe you need a few extra hours of sleep, maybe the dishes have been piling up and you just need to clean them to feel a little better—these are all perfectly good ways to spend your day off.

Write a comment to share your plans with us! And have a great holiday celebrating you.

20 Ideas for a Stress-Free Staycation this Summer


We all need to get away sometimes, but the reality is that life doesn’t always let us escape for long, expensive vacations. Perhaps your spouse is in school or the kind of job that leaves limited free time. Maybe you just graduated college and don’t have a lot of funds set aside for plane tickets and hotel expenses. Perhaps you prefer not to travel long distances with your children. Maybe you are taking care of an ailing parent. Or maybe, as much as you try, balancing work and life isn’t as easy as you would like.

These very real situations make it all the more important to remember that there are lots of little adventures that fit into our busy schedules. So if you don’t have a vacation already planned for this summer, take one of these staycations—because you deserve it!  And, just like a vacation, don’t forget to block out the time on your calendar.

Play a round of mini golf

Spend a day at a local pool

 Find a trail and go hiking or for a walk

Go for a bike ride/wagon ride with your family

Go camping

Rent a canoe or kayak and go for a little ride

Rent some fishing poles and go fishing

Go to the zoo

 Visit a national park

 Go to a baseball game

 Visit a farmer’s market and make a meal

 Take a historical tour of your city

Go to a science or space museum

Visit an aquarium

Go to a drive-in movie theater (don’t forget to bring snacks from home!)

 Take a tour of your city’s capital building (call before you go)

Set up a tent in your backyard and have a slumber party

Find free movies in the park (they are usually hosted by the city)

 Go star gazing.  Find maps and look for constellations

Stay the night with Grandma & Grandpa, with an Aunt or Uncle, or with a good friend

*If you have a great idea for a summer staycation, please feel free to share it with us! 

BREAKING NEWS: Spring Fever Outbreak Hits Hard

breaking news photo

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”  ~Mark Twain

Are you finding you:

  • Would rather go to the park than your 8am social studies class or board meeting
  • Often daydream about laying in the shade under a palm tree
  • Envy your friends on Facebook who post about their Spring Break adventures
  • Recognize that the only difference in your daily routine is the type of sandwich you packed for lunch

If you said “yes” to any of the above symptoms, you may have Spring Fever. Around this time of year, many of us are struck by an unexplainable desire to avoid routine. We long for change, adventure, renewal, and growth. Often we are unsure about what it is that we really want or need, but one thing is for sure…we want it and our minds will remain restless until we find it.

When Spring Fever strikes, it hits hard and does not discriminate by race, age, or gender. You may see it among high school and college seniors who long for the end of their four year strife towards graduation, as well as among office professionals who have sheltered themselves in their cubicles against the bitter chill of winter.

Fortunately, if you happen to catch Spring Fever, there are a few home remedies that may bring relief and sooth your mind:

  • Vacation: Going on a vacation can give you a break from normal routine and allow you to spend time with family and friends. Thus, it is a great way to get rid of the Spring Fever bug. However, vacationing for some may be difficult because of deadlines at work or financial restraints. If you are unable to journey far from home or take several days off of work, stay the weekend at a bed and breakfast in a nearby town or pack a picnic and spend a day in the park with your family.
  • Start a new project: A sense of accomplishment can help relax a restless mind. So now is the perfect time to begin a new project, or perhaps finish an old one. Did you see a craft on the internet that you wanted to recreate? Have you always wanted to try knitting? Is the motorcycle you started working on last fall still sitting in the garage? Crossing something off your “to do” list or doing something that makes you happy and feel accomplished can give a huge boost to your mental wellness.
  • Get Outside: Usually during the winter months we have an undeniable urge to snuggle up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate every night. Now that the weather is getting warmer, there is no excuse to continue hibernating indoors.  Maybe you love riding your bike, hiking, fishing, or playing Frisbee? Getting back into warm-weather habits can break the cycle of cold-weather routine.

If you have had Spring Fever and want to share your own remedy, we would love to hear it. 

Four Perils of Summer – And How to Avoid Them

Summer is a time to relax, unwind and possibly get away from it all even if for just a week or two.  Unfortunately, the season also holds its share of dangers including storms, break-ins, floods, and of course sun burns.  Fortunately, by following a few basic safety tips, you can enjoy a worry-free summer holiday.  With that in mind, here are some of the biggest perils of summer vacation and some ways to keep them at bay:

Storms – violent summer storms don’t just send kids and pets scurrying for cover, they can also lead to substantial home damage if you are not prepared.  Here are some things you can do to minimize the risk:

  • Make sure all gutters and downspouts are clear and guiding water away from the house.
  • Clear ground drains, especially those in basement stairwells.
  • Test your sump pump if you have one to make sure it is operating properly.  If you are in an area with high flood risk and frequent power outages, it would be worth having a back-up battery installed on your sump.
  • Take stock of your trees.  If there are large branches overhanging your house or dead or dying trees that could cause damage then you should call the tree company before the big storms roll in.

Crime – burglars love summer because there are a lot of vacant houses to choose from and they don’t have to freeze to death when checking out a target.  Keep them at bay by doing the following:

  • Stop the mail and have a neighbor pick up fliers, papers and other debris that could signal your house is empty.
  • Put some lamps on timers so that they turn on at different times each day suggesting that someone is home.
  • Wait until you return home before you start posting your vacation pictures and experiences on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Flood – in addition to storm water, your home is always at some risk of a pipe break or other plumbing disaster.  The fact that nobody will be home for days could turn a small leak into a major disaster, so before leaving home take the time to turn off the house water and drain the pipes.

Sunburn – Last but by no means least, always remember the sunblock!

Before you go, take care of these small precautions so that once you reach your vacation destination you can sit back and enjoy a stress-free holiday.

My Mental Health Day Thanks:
Andrew Balfour, Vice President of Hassle Free Homes
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