Summer Send-Off … But Wait, There’s More!

– Toni Sicola, executive editor and wellness expert

This week in a Department Leaders meeting, I was invited to share a little bit about myself with the group. I shared pictures of my family, my dog, my garden, my music, and my climbing adventures. Afterwards, when I returned to my desk, I had emails from colleagues saying that my presentation helped remind them that they needed to work on balancing work with the rest of their lives and inspired them to seek new experiences. It heartened me to know that my example was inspiring, and I hope that our leaders will take advantage of the long weekend by unplugging and doing something they love.

This post is dedicated to everyone at AHS who feels a little overwhelmed with all the big changes that are on the horizon.


With Labor Day around the corner, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a “Summer Send-off” post.

Well, sort of.

Knowing that we’re in the Bay Area and Labor Day doesn’t exactly mark the end of warm, beautiful days, I’m hoping that this post will represent more than an au revoir to a beautiful season — I’m hoping for one last big burst of energy from all of us!

We need more weekend picnics before it starts to cool off. We need more last-minute visits to the lake or beach, more sunny hikes in the surrounding regional or even national parks before we pull out our puffy jackets and knit caps.

relaxing with friends in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park

As I learned recently, now is the perfect time to plant veggies in the brassica family in the backyard garden for the fall and winter months. It’s not too late to get your hands in the dirt and connect with the earth before it freezes up!brassica family

It’s not too late to have an outdoor dinner in the park after work (we still have lots of sunlight in the evening!) or take the dog for a nice long stroll to unwind from the day. Find out where the closest farmers’ market is and try out some new ingredients to add to your next meal at home. Plan a weekend day to visit apple country and bring home your fresh picked fruit!

My point is that it’s not quite time to start the hibernating period — get outside! Staying active as it gets colder gets harder and harder, as our nice, plush couches look warmer and warmer. Take advantage of what’s here now by committing to some time outside while it’s still warm and sunny. Put it in your calendar as an appointment, and take it as seriously as you would a work appointment. Find a spot, invite some friends (or don’t), and commit some time to enjoy yourself.


The best way to gain perspective is to step away from what’s consuming you and exist in a different space for a while. A long weekend is the perfect opportunity! When you return refreshed to those matters that seem so urgent, you might be surprised at how much more you can handle!

What are your plans this Labor Day weekend? How will you take time out for yourself next week? Leave a comment to let me know!

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