That’s it!! That’s enough! No more scrolling through your Instagram feed feeling miserable because everyone you know and their grandmother is on the beach perfecting their tan lines and getting the summer glow. No more envying school and college kids whose summer still means complete freedom from responsibility. There are really simple things you can do that you might think won’t do much of a difference but we promise, just trying half of these tips will lighten your mood, and make going to the office not as dreary as it now.
1. Summer-ize your working space
No matter what the weather is outside, you don’t work outside (or at least most of us don’t), so you need to bring in that summer vibe with you where you work, be that your desk, cubicle or office. Decorate your working space with all the things you feel will bring in that light summer feel. You can change up your stationary with bright colored ones, get summer themed coasters and mugs while you’re at it, or even go a step further and buy those mini umbrellas so every cup of water feels like a summer drink on the beach!
2. Don’t just take ONE long break…take several short ones
Several studies show that working for 45-52 mins and taking from 10-17 min breaks is the best decision to take if want to stay focused. You are way more likely to fall into a midday slum if you’ve been working for 4 hours straight with no breaks, and you see that Facebook post of your friends playing beach volleyball and enjoy the sand between their toes. Instead, set time for work (not more than 1 hour straight) and have a break (eat a KitKat, haha kidding, I just had to) and walk outside, go refill you fruit infused water and just take a few breaths without looking at your phone or doing anything work-related, you need it. Now, speaking of fruit infused water…
3. Drink water that is “Summer Themed”
Remember that mini umbrella you’re decorating your cups with? Let’s kick it up a notch and stick in a cup of water that was infused with summer fruit to really infuse your soul with that refreshing summer vibe. Fill a large jug of water at home with apples, mangoes, berries, grapes and anything else you want to add in there (cucumber or peppermint maybe!) your options are endless. Not only will this concoction make you feel more at the beach than at your desk, it’ll also hydrate you better than regular water and give you lots of vitamins and minerals that’ll brighten your mood.
4. Go outside more often
Just like how you should take more breaks in your workday, try to spend those breaks all outside your four walls. You can go out on the terrace or take a quick walk outside in the sunshine. Feeling the sun on your face alone has scientifically proven to turn your frown upside down. Try to sit in nature, look up, watch the clouds, and just breathe.
5. If you can’t spend some time in nature bring nature to your desk
If going for a walk outside seems like a daunting task when you’re at work, then here’s what you can do.. Surround yourself with a plant or two, put a scented candle on your desk (preferably one that smells of lavender for its calming effect). Add a crystal or two on your desk to help focus your Crown Chakra for heightened focus, or you can just go ahead a create a mini-meditation corner right there on your desk to help bring in the sense of calm going outside in nature brings you but without having to go outside the office. This way, you probably will love your office space way too much, you won’t want to leave. You can check out this meditation corner list for what you need for your desk relaxation space.
6. Play some summer tunes
A lot of people love to work with their favorite song at the moment playing in the background. So you can just listen to the playlist you would listen to when you’re chilling on the beach. Music affects us every day and if you use it right, it can help you feel uplifted and energized. So bring out your inner DJ and crank up the tunes in the office (you can even have a mini dance party to sort of lighten the mood, because you know everyone works a lot better after a dance party!) or just put your headphones in and let the music do its magic.
7. Don’t take your work home with you
You could be doing all the right things, and your office space looks like it was taken from a travel brochure. But then you go home and there is no off switch to your “Work Mode”, then no matter what you do, you’re going to go to work the next day in a way less “happier” mode than you could be in if you had used your time at home to completely unwind. Don’t respond to emails, don’t think about work and don’t stress about what you have to do tomorrow at work. This way every time you go home, you feel you’re on vacation, which helps tremendously with how refreshed and relaxed you’ll feel the next day coming into work.
8. Try to set up summer friendly work hours
Unlike winter, the day is quite long during this season, this means if you can discuss it with your boss and set up earlier working hours (you can come in at 8 am and leave at 4), you’ll leave work at a much more reasonable time for you to seize the rest of the day and go do about all the summery things your heart desires, like going to have lunch in a lovely garden setting while you watch the sunset, or meet up with friends and hang out at a park.
9. Beat the heat and stash some frozen goodies to snack on
One of the best and instantly refreshing ways to make you feel like you’re beachside is either sipping on some cooling drink or snacking on some good old ice-cream. This is why stashing some popsicles or your favorite ice cream cones in the company’s freezer is the best pick-me-up you can have during your many mini breaks we agreed you’re going to have along the day. If you want a healthier cooling option you can put grapes/berries in the freezer and have them as a snack or dessert after your lunch. They are actually a super awesome way to have something frozen, sweet and healthy.
10. Eat your lunch mindfully
If you’re wondering how will this make your work summer experience less of a drag, just do it once and you won’t ask why. Eating mindfully means you’re going to totally space out any other work-related thoughts, any other thoughts actually that don’t include your food or how it ended up on your plate. We ask you to think of the process it took to grow the ingredients you have on your plate, from harvesting them to the people that washed, prepared and packaged them, be mindful of the trip these ingredients took to eventually land on your plate. Think of all of this as you’re eating, and you’ll sense an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation for what you’re eating, drawing a smile on your face that will linger on with you for the rest of your day, because you didn’t just eat your lunch, you just meditated.