There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this... Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.
When you're working a full-time job, finding time to enjoy the warm, bright summer weather can be a challenge. This is especially true for young professionals, as many of them are used to having summers off (or, at the very least, having a flexible summer schedule). But there's no need to feel trapped behind your cubicle walls. Go out and enjoy summer!
Here are a few tips for making the most out of your summer while working full time:
1. Grab Some Foldable Chairs
Keep a couple of foldable camping chairs at the office so you and a co-worker can catch some rays during lunch—whether it's in the park, or in the parking lot.
2. Keep A Beach Bag In Your Car
Keep a bag full of summer supplies for your favorite summer activities. Having a bag (or, in my case, a backseat) full of towels, sunscreen, and swimwear keeps you prepared for anything. Friends hitting up the pool after work? You're covered. Once the clock strikes five, you can head to your destination of choice immediately.
3. Plan An Office Outing
Plan an office field trip to the beach, the park, or the pool. Just do something fun so your brain can recharge and refresh!
4. Organize Group Walks
Get a bunch of co-workers together and go on regular walks around town during lunch. (Or, you could suggest a quick jaunt over to the ice cream shop.) This is a great way to get some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.
5. Eat Lunch At The Park
When you find yourself eating out, hit up places with a deck, porch, or patio of some sort. Obviously, eating out every day isn't really a feasible option for most of us, so look into alternative ideas as well. Pack a lunch and hit the park for your own little picnic.
6. Organize Office Sports
Whether it's setting up an official office sports team or just hanging out with your colleagues a few times a week, playing sports is a great way to get out and enjoy the weather. Have a field nearby? Try setting up some slow-pitch softball games. Or, see if you can get a basketball hoop for the office so you and a few co-workers can shoot some hoops at lunch.
7. Join A Professional Group
During the summer, these professional networking groups often have fun events like harbor cruises, pub crawls, and outdoor mixers. Find a professional group in your area and make networking fun this summer.
8. Have An Office BBQ
Get your grill on! Talk to your boss about setting up an office BBQ. Ask everyone to contribute their favorite dish, side, or drink. Fire up the grill and relax! Hey, it's summer after all.
9. Wake Up Early
Yes, yes, I know...waking up early is an incredibly painful and unbearable experience for some of us, but waking up even an hour earlier has its benefits—especially in the summer. Go for a morning run, putter around in the garden, or watch the sunrise with a loved one. Talk about starting the day off right!
10. Strategically Use Your Time Off
Strategically use your vacation days around holidays. This way, you can make a potentially long weekend longer without having to use too much of your precious vacation time. Half days are also pretty awesome. It's amazing how much you can do with four extra hours! If you want an early weekend but don't want to burn up your vacation days too quickly, try taking a half day on a Friday instead of using a full day off.
11. Bike To Work
If you're one of the lucky few that live within walking or biking distance of work, take advantage of it! Not only will you get plenty of fresh air, but you'll also save money on gas, which is always a plus!
There are plenty of easy ways to enjoy summer when you work a full-time job. So, this summer, try out a few of these ideas and make the most of the sunshine and warm weather—while it's still around!
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.