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6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Summer Even When You’re Stuck in the Office

6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Summer Even When You’re Stuck in the Office

Summertime is the season of days at the beach, poolside cocktails and vacations in far-flung regions of the globe. From blaring backyard BBQs to the plethora of pool parties, everything reminds you that summer is in full-swing. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that you still have to go to work during the week, despite the draw to be outside 24/7.

But summer fun doesn’t have to be reserved for weekends and vacations – with a few creative ideas it can be celebrated at work as well! Here are a few suggestions to bring summer right to your cubicle.

1. Put a Basket of Stone Fruit at Your Desk for a Seasonal Touch

Nothing says summer more than the smell of peaches, plums and nectarines. Having a bowl full of summer fruit within arm’s reach at your desk will not only be a visual pick-me-up, but the scent alone will be a pleasant perfume reminding you of the season. Remember, the fresher, the better, so try to buy your fruit at local farmer’s markets or roadside stands.

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Cherries are another delicious and healthy summer snack, so make sure to pack a few of these festive treats.

2. Hang Postcards From Past Trips In Your Cubicle

Bringing in visual mementos of past vacations will remind you of trips planned for the near future. Part of the fun of going away is the anticipation beforehand, so you want to maximize that daydream period as much as possible.

On especially slow afternoons, use these visuals as motivators for getting your work done. Remind yourself of the white sand beach that you will be on in a month or the new city you will be exploring in just a few weeks.

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3. Prepare Picnic-Style Foods for Your Lunch

Who says you can only have a picnic on the weekends? Bring macaroni salad, hot dogs or hamburgers, and a slice of pie to brighten up your lunch hour. Make it a weekly event and invite co-workers to join, where everyone contributes a dish. The break room is a perfectly acceptable place to have your picnic lunch, but if you have a nearby park it would be a shame not to use it.

4. Take Ice Cream Breaks

Instead of your usual afternoon coffee break, how about an icy treat instead? Scope out a nearby fro-yo or ice cream shop and grab a few co-workers for a sugary boost. You could even dedicate one day a week as “ice cream day”. It will have everybody looking forward to something cold and sweet, especially on those extra hot summer days.

Want a healthier option? Go for fruit popsicles or organic smoothies instead. Better yet, try making your own.

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5. Trade In Your Usual Drinking Cup for Something Bright and Festive

Summer is all about color and it’s important to remember this even while in the office. Switch out your usual water cup or bottle for something bright, preferably neon-colored. In addition to serving as a reminder to stay hydrated during the warmer months, it will bring a smile to your face as you think about the beach party you’re invited to this weekend.

6. Listen to Music That Reminds You of the Season

Music always sets the mood and is especially effective for transporting you out of the office to a more desirable destination. Whether you crave Bob Marley or the Beach Boys as your soundtrack, pumping those songs through your headphones will instantly upgrade your day.

Summertime offers a great opportunity to change the mood at work. Try a few of these tips and bring a little warmth and sunshine inside your office.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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