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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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