It's 9:30 on a Monday morning and already you're overwhelmed by the five long days of work stretching out before you. The weekend seems so far away, and you start to wonder how you'll survive. With this as your bleak reality, there's no doubt the idea of having any fun during the work week is the furthest thing from your mind.
And I can totally understand. After all, you just had two glorious days to yourself, and now you're thrust back into the unloving grip of somebody else's schedule. Just a few hours ago, you were another person, snuggled up with a blanket and your dog. And now here you are, unrecognizable in the morning light as everyone gripes about their case of the Mondays. Bleak indeed.
But that initial Monday shock isn't the only reason we pine away for the weekend. We can also blame radio DJs, cat calendars, and TV commercials that tout the idea of hump day. This idea that it's "all down hill after Wednesday" creates a sense that the week is just something to get through until real life starts on Friday.
Don't wish away your week. I promise it's possible to have a life, free time, and maybe even a little fun while you're at work.
Here are some ways to make Monday through Friday just as wonderful as the weekend.
1. Make Your Cube Feel More Homey
Nothing's more bleak than sitting at your desk and shivering under the AC unit whilst staring out across a sea of cubicles. It's enough to make anyone anxiously tick off the days 'til Friday. So do yourself a favor and make your work space a bit more hospitable. Get a desk plant, some photo frames, and a nice looking lamp. Have a sweater on hand, because for some reason offices are always freezing. And stock up your drawers with delicious snacks. With these comforts of home, you may even enjoy being stuck at your desk all day, instead of viewing it as a place to suffer.
2. Invest In Some Really Pretty Work Appurtenances
If you're going to use pens and staplers and scissors all day, then you might as well enjoy the experience. For instance, it's much nicer to scribble down notes with a lovely fountain pen than with some cheapo thing you picked up at the bank. So start collecting work supplies that make you feel happy, that feel nice to use, and that look cool on your desk. Using them will make even the most mundane parts of your day feel a little bit fancier.
3. Break Up Each Day With Exercise
You can weekend warrior all you want, but I highly suggest exercising a bit throughout the week. Break up each day with a trip to the gym, or a walk around the block. It's refreshing, and a good reminder to take care of yourself despite your hella long to-do list.
4. Have Something New For Lunch Each Day
I know you're busy, but resist the temptation to stay at your desk during your lunch break. It's called a break for a reason, so cramming a granola bar in your mouth while hovering over your keyboard doesn't really count. Instead, get out of the office and go have some life experiences. And the best way to do this (in my humble, food-obsessed opinion), is to go someplace new for lunch. Take that hour lunch break of yours and try a local food truck, or a new restaurant, or that weird cafe you keep walking by. Or, you know, at least bring something interesting to eat from home. It'll be like an hour-long culinary vacation.
5. Have Plans To Look Forward To
And I'm not just talking about weekend plans. I know you're tired, and after a long day at work all you really want to do is sleep until morning. But what kind of a life is that? I think it's incredibly important to drag yourself out and do some living between the days of Monday and Friday. See your friends, go to a movie, take a class — basically things you'd do on the weekend. It'll help you feel less like a worker drone robot.
6. Dress Up For The Occasion
You can put on work clothes because "you have to," or you can make it a whole thing and actually feel good about what you're wearing each day. I know when I slap on a different lipstick or wear a new sweater I get kind of excited to go out and see what people say.
7. Be Super Lazy After Work
What's so great about the weekend? All that glorious free time, duh. So make that happen during the week, and then it'll no longer be something to pine away for. Leave work (on time, for once), and head home to turn yourself into a blanket burrito, à la your go-to weekend look. Now don't leave that spot until morning.
8. Become BFF With Your Coworkers
Of course this isn't always possible, but if you can bond with your coworkers, it's going to make work so much more fun. I find this is always easier in service type jobs, like in restaurants or coffee shops, because joking your way through the day is the norm. But if you work in an office, don't let stricter rules stop you from having fun with the people you spend most of your time with.
9. Above All Else, Have A Job You Like
The main cure for having a fun work week is to actually like your job. I know, what novel idea. But so many of us trudge off to a job we hate, whether it's for the money, or because we can't find something better. I suggest doing your best to move away from a job that doesn't feel exciting or fun. This is your life we're talking about! And at the risk of sounding like a self-help guru, please don't waste your time on this earth in a career you don't love.
Don't just "get through" the work week, but take steps to actually enjoy yourself at work, and after work. It'll help make Monday through Friday a lot more bearable.
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