It's 9:30 on a Monday morning and you're already 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. You just spent two glorious days to yourself, before being thrust back into the unloving grip of somebody else's schedule. Just a few hours ago, you were a totally different 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 incessantly talk about "hump day" or tout the idea that we're all "working for the weekend." The notion that it's "all downhill after Wednesday" creates a sense that the week is something to get through, or that 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 bleaker than shivering at your desk whilst staring across a sea of cubicles. That's enough to make anyone anxiously tick off the days 'til Friday. So if you always feel uncomfortable at work, do yourself a favor and make your space a bit more hospitable. Get a desk plant, some frame photos, or a nice looking lamp. Keep a sweater on hand, because for some reason work spaces 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, right? It's much nicer to scribble down notes with a lovely fountain pen than with some cheap 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 cute 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, as well. You can spice up each day with a trip to the gym, or a walk around the block. It's refreshing to get your blood pumping and a good reminder to take care of yourself, especially in those moments when you're staring down a 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 have a life experience. Try a local food truck, or a new restaurant, or that quirky cafe you keep walking by. Or 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'll want to do is sleep until morning. But if you want to have fun, you'll need to change things up, drag yourself out, and do some living between the days of Monday and Friday. See your friends, go to a movie, take a class — all things you'd do on the weekend, only now you're doing them on a Tuesday. It'll help you feel less like a worker drone robot.
6. Dress Up For The Occasion
You can put on business casual 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 by injecting a little personal style. I know when I slap on a bright lipstick or wear a cool sweater, I feel like a whole lot better.
7. Be Super Lazy After Work
What's so great about the weekend? All the glorious free time, obviously. We often pine for the weekend so we can get back to relaxing and doing whatever we want. But there are plenty of ways to feel just as relaxed during the week. Leave work (on time, if possible) and head home to turn yourself into a blanket burrito, à la your go-to weekend look. Cancel after work plans. Basically, do whatever it takes to free up some more time, so you can chill.
8. Become BFF With Your Coworkers
Of course it isn't always possible to get super close, but if you can bond with your coworkers in any way, it's going to make your work week that much more fun. So how can you go about it? If you work in a restaurant, stay afterward and talk to your coworkers. If you work in an office, gather around the water cooler. Look for the moments where you can have a quick convo, share stories, or catch up, and soon you'll feel part of the group.
9. Above All Else, Have A Job You Like
The best way to have a little more fun during the work week is by finding a job you actually like. I know, that's way easier said than done. But I suggest doing your best to move away from an a career that doesn't feel exciting or fun — or worse, one that feels stressful or soul-crushing — and into a one that's inspiring. We all have to pay bills, and we all have to work. But if you really dislike your current job, look for small ways to start shifting towards something a little bit better, whether that means taking a class, asking for new responsibilities, changing locations, etc.
Don't fall for the mindset that you need to "survive" the week. Instead, focus on ways to enjoy yourself at work, and after — and suddenly you'll be all about Monday through Friday.
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