Not all of us have the luxury of taking off on Labor Day—my very first job out of college was working at a music venue, where everyone who had off of work on Labor Day went to be entertained, and here I am now, still working on Labor Day. It can be a bummer watching all your friends frolic at the beach, or even just sleep until 2pm, but that doesn't mean that you have to spend the day wallowing in self-pity. After all, Labor Day wasn't invented for barbecues and pool days, but actually for a day of work of a different nature: it originally served as a day for workers' rights activists to protest and rally for their cause.
Because I've been there and I am continuing to live that working-on-Labor-Day life, I've come up with a couple of ways to make your work day feel like a mini vacation—or at the very least, keep your FOMO at bay. One big tip I would recommend is staying off of social media for the next day or two. Watching other people upload their party pics never helped anyone. But that doesn't mean you can't have a little party of your own. Here's how to make working on Labor Day into your own little vacay.
1. Work from home
This may not be possible for everyone, but if you have the option to work from home, do it! Working from your bed is basically like having the day off. Does it even count as working if you're not expected to wear pants?
2. Take a lunch break
If you eat lunch at your desk normally (no shame, I myself am in that camp), treat yo' self to a quality lunch break today. And I don't mean running to the corner deli and grabbing something to go. I'm talking park yourself a seat at a café or restaurant and take an hour out of your day to enjoy your food. Extra bonus points if you're able to eat outside.
3. Crank up the tunes
Whatever your typical feel-good playlist entails—EDM, bro country, gangsta rap, or what have you—crank it up at work. Bring headphones if, like many offices, blasting music is frowned upon. It's a quick and easy way to up your mood and make you feel like you're rocking out, even if you're rocking out some spreadsheets.
4. Take a walk
If you're fortunate enough to live in an area that Hermine did not wreak havoc on, go for a walk outside. Few things are a bigger bummer than gazing longingly out the window while you're stuck inside. That's an easy fix! Leave your workplace, if only for 10 minutes, and go soak up that Vitamin D.
5. Plan something fun for after work
A happy hour, a date with Netflix and nail polish—whatever tickles your fancy, make a plan for some "me" time after work. You could definitely use it.
6. Wear something fun
Make it feel like vacation by dressing a little more festive today. Bright colors, funky floral patterns, an all-white outfit—anything goes. Well, not anything. But wearing something summer-y always automatically puts me in a better mood than looking and feeling drab.
7. Think about your bank account
One thing that always helps me to not hate myself for working when everyone I know has the day off is to think of my bank account; specifically, how much fuller it's going to be now that I'm earning this extra cash. When I catch myself thinking "Why did I do this to myself?" I will repeat that monetary figure over and over in my head. They say money can't buy happiness, but I'm honestly not so sure.
8. Make a wish list
Now that you have this extra money—assuming that you are compensated extra for working on a federal holiday—this is the perfect time to make a wish list of all the ways you would like to spend it. Keep it realistic or go big, whatever keeps you motivated. I have a friend who likes to look at multimillion dollar yachts in her spare time, and I am being 100% serious. I could put a disclaimer here saying that it's bad to do this kind of thing at work, but let's be honest, we all do it from time to time.
9. Plan a weekend getaway
Just because you didn't get away this weekend doesn't mean there aren't other opportunities in the future to do so, so start coming up with a few locales close by. However, maybe keep this to a mental list—you can only procrastinate so much at work and still get away with it.
10. Do something new
That's the whole fun of vacation, right? Getting out of your routine. That's kind of what I was getting at with the lunch break/going outside suggestions, but there are other ways to try new things. Like, ordering lunch from a new restaurant can kill two birds with one stone. Try that interesting coffee beverage you've had your eye on. Take a different route to work—you never know what you'll spot along the way. Say hi to a person you haven't spoken to before (you can both commiserate over being at work today). You get the idea. Today's the day to step out of that comfort zone.
11. Switch up your scenery
If you can't work remotely, try holing up in a conference room or a different area of the office. Heck, if you don't have the ability to move around, bring some new trinkets to display on your desk. A change of scenery can make a huge difference.