Remember when summer used to mean playing with your friends until the street lamps came on, lounging at the beach all day, and taking awesome family vacations? Well, now that we’re adults, your summer probably just means it’s a lot hotter outside while you’re stuck working at your 9-to-5 job. But you can still find ways to enjoy summer, even if you’re working full time. It might not be as fun as in years past, but I promise you can still enjoy the summertime as a working person.
I’ve had to work since I was 16 years old, so every summer since then has been spent working part or full time. And I know that it can be sucky to be stuck working away while you see your friends enjoying margaritas on a beach somewhere on Instagram. But look on the bright side — they may be having some fun in the sun, but you’re the one kicking butt and taking names and making those dolla dolla bills, y’all.
You don’t have to spend every second of your summer getting a tan, and there are lots of easy ways to make your summer worthwhile even if you have to work during most of it. Here's how:
1. Plan at least one getaway weekend
You might not be able to take a lengthy vacation to some tropical destination, but you could probably swing just one weekend, right? Living in California makes it easy for me to go to Santa Barbara or San Diego for the weekend, but even land-locked states have great summer destinations. Try and keep it local (like, within decent driving distance) so that you have more time to play and less time to travel. You’ll come back on Monday feeling refreshed and ready to power through the rest of the summer.
2. Turn your office into a tropical paradise
Just because you aren’t actually going to Hawaii doesn’t mean you can’t feel like you’re in Hawaii. Deck out your pad or desk with some tropical decor items to give your office space a beachy, vacation vibe. At the very least, get a few candles in coconut, ocean, and palm scents, or one of those cliche hula girls.
3. Spend your lunch break outside
It might be a bit warm out most days, but you could still enjoy your lunch hour in the shade somewhere. After being cooped up in your office and house for days on end, you could use a little vitamin D. Eat your lunch under the sun, or take an after-lunch walk around your building. The sunshine will keep you from that afternoon crash, and you might even get a little color (remember to wear sunscreen).
4. Try something new
One of my favorite parts of going on vacation is getting to go to a barrage of new restaurants and bars — and you can get the same feeling in your own hometown! This summer, try and hit up a few happy hours at bars you’ve never been to before, and do date night at a few new restaurants. It’ll feel like you’re in a whole new place, with the added bonus of still being in your own bed.
5. Don’t overdo the overtime
You could probably use the overtime, but don’t rack it up in the summer. Do that in the winter, when it’s already dark even before you clock out. In the summer, you still have a few hours of daylight to enjoy, so make sure you make the most of them. Unless it’s an emergency, bolt for the door as soon as your day is done — maybe keep a beach bag in the car at all times so you can head out to the beach or bar for a few hours of sun.
Looking for instant ways to beat the heat this summer? Check out these genius cooling tricks, and for more life hacks, visit Bustle on YouTube.
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