5 Bustle Editors Share The Essentials That Go Into Their 'After 5 p.m.' Bag
Even though your workday is likely winding down by 5 o'clock, for many people the day still feels relatively young. This is especially true in the spring when temps finally rise above a frosty 55 degrees and at long last we can cash in on those extra hours of glorious daylight — even if all we're doing is catching up on some well-deserved me time with a solo binge-watching TV and chill sesh. (Hey, no shame.)
Here at Bustle, our editors are no strangers to the gravitational pull of spring fever, but on any given day our after-work plans vary just as much as our frequently-used emoji cues. But no matter what plans are (or aren't) on our calendar, you can bet that our years of beauty, entertainment, and lifestyle editing have taught us each a thing or two about making the most out of our time, and how a smartly-packed bag can be your best asset for enjoying a beautiful spring day.
No matter if spring allergies begin to act up, or if April showers start their seasonal downpours outside the Bustle offices in New York City, we've got a whole life of date nights, workout classes, and well-deserved downtime to look forward too — and we know you do, too! In partnership with BENADRYL®, I chatted up a few of my colleagues to find out what their springtime after-work plans look like, and what they're packing in the mornings that let them enjoy their end-of-day moments. Here's what the experts recommend you throw in your bag to make the most out of whatever your plans may be!
Running Nonstop Errands
"Being a working mom with some semblance of a social life requires a lot of planning, but you better believe when we get a last-minute invite to join some friends for dinner, my family and I jump at the chance. What’s in my purse in the morning has to carry me from work, to errands, to daycare pick-up, and in tonight’s case a dinner with friends, then back home!
"On my way out the door I do a quick check for my everyday essentials — my phone, keys, wallet, wipes, and water. Being a seasonal allergy sufferer who does not have time for that business, I also stash my BENADRYL® in my purse so I always know where it is when it's time for my quick end-of-day dose back at home to enjoy some well-deserved me time. Toss in a few survival supplies for dinner with a toddler — stickers, sketchbook, activity pad, quiet toys, and an emergency binky — and I'm ready to roll." —Adrienne, Senior Manager, Events
Hitting The Gym
"After a long day of work, mustering up the energy to drag myself to the gym can be tough, but I find that packing my workout bag in the morning helps motivate me once six o'clock rolls around. On exercise days, I make sure to stock my bag with everything I'll need during my sweat sesh, like hair ties (because what's worse than getting to the gym and realizing you don't have a hair tie?) and a water bottle. I also pack everything that I'll need in order to look presentable after working out, like makeup wipes, deodorant, CC cream, finishing powder, and bright and happy tinted lip balm." —Suzanne, Branded Lifestyle Editor
Going Home For Some Me Time
"Honestly, I cherish my weeknights to catch up on my me time. I'm always so busy on weekends with brunches, parties, and random events, so weeknights are all about taking it easy, but not a day goes by that I'm not running errands on my commute home.
"Nowadays, I carry two bags with me: my regular purse, plus a second foldable tote bag that I use for running errands — weather that's a trip to the party store to prep for a weekend game night with friends, or swinging by the drug store to replenish my nightly BENADRYL® stash for my nonstop spring allergies. I'm also always armed with a good book, plus my phone and a pair of headphones so I can use podcasts and playlists to drown out the sounds of living in the city." —Allison, Branded Lifestyle Editor
Meeting Up For Date Night
"I’m in a fairly new relationship, and weeknights are prime time for a fun date night! We both work long hours, so I’m usually rushing to touch up my makeup at my desk or in transit. And since the time crunch puts a real damper on my eight-step makeup routine, I try to carry at least a few of the basics with me.
"I'm always armed with blotting paper and some concealer to touch up my skin, then I apply some bronzer for a quick sun-kissed glow. Lip balm is a must since I'm low-key addicted, and a swipe of eyebrow gel finishes up my refresh. And of course, last up is a breath mint to make sure I'm smelling great for that first beginning-of-date hug." —Irma, Branded Beauty Editor
Prepping For Night Class
"After being out of school for eight years (shoot, I’m old!), I recently decided to go back to grad school. Part of me feels like I’m going back in time — I’m back to homework assignments, raising my hand before I speak, and hoping the professor likes me. Classes are at 8 p.m. until 10:30, so it can sometimes be a struggle to feel alert in class after a full day at work. But I signed up for this, and that’s why it’s especially important that I’m fully prepared for my work-to-school transition so I can get the most out of every night!
"I traded in my grownup messenger bag for a roomier backpack, which is always filled with books, notebooks, and hand sanitizer to protect me from the den of germs that is a classroom. Add in a few juicy pens for note taking, glasses to help me look the part of a star student, plus a sharp sweater in case the classroom is freezing, and I'm good to go!" —Stephan, Senior Branded Editor
Photos: Ashley Batz/Bustle; Prop Stylist: Anna Surbatovich; Stylist Assistant: Alice Martinelli; Art Direction: Molly Kugelmann/Bustle; Production Coordinator: Nancy Valev/Bustle.
This post is sponsored by BENADRYL®.