Getting into the swing of things mid-week can be difficult, especially mid-summer, and even more so after a major holiday, but no worries – I have solution.
Here is my sure-fire “bring-a-smile-to-your-face-and-creativity-to-your-day” list of silly summer things to do in the office. These mostly mental breaks can last from 30 seconds to 5 minutes and will relieve boredom and reduce stress. (They also work out of the office and with a few slight adjusts can work for all ages.)
(Gentle-warning: these can become seriously addictive and last a lifetime)
- Speak pig latin: not a good option for the boss, but after a moment’s pause you are sure to get a “milesay” or a “Igpay Atinlay” response from a co-worker.
- Walk backwards: a seriously good way to get you moving and thinking in a new direction (pun intended), and can be done discreetly in a closed hall, office or in the rest room :-). Even a few steps in the wrong direction can be fun.
- Water balloon fight: mentally fill and fling them around the office while filling your glass at the cooler or taking a swig from your water bottle.
- Egg toss: Same idea, except expand your mental picture a bit to include the grass you are standing on, the sun overhead and the response of the other participants as you smoothly move your arm back by your side to catch and gently cradle the egg, responding to their “ooohs”, “ahhs”, and “Way to go’s” with a small bow!
- Start a club: when we were kids we were forever creating clubs – real and imagined – and most of them were exclusive and developed to keep out bossy older sisters and brothers or neighborhood bullies. Base yours on a favorite activity or secret desire. Have fun with this Walter Mitty-style exercise – be creative and outrageous.
- Build a fort: One of our favorite summertime activities was hiking into the woods or one of our backyards to build the perfect fort; they never were and we always spent way more time building them than we ever did hanging out in them, but that never seemed to ruin the fun. This can be a strictly mental exercise, a simple trip down memory lane, or you can spend some time with paper clips, staples and recycled paper to see what you can come up with – this makes a great group activity/competition for the seriously relaxed office.
- Play ball: Baseball, kickball, soccer, badminton, tennis, jacks – whatever your game of choice – relive it. Spend a few minutes hitting that home run, swinging that racket, or bouncing that ball. Picture your crowning-glory moment or create the one you never had.
- Dive in: splash, swim, jump – when and where your cool body of water existed. No watery memories to recall? No problem, just turn on the mental sprinklers and run through the water for a moment.
- Quiet time: What were your favorite summer reads? I spent hours in an army hammock in our back yard hiding from the world (and my 8 siblings), reading Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and any fairy tale I could get my hands on. What were your favorites?
- Sleepovers or outs: Our childhood summers were filled with tent-filled nights and day and week-long overnights at cousins and family friends. “Have pillow-will-travel” seemed to be our motto – and we loved it. Take another trip down memory lane or plan the perfect camp-out, cottage-stay or hotel-hideaway with your kids, friends or lovers to break those summertime blahs.
Wow, what a great summer I just had! I went to my uncle’s swimming; to family reunions where water balloon and egg toss were serious sports, and into the woods to check out our fort and have a picnic lunch. Then I read my books from the comfort of my imaginary new tree house, kicked the ball around the front yard, and showered myself with water balloons, and it’s not even 10 a.m.
Hope your summer sojourn went well, and that your desk looks a little less daunting and your day a bit brighter.
You can do it!
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