Remember the days when the bell rang and we all poured out of the school building, making a beeline for the public pool? We’d spend the next two or three months sunburned, sweaty, and passing out from exhaustion at the end of each day. I think many people will agree that was summertime at its best.
Nowadays, the daily glow we get is blue light from the computer, feeling the cold sweat of work pressure as we bask in the cool air conditioning and can’t sleep at night because we can’t turn off the brain. Welcome to adulthood. Wouldn’t it be so cool if we could bring a little summertime to the workplace? Well, who’s to say we can’t?!
If you are missing the good ole days where summer fun was endless, don’t despair. Here are five fun ideas for you to bring back the memories and give your employees a touch of that carefree experience so many of us remember. #summertimepalooza
Summertime Vibes for Mental Health
Now, while a #summertimepalooza experience sounds like all fun and games, it is truly more beneficial than you can imagine. When we tap into the nostalgia of youth happiness, we are getting into some heavy brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin, and we may experience a feeling of euphoria. In fact, you can actually achieve two things at once here: giving employees a much-needed brain break and getting employees to their happy place with a brain boost.
So, what are some ways you can get the summertime vibes to occupy your workplace? Well, try dressing it up! Hang some summertime posters on the walls around the workplace, and maybe even get a few potted miniature palm trees to really create a summery environment. Also, dress up yourself by digging that old Hawaiian shirt out of your closet! Encourage employees to do the same. Rumor has it, tropical themes are all the rage this year.
And don’t forget the background music. Steel drums are a must!
Another way to look at this #summertimepalooza experience is that it can be very healthy for your bod. How so? Well, consider all the things you used to eat during the summer. Many summertime foods are synonymous with health and overall wellbeing. Don’t believe me? Ok, I’m happy to prove it!
- Watermelon – Great for hydration, low in calories, and good source of vitamins C and A.
- Strawberries – Good source of folate, help with blood sugar control, and rich in antioxidants.
- Blueberries – Lots of fiber, vitamin K, and manganese.
- Cucumbers – May aid in weight loss and promotes regularity in the digestive process.
- Tomatoes – High in potassium, vitamins C and K, and lycopene.
So, think of things you can do that center around summertime foods. Grabbing a variety of fresh fruits and veggies from the local farmers market would be a great way to treat your employees. And no assembly required! Just bring your best Cutco and a couple cutting boards, and people will be lining up to sample Earth’s delicacies. This would be a perfect midafternoon snack to get the brain juices flowing to finish the day strong.
Speaking of strong, exercise is where it’s at. Exercising is a great way to boost endorphins and get the blood pumping. Our society really needs that, considering the stagnant lifestyle we live compared to our youth. Plus, exercise goes nicely with swimsuit season, so this makes it a perfect addition to our list of #summertimepalooza activities!
Still, who really wants to get hot and sweaty at work? Even though exercise is my go-to for stress relief, I don’t want to spend half the day smelling like a day-old burger topped with onions.
The fear of sitting in sweaty work clothes shouldn’t keep you from getting your daily endorphin rush, however. Believe it or not, there are exercises where you don’t have to sweat, but you can still get your heart rate up. I’m sure you’ve heard of yoga and Pilates. Of course, both of these can be done in ways that make you sweaty. Know that the more effort you put in, the more sweat will come out, so act accordingly.
So, how can you get employees exercising throughout the day? One idea is to do two pop-up yoga or Pilates sessions. For example, at 10:30 a.m. you could make an announcement that everyone should stand up at their desks or in the aisle, and then someone will lead them in a short stretch or exercise. Start with something simple, like a hamstring stretch (save the crow for yoga class). Then, at 2:30, do the same thing, but teach a different exercise, like a plank. Each day add to what you learned the day before, and by the end of the summer, you’ll have a full series of stretches you do twice a day.
After a brisk walk or some deep stretching, nothing is more refreshing than a nice cold glass of something. Anything, really! (Except milk. That’s just gross. No one wants to drink milk on a hot day. But no judgement if it’s your thirst-quencher of choice.). Still, only certain beverages are appropriate in the middle of a workday.
So, what would be some good libations to share with employees? Well, you could go with a traditional lemonade, which is a great source of vitamin C. Or, you could get wild and crazy with the blender and whip up some non-alcoholic piña coladas or margaritas for your employees. Sharing a refreshing summertime drink is a great way to live it up #summertimepalooza-style.
One more idea: If you want your sippers to be really cold, try handing out popsicles!
Honestly, sometimes all we need is deep breathing in order to reset. So, if your allergies aren’t dragging you down, a great place to get your respirating on is in the great outdoors.
Here’s an idea: encourage employees to bring a beach towel or yoga mat. Then, establish three breathing times outdoors. That should give employees an opportunity to make it to at least one. With this activity, be sure to have a backup plan in case of rain. You can’t have people holding their breath all day waiting for their deep breathing activity!
Oh, and the best part about this one is that getting fresh air and sunlight also gets you a daily dose of vitamin D—an area of major deficiency for most Americans.
Viva La Workplace #summerpalooza
Adulting doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have enjoyable things to look forward to. Of course, it’s not exactly possible for all of us to jet out the doors and take the summer off work. However, we can do our best to bring summertime to the workplace. While encouraging exercise, sunshine, and deep breathing are great things to do all the time, other things are truly summery. Try bringing in local produce and refreshing drinks for your employees. They will appreciate it!
Most importantly, remind employees to take their PTO. By summertime, we are halfway through the year, and if people haven’t begun using their PTO, they really should start doing so. Taking that time off is necessary for minds, bodies, and spirits to reset. In case you were ever in doubt, #summertimepalooza is great for mental health. And what’s good for mental health is good for business.