Back to work blues: 5 ways to make your summer state of mind last longer

16 January 2024
By Fashion Quarterly

It's not over until we say it's over...

Styling: Courtney Joe. Photography: Apela Bell for Fashion Quarterly Summer 2024.
Styling: Courtney Joe. Photography: Apela Bell for Fashion Quarterly Summer 2024.

As we approach the end of January, many New Zealanders find themselves grappling with the inevitable return to the routine of work. But the transition doesn’t have to be a melancholic one. By incorporating elements of the summer spirit into our daily lives, we can extend that carefree feeling and ward off the back-to-work blues. Below, we explore a blend of leisurely activities that will keep you in your summer state of mind for longer. From evening beach sessions and attending local events in your neighbourhood to work-related tips that will assist with productivity and extend that empowering feeling we have as we begin a new year, we have some actions you can put in motion, asap.

1. Get near the water

During the week, push your dinner commitments out by an hour and use this window after work to squeeze in an evening beach session. On stifling warm days, a dip in your local beach, river, lake, or community pool will wake you up and energise you for the rest of your evening. Fresh blowout? Admire the water from afar and go for a walk in the evening’s hazy glow instead. Either way, you’ll feel richer for making the time.

2. Dining al fresco

Plan outdoor dinners with friends or family. This could be a barbecue in the backyard or a picnic in a local park. Dining outdoors in summer not only encourages you to make the most of fresh seasonal produce but can also elevate your mood thanks to the exposure to natural sunlight. Dining outdoors in summer, with the serenity of open spaces, delicious meals, and the therapeutic effects of sunshine, creates a perfect recipe for a mood-boosting experience.

3. Attend local events 

Check out local events and festivals happening in your area. Many regions have summer events that continue into the early autumn. These are a great opportunity to maintain your summer social momentum. Get a Messenger group going between friends and drop in links to keep tabs on everyone’s availability. These gatherings often offer a vibrant atmosphere, entertainment, and opportunities to explore local talent, contributing to a sense of belonging and joy that extends the summer spirit. You never know, you might make a routine of it. 

4. Nurture a positive work environment

If there’s a sentiment to take away following a few weeks’ break, it’s the importance of maintaining a better work-life balance. If possible, explore flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours. And if that’s not possible, look at bringing the beauty of outdoors in by adding plants to your workspace. This coupled with getting natural sunlight on your lunchtime breaks will positively impact your mood and productivity.

5. Make a plan for your next holiday

Having a holiday in the pipeline to look forward to offers a myriad of benefits, including reducing stress, enhancing overall well-being, and keeps motivation at work from dipping. Whether it’s one big holiday or a series of small breaks, anticipating and preparing for holidays throughout the year provides a sense of excitement and purpose, serving as a powerful antidote against post-summer blues by creating positive expectations.

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