How To Enjoy Summer When You’re a Sad Working Adult: Selzy’s Tips

How To Enjoy Summer When You’re a Sad Working Adult: Selzy’s Tips
24 June, 2024 • ... • 103 views
Daria Zhuravleva
by Daria Zhuravleva

Whether you freelance, work a 9-to-5, or run your own business, summer may lose its appeal when you’re an adult. Have you ever thought “I’m wasting the summer again”? Have you ever found yourself envying school students because they get a summer break? If yes, this article is for you.

Selzy team members compiled a list of tips on how to enjoy summer if you can’t go AFK for two weeks. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of summertime while it lasts!

Why so much fuss around the summer?

One study showed that warmer temperatures increase FOMO, and some people notice the pressure to spend every night out when the days are longer and the air is warm. There’s also a fair amount of Reddit users complaining about wasted summers due to admission exams, loneliness, or lifestyle choices.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

My most miserable summers that I perceived as wasted were, first and foremost, lonely. Probably the hardest two in my adult life were the summer of 2020, well, for obvious reasons. Another one was the summer of 2022 — at that time, I was overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed, and spending most of my time alone, in front of another copy draft.

Diana Kussainova
Diana Kussainova

Selzy blog editor, Special Projects Lead

To me, a “wasted summer” is a plain old boring one. No travel, little excitement, only tasks and assignments whether personal or professional. But there lies the paradox: If it was a boring summer, it didn’t end up staying much in my memory.

A middle-aged man showing a piece of paper with FOMO ALERT! written on it
Source: GIPHY
Eliz Sena
Eliz Sena

Social Media Creator

In my opinion, a wasted summer is a summer where you get sick most of the time, or you can’t enjoy it for some reason, like a job or other responsibilities taking too much time.

But why is no one talking about wasted autumns or winters?

If you ask me, I’d say it’s because people still remember summer breaks at school or uni and get overhyped despite having a different schedule in their adult life. Another thing is that summer is associated with lots of group outdoor activities you can’t do during other seasons. So, not being able to take part means feeling excluded. 

This implies: the no-brainer advice on not wasting your summer would be to hang out with friends instead of scrolling Instagram in bed at your place, right?

Brad Pitt as Louis from Interview with the Vampire saying “I haven’t been human for two hundred years”
Yes, you’re not a vampire, go see the sun once in two hundred years at least. Source: GIPHY

While it makes sense, it’s not always possible for working adults to arrange a getaway and enjoy summer instead of going to Zoom calls.

Let’s say, you have to spend the entire summer confined at your house or office, depending on where you work. What can you do to not feel like you’re missing out and still enjoy the summer? Me and my colleagues from Selzy shared our own experiences and compiled a list of tips that will improve your well-being and bring the vacation vibe to your work weeks.

Tip #1: Take (semi)days off

Not being able to just drop everything for a full week or two is sad — but what about a mini-vacation? If you’re a freelancer or your company allows that, you can take a couple of days off. Or, if you can’t take a full day off, redistribute your workload so you have “easier” days with more spare time in the evening.

A South Park GIF where a character is asking “Haven’t you heard of Bare Minimum Mondays?”
Source: GIPHY

The latter piece of advice tackles more than the number of tasks you do per day but also their difficulty. During the “easier” days, stick to the tasks that require less mental energy. People are different but for me, less demanding are the tasks that:

  • I personally enjoy.
  • Have crystal-clear completion algorithms, meaning I know where to start.
  • Don’t take a lot of time from start to finish or are the closest to completion.
Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

In the beginning of my career in digital marketing, I had my fair share of tough summers with freelance gigs I couldn’t drop because I’d have no money. Although the situation was kinda miserable, I found a way to enjoy the summer despite not being able to go offline for a week or two:

  • Taking a day off on a Friday. That way, you’ll get a three-day weekend all to yourself, sunbathing and eating ice cream. Don’t abuse this lifehack though, since it can influence your income or relationships with the employer — I did it once or twice.
  • Doing a “bare minimum” day mid-week. I liked this life hack from a random article about work-life balance. You don’t do any complex work tasks and leave the desk a bit earlier on a Wednesday or a Thursday. Preferably, you don’t spend the rest of the day at home — instead, you go to the theater or movies, for a long walk, or out to eat at a new place you want to try.

Fun fact: in France, most schools have a 4-day or a 4.5-day schedule with a Wednesday off. They’re onto something!

Tip #2: Go touch some grass

Diana Kussainova
Diana Kussainova

Selzy blog editor, Special Projects Lead

Last year, I think I had one of the best summers of my life. Although my mental state wasn’t always top-notch, I managed to feel fulfilled and content quite often. 

Based on that experience, my advice would be to spend as much time outside as possible. If you work remotely and live in a hot climate, you can try morning walks and walks after dawn. If you feel like walks are pointless, use a step counter (pedometer) app or set small goals like checking out a new coffee place in your neighborhood. Bicycles also help a lot!

If I ask you “What do you usually do on vacation?”, you’ll probably say you spend more time outdoors than usual. So, why not spend the entire weekend somewhere else but your house? Or stop limiting your outdoor activities to weekends alone — and start going outside when you can during workdays.

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

One cool thing that may help is taking your regular activities outside. Here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Find a reading spot in a park, in the woods, or in a quiet backyard not far from your house.
  • Go on little picnics during your regular mealtimes — to me, dinner is the most convenient meal for that but you can do the same with lunch and breakfast.
  • If you listen to music or podcasts regularly, go for “listening walks” specifically to check out a certain album or episode.
  • Introduce lunch break walks to your routine. To me, that’s more of a year-round thing, though.
A girl saying “Maybe you should touch some grass”
Source: GIPHY
Eliz Sena
Eliz Sena

Social Media Creator

I believe we can optimize our summer by bringing work to outdoor environments such as cafes, parks, or even beaches, enhancing productivity in refreshing settings.

Also: 

  • Take more frequent breaks for activities like hikes, outdoor snacks, or exercises to restore energy levels and promote well-being.
  • Spend quality time with friends and family with barbecues, picnics, or leisurely park gatherings. It fosters connections and relaxation.
  • If you’re a remote worker, travel to enrich your work-life balance.

Tip #3: Do summer activities

Pool parties, eating ice cream, sunbathing… Think of all the little things that scream summer and engage in those. Even something as simple as buying an ice cream cone along with your groceries can massively improve your summer experience.

A man swimming on an inflatable mattress in a pool with bright blue water under the sun
Source: GIPHY
Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

I’m not a fan of this season but there are two things I like about summer: seasonal berries and iced coffee. These are a bit pricey though but I just can’t resist the temptation 🥵 Also, watching all sorts of waterfowl birds — and their little ducklings! The latter became my favorite thing this summer.

Don’t look at the stereotypical summer things — for example, if you’re lactose-intolerant, ice cream is off the table but something else is still available. Think of your personal associations with the season instead. It’s important that you like the activity in question and you can’t really do it during other seasons.

Eliz Sena
Eliz Sena

Social Media Creator

To me, summer means happy moments, family, friends, a great time, chilling out, fresh drinks, a lot of beach time for sunbathing, and going to sleep late at night. Summer makes me remember my school vacation.

Aristóteles Marques
Aristóteles Marques

Partnership Manager

To me, summer means the season where I can have as much ice cream as I want without feeling guilty 🙂 It’s the season when the night takes a little longer to show up, which gives me more energy to do things and enjoy a nice sunset. It makes me want to go outside for a walk with my dog and to go to different places.

Tip #4: Seek novelty — even in routines

One thing that often makes vacations different from your work weeks is exploring new stuff: going for walks in places you’ve never been, eating at new restaurants, you name it. So, if you want to create a summer vacation vibe without going on one, take some time and energy to introduce something new into your life — or spice up your workplace routines.

A man saying “Keep being open to new things, ya hear?”
Source: GIPHY
Aristóteles Marques
Aristóteles Marques

Partnership Manager

I think the best way to enjoy summer is to leave your house a little. So I recommend that you look for other places to work during the week. A bar/coffee place with a nice view, or even go for a short trip in another city.

The important part here is to invest some time doing stuff you don’t usually do because of the bad weather and take that as an opportunity to give your body and brain some new things to see and do (but without working less, please).

Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

The most vacation-like weekends I’ve had this summer so far were when I spent the whole day anywhere but at my place, ate out, went to places I’ve never been or haven’t explored in great detail, you name it. Of course, such weekends require having enough energy for that. So, my suggestion is, if you work 5 days a week, take weekend 1 for rest and relaxation — sleep a lot, don’t overload yourself with novelty and external stimulation, and so on. And your weekend 2 is for all the fun stuff and exploration.

Tip #5: Hang out with colleagues

Let’s say, your work-life balance is all screwed up and you have no opportunity to fix it right now. For example, your team is crunching before the release or you’re currently handling new responsibilities post-promotion. Even if you like your job, mental health can go south pretty quickly. So why not enjoy little bits of summer with your colleagues in between moving Jira tickets?

Leslie from Parks and Recs saying “When this thing is over, I’ll meet you at the nearest bar”
Source: GIPHY
Eliz Sena
Eliz Sena

Social Media Creator

I had to work almost 24/7 in 2014 when my company was implementing a new system and I was the only person who could speak English with technicians. Due to that, I had to stay at the office from 7 am to 8 pm. 

It was sad because I couldn’t spend time with my husband and friends. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to learn a lot. And, I must admit I had a great time with the whole team. We used to make small happy hours during the workdays, after 6 pm, so we could drink and eat while at the office. We even watched TV shows in the office, something very unusual for those times!

Tip #6: Think of where you can improve your life

You may feel like you’re wasting another summer not because you can’t go AFK or day drink on a Tuesday afternoon — the real reason may be found somewhere else. For example, you may think so because your job is too chaotic, mentally draining, or just not rewarding enough. 

A drag queen saying “I’m done” and throwing hands dramatically
Source: GIPHY
Daria Zhuravleva
Daria Zhuravleva

Selzy blog editor, FWD: by Selzy Lead

I already mentioned my share of god-awful summers with all freelancing and no play — and, sadly, no financial resources to afford not working for at least one week. I was just white-knuckling the whole thing, which left me with a bad burnout, so don’t be like me.

If you find yourself feeling like your job is unbearable, think of how you can improve your conditions — maybe you can ask for a pay raise, more interesting tasks, or measures for improving processes. Worst case scenario, you may end up changing jobs, who knows.

Don’t miss your email summer in 2024!

Stuck at your workplace sending summer newsletters up until September 1st? We love emails but this would look miserable even to us! If we could, we’d send you on a dream vacation — but we don’t have a magic wand.

However, we can and will make your email routine less painful than it could be. For example, our no-code builder with a bunch of good-looking templates for every occasion will allow you to build a perfect mobile-friendly email in minutes. So, no more mental breakdowns over wacky-looking layouts — save your time and energy for enjoying the summer while it lasts.

Want to try? Sign up for free and get a taste of hassle-free emailing.

24 June, 2024
Article by
Daria Zhuravleva
I'm a writer with 3 years of experience, knowledge and interest in all things IT and marketing, and a passion for the English language. As a staff author at Selzy, I see my mission as an educator who makes your life easier by explaining complex topics in a digestible and somewhat entertaining way. Hobbies include birdwatching, all things music and art, writing freeform poetry, and hiding in the woods.
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