How to make Fridays more fun in the summer, even if you can’t leave work early

Here’s how to make the last day of the work week better — even if  “Summer Fridays” are a total afterthought at your company.

What a classic summer feeling: Friday rolls around and all you can think about are your weekend plans, but you have a heap of work to do, with no chance of leaving early in sight.

Here’s how to make the last day of the work week better — even if  “Summer Fridays” are a total afterthought at your company.

Eat something fun for lunch

Whether you pick up food from a new restaurant while on your lunch break, or pack something you actually want to eat in your lunch bag, make an effort chow down on something you love on Friday.

You can resume eating the same old, boring salad next week, but for now, you should do something to get the weekend off on the right foot. So why not now?

Just make sure it’s something that won’t make your blood sugar spike, and then plummet.

Explore a brand new spot on your walk outside

Taking breaks for walks outside are essential during a packed day, but hanging out for a little while in a local patch of greenery you’ve never been to before can really shift your perspective. Think of it this way: as long as you have Google Maps, you have nothing to lose.

Finding local gems can be a fun hobby when you just want the week to be over already — just be sure to set a timer in case you get carried away!

Listen to a podcast or audiobook that makes you laugh

There’s nothing like taking the edge off at work by listening to something hilarious. It’s an easy way to lighten up the mood.

But if the podcast or audiobook you want to listen is too funny to listen to at your desk, take it on your walk around the area, or listen to something that’s more serious, but still takes you to a good place mentally.

Go to happy hour at a bar that’s a local favorite

This one could possibly score you points with your team at work — it’s a way to bond, and possibly get to know people you don’t work with often.

So ask your coworkers ahead of time about bars in the area that people love, take the initiative when it comes to setting plans, and head out at the end of the day!

Just don’t make it a free-for-all when it comes to the alcohol — after all, research shows that binge drinking during happy hour can impact both your sleep and work.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.