Summer has finally arrived in Ireland!
The skies are clear, the sun is shining(if we're lucky) but you’re stuck in the office, trying not to stare out the window. Don’t worry we’ve all been there. When the weather outside is warm and sunny, it’s all too easy to get distracted imagining yourself strolling down a beach rather than cranking away at your desk.
Keeping your cool in warm weather isn't just about attitude - your body needs extra attention too! Risks of getting too hot in warm weather include dehydration as you go about your daily activities or overheating and risking suffering from heat stress, heat cramps or even heat exhaustion. Keeping your body cool will also help to keep your mood calm too, for heat often exacerbates feelings of stress, tension and frustration. There are lots of simple and effective ways to stay cool in warm weather and most of them are very easy to achieve.
To stay alert and healthy, water is your best option. If you can't go without caffeine then try drinking a glass of water either side of a cup of coffee. This will help counteract the dehydrating effects of caffeine.
Food can keep you cool provided you make the right choices, choose salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. Avoid eating meat and protein-heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water.
Junk food lacks healthy nutrients, is often hot and greasy and won't give you the energy needed to cope with the heat. If you must eat junk food, keep it for the cooler hours of the day.
Whether hand-held or electric, fans can keep you cool by continuously circulating air. Paper or battery operated fans can be used almost anywhere; at work, at home or on-the-go. In your home and office space, locate fans in rooms where you are working or resting to keep the air circulating freely and to reduce the mugginess of heat.
If you’ve got access to a window or sit close to someone with a window, open it up for a bit during the day. It might not be quite as good as actually being outside, but it's close and can help you feel as though you’re actually experiencing the warmer weather. Being able to enjoy the fresh air from your desk will allow you to focus on your work, rather than gazing forlornly out at the sun.
Another way to cope with summer fever is to schedule some time outside during your work day. It’ll be much easier to head into the office in the morning if you know you’re going to take a walk to the park during your lunch hour. You might even find yourself more motivated to complete your tasks if you know you’ll be heading outside for a short walk in a few hours
The more you can incorporate the outdoors into your work this time of year, the happier you’ll be and the less likely you’ll be to start daydreaming about the beach instead of working on your progress reports.
See if they want to run across the street to get coffee or take a walk around the block while you strategise.
Schedule a lunch at a restaurant with a patio. You’ll kill two birds with one stone by getting work done while you enjoy the weather. And chances are your colleagues, clients or vendors will jump at the chance to get outside just as much as you will. (In fact, it might just be a great way to catch up with someone who’s been avoidant or hard to get a hold of.)
But now that the weather is nice, seize the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Leave your house or apartment and get out into nature go hiking, biking or walking; whatever tickles your fancy. Getting out in the fresh air in the evenings and on the weekends will make it easier to focus when you return to the office on Monday.
It’s summer, the one time of year when the hectic corporate pace slows down a bit. People are expected to take time off during the summer and you should take advantage of it. You don’t have to break the bank - planning a road trip to visit friends or renting a cottage in a neighbouring county can be an inexpensive way to take a break from work and enjoy the summer. You will be more motivated to work hard and get your tasks done if you know you’ve got a nice reward on the horizon to look forward to.
Image credits: @eatright_liveright_happylife, @kayla_itsines, @amysavagenutrition, @lovindublin, @april.villareal28, @msjendi, @louisedockery03, @dublinicious, @morganmckinleycareers, @bespaced_official, @hammondtoursire, @reflections97