Let’s face it: no matter how much you “love” your job, we’re all basically working for the weekend. We spend 8 – 10 hours per day at work, and with smartphones and laptops many yuppies spend more time catching up on quiet-time work like email and research at home, too. When we get home, we have a mere 4 hours or so before hitting the hay to run errands, exercise, cook, eat, clean up, attend to our hygeine, and sneak in some relaxation. But maybe it’s that boring practical routine at the end of a long day that just makes the entire week feel like all work and no play!
So, here’s a plan for holding an easy themed mini-party every single weekday in place of dinner hour to make life more fun–without busting your budget, your pants size or your energy for work the next day. Indulge with a boyfriend, husband, friend or family member for best results.
Monday: Wine, Cheese and Movie Night. After a weekend of relaxation, errands and tiresome fun, the first day back at work is usually pretty rough. So, get any important errands out of the way at lunch or right after work, ignore those non-urgent to-do items, and treat yourself to a calming, decadent evening with a nice bottle of wine, some fancy cheese and crackers, and a good movie by candlelight. On a budget and a diet? Pick a good cheap wine like Yellow Tail or Barefoot, ditch the expensive Brie for middle-of-the-road cheese like Cabot or even your grocery store brand cheese blocks (which are more moist than slices), add some whole-wheat crackers and some cut veggies–and call it dinner! For movie choice, pick something classic rather than a harsh action film or belly-busting comedy, like Casablanca or When Harry Met Sally.
Tuesday: Game Night. Now that the week has gotten started a bit, but you’re not yet exhausted, get your mind working (and distracted from your overwhelming to-do list) with a classic game like Scrabble, a brain-crunching game like Cranium or an invigorating round of poker, or dust off your old XBOX, and play your heart out! Too much to do? Set your kitchen timer to one hour to give yourself a break without eating up your whole evening, and save time on dinner by making something easy like a yummy salad.
Wednesday: Hump Day To-Do. Hooray! You made it through the first half of the week! By now the errands on your list are surely burning in your mind and ultimately stressing you out. Just because you’re focusing on fun doesn’t mean you can’t get things done, too. So cross off your to-do list in style today: pump the music while you cook a real meal and clean up afterwards; take a friend with you to drop off dry cleaning or head to the grocery store so you can chat along the way; and take your dog (or boyfriend) on an outdoor run rather than going to the gym.
Thursday: Prime Time Drinking Game. You’re almost there, just one more day to go! Now celebrate by watching your favorite prime time shows (recordings from the beginning of the week or live Thursday shows such as 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation and more) with a yummy de-stress cocktail–or cup of tea if that’s your bag–sipped to a custom drinking game of your choice. Pick a word or action that prompts a slurp. Office fan? Take a swig every time Meredith does. American Idol recording? Every time Randy says “dawg” or a singer gets the pitch wrong. If you need ideas, do a Google search and you’ll surely find a pre-existing option.
Friday: Date Night. Need I say more? Get out of the house! Go to a sit-down restaurant! Meet up with friends! Sure, you’re tired but you’re finally free! Ok…too tired? Host a Rockband night or similar semi-active, mostly lazy activity at your place.
Favorite ways to get through the work week cheerfully? Post them in the comments!