Frazzled? Take That Conference Call Outside

Last Updated Jun 18, 2011 8:11 PM EDT

It's summer, which means sunshine...if you're lucky enough to see it. Because, unlike when we experienced the joy of school vacations, many of us as grown-ups are stuck in our offices during the best hours of the day. That's too bad, since getting fresh air is a proven mood booster.
So how can you get outside more? Try these moves.

1. Move that conference call outside. The great promise of cell phones and laptops is that we're no longer tethered to our desks. So if you're just listening in to a presentation for an hour, why are you sitting there? Go sit outside -- on the sidewalk if necessary -- and take the call from there.

2. Eat outside more often. It's my personal goal this summer to eat outside as often as possible. Meeting someone for lunch? Hit a food truck and sit in a park. Get your cafeteria or deli fare to go. Eat your breakfast cereal in the backyard, or enjoy a drink there at night.

3. Deal with paperwork on the porch. We all have certain household administrative tasks that have to get done: sorting mail, paying bills, sending birthday cards, signing forms. Instead of doing it at the kitchen table, deal with all this outside. Even if it's just 10 minutes, it will be more pleasant than sitting at a desk.

4. Exercise outdoors... early. Walking briskly outside at noon is a recipe for returning to work as a sticky mess. But these days around the summer solstice, it can be light by 5:30AM. Get up early, go for a walk when the temperature is still cool, then start your day more energized. If you've got kids, trade off mornings with your partner on who exercises and who stays with the sleeping little ones. Or if the kids get up early, go for a family walk together.

How are you squeezing outdoor time into your day?

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Photo courtesy flickr user, Ed Yourdon

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