It doesn’t matter where you live or how busy you are, you need happy hour.
Happy hour is the time of day when you put everything stressful to the side and enjoy yourself and/or those around you. It doesn’t have to include alcohol or food or even others depending on your preference.
See how easy it is to create an incredible happy hour where you focus on you and/or others and being blissfully happy. A break from the normal. That’s what this beautiful hour is all about.
1. Happy Hour by Yourself
I think it is really important to have happy hour by yourself. Now this happy hour might be first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee, journal, meditation, book, Bible, whatever your preference.
Spending time with your own thoughts and your own goals will help you stay grounded and get happy.
Now if the only quiet time you can get to yourself is early in the morning, make it special with O.J. or flavored coffee, sweet bread or donuts.
If the only quiet time comes for you late at night, consider a glass of wine, some crackers and cheese. The important thing is that you treat yourself and center your thoughts on things within, above or whatever is most significant to you.
2. Happy Hour at Home
I love entertaining and having people over. Happy hour is easier than having people over for a meal. Although, many of our happy hours have extended into and way past the dinner hour.
My happy hours begin with instructions “bring what you want to drink.” Everybody has a different favorite drink and it is way too hard to guess. That way, if you don’t want a glass of Chardonnay, you will be happy with your Coke Zero.
The only exception to the “bring what you want to drink” rule is having a themed happy hour. Nothing beats a good Cinco de Mayo or Luau get together.
At our house, a good cheese board is a favorite so we are always ready with a variety of cheeses, olives, and crackers.
My “go to” cheese board usually has green olives, goat cheese, blue cheese, smoked gouda and a hot, spicy cheese. I love pita chips and will usually throw out a few Ritz crackers as well.
Another one of my favorite (and easy) appetizers is to get frozen popcorn chicken and serve with BBQ sauce, sweet mustard, ranch dressing, etc.
Nuts are always a hit too – pistachios, cashews, or mixed. You can’t go wrong because it is already made!
You see how easy it is to put your own happy hour together! Now call your friends and do it…
3. Happy Hour with a Purpose
A while back, my friends and I organized a fake book club. Actually, we just told everyone it was a book club but it really was a bring your favorite wine and the host will provide the appetizers club. Our book club turned into a discussion group for talking about pretty much everything except books.
To our credit, we really tried reading the same book in the beginning. We read some of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels, also known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries, by Charlaine Harris before there was the HBO Series, True Blood. We also read about the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Brown and picked up some really fabulous tips about being queens of our own castles.
It all blew up when we got to Eat, Pray, Love about 5 months in. I only read Eat, a few finished Eat and Pray, while still fewer got all the way to the Love part.
We decided we didn’t really like having assignments. So our monthly group became a book swap club. Bring in a mystery, take out a romance.
Any excuse to get your friends organized and to your houses once a month is great fun.
4. Happy Hour Out
I like entertaining so we do a lot of happy hours at home but sometimes you cannot beat the convenience and ease of having a happy hour at a restaurant or bar. They do everything for you!
All you have to do is show up, order, enjoy your friends and then pay. It is almost always worth it!
One crucial mistake I made was asking the waiter about the happy hour specials and then ordering a $14 glass of wine that I thought was one of the deals. It wasn’t. Not only was I mad at myself, I was mad at the waiter who took advantage of me. I haven’t been back!
So while the happy hour deals can be fantastic, make sure you are getting the deal!
Most places are great and cater to you. Go. Enjoy.
5. Happy Hour to Network
I have many friends who are serial networkers and working it at happy hours is their specialty. Now in Dallas, we have many opportunities to take advantage of this type of mingling.
These happy hours are usually held at restaurants. We love going to Uptown Association events because we get to meet residents and business owners in our area.
There are also various groups to get connected with and join their monthly happy hours. Whatever group you choose just know, there are going to be a lot of realtors, financial planners and non-profits looking for volunteers or donations.
Don’t say you weren’t warned! 🙂
Create Your Own Happy Hour
So out of the choices above, which one is for you? Everyone can find sometime during the day to have a quiet time happy hour. Now it may mean waking up earlier or staying up later but your day is yours to spend it how you want to.
Maybe you like having others over to your place so consider hosting and maybe you will love it so much you will decide to have a purpose and start a monthly happy hour.
You can even make them work for you by combining the fun of a happy hour with the purpose of adding value to your business.
I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to hear your version(s) of happy hour below.
Regardless of your reason, consider making happy hours an integral part of your schedule for your own well-being and to strengthen your relationships.
Go ahead. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!