Every day millions of Americans waste the almighty lunch break. Okay maybe not mullions. I don’t know the actual statistics, but I do know far too many of us don’t take a lunch break. We don’t even bother to eat lunch let alone actually break. Which I think is sad because believe it or not there is so much fruitfulness that could indeed come from your lunch break, whether it’s 30 minutes or 60 minutes. So today I thought I’d suggest 5 ways you can take care of yourself during your lunch break. OKay maybe six ways because some of yall might need to start by creating the habit of actually taking a lunch break. So look at number one as less of a suggestion and more of a foundation.
- Take a lunch break- You will get paid no more or no less if you take your lunch break. Even my hourly wage earners. Due to labor laws after a certain amount of time you must have a lunch break (and your employer is only obligated to allot you the break not pay you), so take the break. While you’re at it, please eat. Eat something. Might I suggest something on the healthier side that doesn’t come from a vending machine. If you want to be a good steward over your lunch break and your body, pack a lunch from home. This way you save time in terms of going some place to grab food and you control what is going into your body. Despite all the plastic surgery options, you still only get one body. Take care of it!
- Stretch- Chances are you are on of the many employed people nationally and globally who sit at their desk for the bulk of their day. Your lunch break is a great time to stretch. Many a times I have closed my office door, turned on a yoga video on YouTube, and done 20 to 30 minutes of yoga right in my office. It has been good for my body and my mind. Or gofor a walk. Get up and away from your desk and go for your a walk. Your body will thank you.
- Go for your goal- I am blessed with a 9-5 gig, well actually my new job is 8:30 to 4:30 and I get an hour for lunch. However I know that the only people I want to work for forever is Jesus and myself. So I use my lunch breaks to work towards my goals as a full time entrepreneur. Whether it’s researching, scheduling meetings, actually meeting, building my social media platforms to actually engage with others and not just post and throw information at others, or pin pictures on Pinterest that I want to use on my blogs, I use my lunch breaks front time to time to work on my goals. You can do the same. Let’s say your goal is to buy a house, Use your lunch break to research a realtor or the neighborhoods and schools you may want to move to. Or let’s say you want out of your current work situation bit want o work for another company, this is the time to search and apply (I might recommend that you search and save jobs on your phone and actually apply from your personal computer). Wanting to head to Paris in the Spring? (Me too btw.), but start researching places to stay, and things to see or do. Time to nurture your goals is time to nurture yourself.
- Explore– One of the things I Ioved about working in downtown Philadelphia was that unless the weather was below freezing or melt your flesh, I’d take every opportunity to go out and explore. Sometimes it was a new park and other times it was a new store. Who am i kidding, most of the times it was a new store ans scoping out a new restaurant to go to for happy hour later. The point is, it was time that I would walk and wander. I’d meet new people, observer the rich architecture in the city (especially in older buildings), maybe stumble across a great sale, or just new ideas for how to style my clothes or home. I work in a small town now and I take the time to explore the town and visit the boutiques that are just a few blocks away from my office. Don’t underestimate the ways in which allowing yourself to explore can renew your energy, creativity, and productivity.
- Connect- When I lived on the west coast the phone date was my friend and lunch time was a good time to call several folks who were wrapping up their day on the east coast. I was “company’ for several people’s commute home on the east coast. I enjoyed it because it was a way to tend to our relationship. Self care doesn’t have to be done by yourself. It can be a time where you connect with others who leave your soul feeling brighter and lighter. You can of course use this time to connect with people face to face as well. For my busy mom’s who usually can’t do a happy hour or dinner during the week, make use of lunch breaks to connect with your friends in other departments. For my financially savvy folks, brown bag that lunch and gather outside in the park, in the company cafeteria, or in someone’s office. Talk, laugh, and live (but don’t gossip, and for those in relationships, don’t vent about your partner. Leave the toxicity and negativity at the door. Talk to your partner instead of about them, that’s how many a relationship goes awry- unless the relationship is abusive. That is different).
- Get grounded- Whether you choose to pray, journal, meditate, listen to a sermon online, or ready a few of your favorite spiritual blogs, sometimes using the middle of the day to center yourself is really great way to love yourself. I will visit Redemption’s Beauty in a heartbeat for words that instantly remind me that God’s gt everything in control and i need to chill and let Him do His thing. I have also started carrying my journal to work, especially on the mornings where I didn’t journal before work, and reflect and write during my lunch break. Sometimes I will walk to the coffee shop, journal in hand, and grab a soy chai latte (or green tea latte if I hit up Starbucks) and connect with me, myself, and I.
So reader, it is Monday, this the “official” start of the work week, which means depending upon when you are reading this you have 5 or 4 lunch breaks on the horizon. Use them wisely and more importantly use them to LIVE well. xxoo