4 Ways To Work A Little Wellness Into Your Lunch Break
Sad desk lunches, be warned. After a year-plus of rushing between Zoom meetings, managing our kiddos’ virtual learning, and trying to maintain our sanity amidst countless external stressors, we’re redefining self-care on our own terms and taking back the opportunities in our day to make it happen.
These past 14 months have shown us first-hand that it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup, and that when we don't prioritize ourselves, we end up exhausted, depleted, and drained. But as we begin to think more deeply about how we want our lives to look as we move forward post-pandemic, finding ways to weave in consistent moments of pause and rejuvenation is top-of-mind.
One of the simplest ways we can do exactly that is by making a commitment to start actually taking our lunch break. While that 30- to 60-minute time slot in the middle of the day has become just another opportunity to get “caught up” on work (honestly, what does that even mean anymore?), there’s ample research suggesting that giving ourselves a little break from our screens will do us a lot of good.
So if you’re someone who could use that midday reset (can’t we all?), dive into our ideas below for inspiration on how to use your lunch break to help you feel your best all day long.
Spend Some Time In The Sun
A little Vitamin D can go a long way. If the majority of your day involves hunching over your screen putting out work-related fires and responding to an onslaught of Slacks, emails, and texts, then your lunch break is the perfect time to switch up your context and connect with nature. Head outside for a walk (bonus points if you leave your phone at your desk), put together a simple picnic, or even just lay in the grass for a much-needed mindful pause. By getting outdoors, we can boost our mood and even experience an increase in our ability to concentrate as we dive back into our days. Just be sure you’re bringing along your CoCo to help keep your skin safe from the sun.
If you have limited access to nature, you can still reap the benefits by adding a little green to your everyday environment. Fill your space with sun-loving plants, take the time to open up your windows and let in the fresh air, or even improvise an al fresco picnic by taking your lunch to a park bench or your apartment’s roof or fire escape. With a little creativity, there are endless ways that you can find joy in the outdoors.
Open Up A Book
It’s 2021, and yes, we’re still claiming we don’t have enough to read. Between email, our newsfeeds, and a constant stream of texts, much of our time and means of communication is spent in the digital space, but you can offset the overwhelm by making reading a regular part of your everyday routine.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need endless hours in your day to commit to a regular reading routine. When the lunch hour begins, close your laptop, leave your phone in another room, and find somewhere cozy to curl up with your latest read. A simple luxury at its finest.
Make A Nourishing Meal—And Give Yourself The Time To Enjoy It
How often do you forget to eat lunch until 3pm when all you have the energy for is scarfing down a handful of (insert afternoon snack of choice here)? When prepared and eaten mindfully, sitting down to a well-balanced, delicious, and energizing meal can be its own form of self-care.
Arrange a medley of brightly-colored vegetables into an inspiring salad or take a cue from your favorite healthy-eating influencer and try out a smoothie bowl. Give yourself enough time to eat so that all your focus is on the meal in front of you—yep, we’re talking a full-on break from all devices and notifications. Pay attention to each of your senses, noticing the smells, tastes, and textures as you enjoy your lunch. Consider your afternoon energized.
Connect With Your Body
Remember in the pre-pandemic times when going with a co-worker to spin class or meeting up with a friend for yoga during lunch was a thing? If you’re not a morning person or the thought of exercising after a full day of work sounds like the worst, then consider your lunch break the perfect sweet spot for a little movement.
Yoga fan? Roll out your mat and press play to a restorative flow. Looking to hit the pavement? Pop in your earbuds and get outside. The options are truly endless, and the good news too, is that with many gyms and studios opening back up, you can even coordinate with your workout buddy to meet up for a midday sweat sesh. Socializing and moving your body? We’d call that a wellness win-win.
At Conscious Coconut, we’re all about helping you find ways to work a little wellness into your daily routine. Want to join the fam? Explore all of our offerings here.