I would love to tell you that my lunch breaks are rife with whimsy and sunlight and well-planned salads prominently featuring goat cheese. But that’s not true. On the rare occasion that I’m working the 9-to-5, my lunch break consists of eating a Lean Cuisine while I read blogs. Sexy, no?
No more! I’m going to use that time wisely! Let’s all use that time wisely!
Have a picnic
Do a bit of prep work the night before researching nearby parks and packing up the perfect picnic lunch (great picnic recipes here
). Come noon time, hunker under a tree with your couscous salad and strawberries and watch the ducks paddle around the pond and the cute hippies play Ultimate Frisbee.
Hit up your local book store
Few things beat drinking coffee, flipping through magazines, and reading the back of self-help books, amiright?
Meet up with a friend
Make a pact that you will not talk about work, not whine about your boss, not gossip about the co-worker with questionable fashion sense. Talk about the good things in your life, your plans for the weekend, why your cat is awesome. You’ll go back to work feeling positive and refreshed.
Go to a beach
This is surprisingly doable in Minnesota with our 12,000 lakes. A few times last summer, I changed into my bikini and spent 45 minutes lounging next to the water, drinking lime soda. You’ll feel oddly unstoppable, returning to the office smelling like sunscreen with sand in your shoes.
Try a new, international restaurant
Go eat Ethiopian food with your hands! Try some super hot, super healthy kimchi! Check out that Mongolian barbecue place and see what all the fuss is about! You’ll be out of the office, trying something new, developing bad breath from yummy food.
Buy a disposable camera and wander around your work neighborhood taking photos
Am I the only one who finds disposable cameras oddly charming? Waiting to see what your pictures look like! How adorably vintage! And we all know that film photos really do look different than digital prints. Spend your lunch hour stalking your work neighborhood on a one-person photo scavenger hunt. Here are some great photo lists
Try every restaurant within walking distance
The rules are: if you can walk there, you have to try it. Maybe it’s a mom-n-pop Mexican place, a hippie coffee shop or a TGIFridays. This is a fun way to explore your neighborhood, try new foods and support your local business.
Close your office door and engage in a bit of downward dog. You’ll feel heaps calmer and better. Then, for good measure, do nothing for two minutes.
Window shop at luxury stores
In your fanciest outfit and your nicest lipstick, spend your lunch hour fondling the purses at Coach and the shoes at Jimmy Choo. Try things on, announce that this isn’t quite right for your ladies’ luncheon, smile charmingly at the sales girls. Return to your real life, thankful that your priorities lies elsewhere.
Nap in your car
How do you spend your lunch breaks? Any ideas to add to the list?
P.S. Having an awesome lunch break is a habit you can build, just like any other habit! This will help (and it’s free!)