The bulk of this post was originally shared last August, but I wanted to share it again today since I decided to take my own advice.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t shared anything to my static feed a while. I’ve posted on my stories just about every day, but my other posts have been a bit more sporadic. Things have been busy at work, and that coupled with traveling and losing someone close to me led me to put the pause button on my blog and social shares for a few days. I felt like I was running on fumes, and while it would have been easy to use my lunch hour to either get more work done or bust out my laptop in the breakroom and get some blogging done I didn’t. In fact, I even had co-workers asking me where my laptop was because they were so used to seeing me with it in the breakroom during my lunch. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d been one of “those people”.
I was in the elevator at work a while back when I came across a graphic on the Captivate screens that said 57% of financial service professionals work through lunch every day. It sounded unbelievable at first, but then it hit me that that’s highly likely. I know so many accountants who do working lunches like they’re going out of style. But if we’re being honest it’s popular in so many other industries.
It seems like people are all about work-life balance nowadays, but it only applies when they’re away from the office. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve skipped lunch or had a “working lunch” these past six years and it’s truly terrible. It didn’t start off like that though, like many others I would push my lunch back hour by hour waiting until I was eating at 3pm. I didn’t want to quit while I was on a roll and that meant that I was hitting a stopping point two hours before I was leaving the office. At that point it was hardly even worth taking a lunch, right? It hit me one day and that changed. I’m not salaried and it wasn’t like I was taking those hours and leaving early so I was literally just giving money/time away. And the financial aspect aside, it wasn’t good for my overall well-being. I was leaving work physically and mentally drained and didn’t have the energy for the other things I had going on in my life.
Now I know you might think “lunch” and automatically associate that with food, and while you should definitely eat while you’re at work if you’re a grazer like me you might not always be hungry at lunchtime. This does not mean that you shouldn’t still take your break! In fact, I wanted to share some other things you could do during your lunch break.
Take a walk. I might be one of the lucky ones with our campus at work. It’s three buildings, a food court that’s connected to the downtown tunnels and a gorgeous and recently renovated ACRE. I can get some steps in at our million-plus square foot building or if the weather’s decent I can take a stroll outside.
Play a game. Do you remember that ACRE I mentioned above? Well, a few of our vendors decided to donate some games to us and it’s not uncommon to see people out playing oversized checkers, Jenga, Connect 4 or even ping pong! Grab a friend and head out for a best two out of three!
Catch up on your reading. Still working on the novel you started two months ago? You’d be surprised how quickly you can finish a book when you devote an hour to it every day.
Moment of meditation. An hour of mindfulness is perfect, especially after a stressful morning. It’s an easy way to get centered, so turn off those email and text notifications and open your favorite meditation app/playlist.
Check out the latest episode(s) of your favorite podcasts. If you’re anything like me your ‘unplayed’ queue is longer than you’d like so why not use this hour to listen to a podcast episode or two! In fact, ‘Le Haute Paire’ is on Spotify so you guys can go ahead and subscribe to us there and check out our show!