Your lunch break is your time to unwind, take a step back from the craziness that is life, and catch up on text messages, take a few BuzzFeed quizzes, or just have some “me” time.
I mean, I think we can all agree that the best part of the workday is lunch…sorta how the best part of school was recess.
But for introverts especially, the work place can become a place of stress, overwhelm, and over stimulation. It can be difficult to know when to take some much-needed time for yourself when everyone is touting the belief that if you’re not being productive exactly 23 hours and 12 minutes out of your day, then you’re a failure.
Related: Confessions of an Introvert
…if you don’t get as much accomplished in your day as your coworkers, then you’re just not cut out for an office type job.
…if you’re not addicted to the hustle, you lack passion and drive.
But I’m a firm believer in taking some time for myself—a LOT of time actually…mani/pedi Monday, anyone?
I don’t believe you have to sacrifice self care for productivity or vice versa. The work place can be a stressful environment for many, and usually one of the first things to go is self care. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Learn how to get ish done, practice self care at work, and preserve your sanity with the following self care tips for my fellow introverted 9-to-5ers.
(Psst! These hacks can also help if you work from home as well. I got you, boo.)
14 Self Care & Productivity Hacks for Your Lunch Break
1. WRITE OUT YOUR GROCERY LIST.
Even something as simple as your grocery list can help you feel motivated to accomplish more during your time at work. Sometimes, it’s the small tasks (like grocery shopping) that add up and make us feel overwhelmed during the day. Just don’t let your boss con you into writing down their’s, too—or worse, doing their shopping!
Make sure you’re getting in some self care while you’re at it and add some Ben & Jerry’s to your list, my friend. I recommend The Tonight Dough. 😉
2. COMPOSE A HANDWRITTEN NOTE TO A FRIEND.
My old roommate in college was really into traditional letter-writing. I would look over at her desk, and often she’d be composing a letter back home to her friends.
It’s an intimate, personal touch on something as simple as a “Hey, how’re you doing?”, but it could have a big impact on someone’s day.
I know you’re thinking of someone right now that you’ve neglected to reach out to in awhile; we’re all guilty of it! Use your break at work to reconnect in a unique way.
Pro tip: You could even use this time to brush up on your brush-lettering skills. (See what I did there?)
3. CALL YOUR MOM AND WISH HER A HAPPY DAY.
People get busy, and often, it’s our relationship with the people who love us most—our parents—that suffers first.
Sometimes my mom will call me during the day to check in and see how I’m doing, to share a funny story, or just to chat—a few minutes at the most. But after these short conversations, I feel lighter, happier…and like I can tackle any problem that comes my way.
Don’t you want to inject some of that special “oomph” into someone else’s day? I know I do.
4. GO FOR A WALK/DO EXERCISES AT YOUR DESK.
Instead, get outside into the fresh air. Take a walk around your work building or stroll to the park down the street. You could even pack a couple of dumbbells or ankle weights to take to work and do some simple exercises at your desk. You don’t have to incorporate an intense sweat sesh during your day to improve your health. Just do what you can.
And hey, this just gives you an excuse to try out that cute workout tank you bought recently.
5. RUN SIMPLE ERRANDS THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR IN THE MORNING.
Use your break during work to get your grocery shopping out of the way—remember, you made that grocery list earlier?—so when you get off work, you can go straight home to cook dinner or veg out in front of the t.v.
Take your car to the car wash or just dash out to pay some bills.
There are many little tasks that require our attention every day, but they’re just small and insignificant enough to be annoying. Your lunch break is as good a time as any to take care of them and get them off your brain.
6. MAKE A WORK TO-DO LIST.
Weirdly enough, there’s so much satisfaction that comes from physically crossing through something on paper rather than mentally checking it off.
I love making to-do lists on a regular basis. They keep me accountable (if only to myself), and I often find myself going back to them later in the day and realizing—with much glee—that I’ve accomplished more than I originally thought.
Oh so gratifying.
Need help setting a daily routine? Check out how you can create an intentional daily schedule to crush your goals.
7. GO OUT TO EAT WITH A FRIEND AND CATCH UP.
If I’m really stressed out, some time with good friends always does the trick and snaps me out of a funk. Put your devices away and really take the time to be present. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—you can even grab something quick from a food cart and talk on the walk back to work.
An even better alternative is welcoming the opportunity to make friends with a co-worker and go out to lunch with them or get to know them better just chilling in the break room. A little camaraderie and chit-chat (2 important must-haves in the work scene) go a long way in making your work days feel a little shorter.
Put your phone away during work breaks and really take the time to be present. Click To Tweet
There’s so many great books I have yet to read, but I struggle to put down my phone or take a break from work.
If you love to read half as much as I do, please use your lunch break to explore a different world within the pages of a book…
…and then fill me in on it later because chances are, I’m still scrolling through Instagram.
Get away from all the hub-bub for a few stolen minutes of meditation. Channel your “OM“.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to prevent yourself from committing a felony.
10. TAKE A BREAK FROM ALL SCREENS (PHONE, LAPTOP, TABLET, T.V., ETC.)
I’m talking serious FOMO.
Let your break at work be at least the one part of your day when your mobile device isn’t acting as another limb. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find some relief in your disconnect from the online world.
Missing one more engagement photoshoot on social media won’t hurt you.
11. GET A MANICURE.
Don’t judge me. My typing is just much more on point that way.
I text better when my thumbs have a meticulous clear-coat sheen; I gesticulate better when my nails glisten.
Call it vain, or call it knowing thyself.
Whatever your vice, just take the time for some pampering. This could mean a mani-pedi combo or it could mean splurging on that expensive iced latte you’ve been contemplating all morning.
The pamper is usually worth the extra perk in your step. Somebody embroider that on a decorative pillow.
12. TAKE A NAP.
Just make sure you wipe off any excess drool left on your face before heading back to the office. #protip
13. SCOPE OUT YOUR NEXT GREAT, LOCAL STOMPING GROUND.
Whatever your interest, grab a friend from work and check out your area’s trendy businesses.
I can almost guarantee there’s more to your city than what you usually see.
14. TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW.
It can be something as simple as improving your typing speed or learning to parallel park minus all the swearing or as demanding as learning a new language or improving your coding skills.
Discover a new passion and devote yourself to learning wholeheartedly.
If nothing else, it will be a new topic of conversation during your next night out with friends.
Let’s all strive to be a little more interesting.Discover a new passion and devote yourself to learning wholeheartedly. Click To Tweet
Need more ideas for daily self care? Click below to download 50 Ways to Practice Self Care for Introverts.
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I’ve given you enough tasks so you can do a new one every day for two weeks. So try it out, and let me know what you think!
What are some daily self care or productivity ideas you try to accomplish during your lunch break? Write them down in the comment section below—I’d love to hear ’em!