20+ easy and fast ways to practice self-care during your lunch break. Learn how to prioritize yourself now!
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Self-Care During Lunch
Everyone knows how important it is to take care of yourself, but often we’re so busy that self-care falls by the wayside.
If you’re looking for an easy way to practice some much-needed self-care during your lunch break, then look no further! In this article, I’m going to give you 20+ simple ideas that will help you make the most out of your lunch break and leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the rest of your day.
After incorporating self-care activities into your daily life, you’ll be amazed at how big a difference they make in improving your well-being.
So let’s get started on making self-care part of your routine – starting with your lunch break!
Self-Care While Eating Lunch
The quickest way to add self-care to your day is by transforming things you need to do anyway into a self-care activity. Eating is a perfect example.
If you usually stay at your desk and eat while working, consider changing that. During your lunch break, you need to eat. So, eating is a core activity – one you need to do.
Why not take your lunch away from your desk and try the two things below?
Herbal Tea Break
Close your eyes.
Enjoy the aroma and warmth as you sip, allowing yourself to unwind and rejuvenate during your break.
Also known as mindful eating, intentional eating invites you to pay close attention to the food you put in your body and the experience you enjoy while eating.
Savor each bite, focusing on flavors, textures, and sensations. This mindful practice can promote relaxation and help you truly enjoy your meal.
Self-Care To Calm and Comfort You During Your Lunch Break
Taking a few minutes during your lunch break for self-care activities that bring you calm and comfort can be transformative, especially if you have a stressful job or are working in a toxic environment.
Of course, the best cure for a toxic environment is leaving it, but we all know it isn’t always that easy. So, while you’re making your escape plan, try the following short, self-care ideas designed for your lunch break – to help shore up your mental and emotional defenses.
Aromatherapy Hand Massage
A great way to incorporate self-care into your lunch break is to treat yourself to an aromatherapy hand massage using scented lotion or serum. This luxurious self-care ritual can relieve tension, promote relaxation, and leave you feeling pampered.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the million thoughts and ideas cavorting in your brain, then a brain dump might help. All you have to do is take a notebook and then jot down everything on your mind – from tasks to random musings. This simple practice can help declutter your thoughts, promote mental clarity, and make it easier to prioritize your workload.
Craving an artistic outlet? Use your lunch break to doodle (try Zentangle®!), sketch, or write a short poem. Creative expression can help you decompress and gain a fresh perspective, making your workday more enjoyable.
Transform your workspace into a calming oasis by using a discreet aromatherapy roller (I love crystal rollers!) or wearing an aromatherapy necklace. Choose essential oils like lavender, rosemary, or orange to promote relaxation, mental clarity, and stress relief without blasting your colleagues with an overpowering scent.
Five Senses Exercise
A powerful way to practice mindfulness, this exercise simply means taking a moment to notice what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. This simple exercise can help you stay present, reduce stress, and appreciate your surroundings.
Listen to Soothing Music
Treat yourself to some soothing music during lunch. You can listen to calming tunes, nature sounds, or even binaural beats to help you relax and unwind. Music has the power to reduce stress, evoke emotions, and instantly lift our moods, transporting us to a more peaceful state. It also makes us more productive, perfect for the next half of your day!
Boost your self-esteem and confidence by reciting positive affirmations during your lunch break. Choose whatever resonates with you, and either repeat them to yourself or write them down (repeatedly) in a journal. This practice can help combat negative thoughts and shift your mindset.
Feeling sluggish? Try a power nap. Set the alarm for 10-20 minutes and allow yourself to recharge. A short nap can boost your energy, improve cognitive function, and help you tackle the afternoon with renewed vigor.
This works for:
- Companies that encourage their employees to take naps while at work, or
- Employees who can go home to have a quick nap and come back
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or “tapping”, is a self-care gem and a quick, effective way to address stress and anxiety during your lunch break. The video below is perfect if you’re running out of time:
My favorite form of self-care, reading fiction, offers fantastic benefits and is also easy to do. Just set your alarm (so you’re not late getting back to work) and sink into the story of your choice.
Self-Care To Get You Moving Mentally and Physically
Working long hours bound to a computer on a desk? Sometimes, you don’t want calm or comfort.
You want to be invigorated.
You want to feel a new zest for life.
You need to move mentally and physically.
The following self-care ideas for your lunch break are highly recommended!
Looking for a discreet way to stretch and relax? Office yoga is the answer. Perform simple poses and stretches while seated at your desk, focusing on your breath and movement. This practice can help alleviate stiffness, improve posture, and reduce stress.
Explore a New Hobby
If you’ve always wanted to try something new – like a foreign language, knitting, or playing an instrument, your lunch break may be the perfect time to practice! Exploring new interests can help you grow, relieve stress, and make your break more enjoyable.
Combat the stiffness of sitting all day with mindful stretching. Gently stretch your muscles, focusing on your breath and the sensations in your body. This practice can help increase flexibility, improve posture, and reduce tension.
Step outside and immerse yourself in nature, even if it’s just for a few minutes to reduce stress, improve your mood, and help you reconnect with the world around you.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Muscles feeling tight from sitting all day? Progressive muscle relaxation can help. All you have to do is to tense and relax each muscle group, starting from your toes and working up. You’ll be amazed at how much tension you can release in just a few minutes.
Disconnect from technology for a bit during your lunch break. Turn off your phone or put it on silent, and take a few minutes to be present without the constant pull of notifications. This digital detox can help reduce stress and provide mental clarity.
Tap into the power of visualization by thinking of your happy place or imagining your dreams coming true. This mental escape can help reduce stress, increase motivation, and provide a sense of calm during your break.
Combining the benefits of walking and meditation, walking meditation allows you to move your body as well as your mind. Start by taking slow, mindful steps – focusing on your breath and the sensation of your feet hitting the ground. This practice can help you clear your mind, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
Find a window with a pleasant view and spend a few minutes gazing outside. Observe the colors, shapes, and movements of nature or the cityscape. This brief mental escape can help refresh your mind and improve focus.
Self-Care – But With Other People
“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne. And he couldn’t be more right. Sometimes, the best forms of self-care are those that connect us with others.
Random Acts of Kindness
Spread some joy by performing a random act of kindness during your lunch break. Offer a compliment, hold the door for someone, or buy coffee for a coworker. Kind gestures can improve your mood, foster connections, and make someone else’s day brighter.
Connect with a Loved One
Take a few minutes during your lunch break to call or text a loved one. Connecting with someone who cares about you can provide emotional support, strengthen your bond, and bring a smile to your face.
Build Self-Care Into Your Lunch Break Now
If you’re like most of us, you don’t always take the time to practice self-care during your lunch break.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
With just a few simple steps, you can create an enjoyable and stress-free lunch break experience.
We’ve explored 20+ unique self-care ideas you can easily slip into your lunch break, transforming that time into an oasis of rejuvenation.
Remember, small, intentional self-care activities can pack a powerful punch, leaving you feeling more balanced, focused, and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to shake things up and make your lunch break work for YOU. Start by picking a couple of activities from this list that resonate with you, and give them a whirl. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot of zen to gain.
Here’s to making the most of your lunch break and creating a personalized self-care routine that leaves you feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to conquer the rest of your day!
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Care During Lunch
For more information on practicing self-care during your lunch break, check out our Q&As below:
Is It Possible To Practice Self-Care During A Short Lunch Break?
Yes, it is possible to practice self-care during a short lunch break! Just make sure to do the following:
- Set an alarm to go off every day to signal it is time for lunch so you don’t forget. I know it’s easy to forget because I do the exact same thing.
- Make a plan for how you are going to spend your lunch break. The ideas above should help you.
- Let your coworkers know you are on your lunch break.
- Take your lunch break – preferably away from your desk!
What Are Some Healthy Food Options That I Can Bring To Work For Lunch?
Bringing a healthy lunch to work can be an effective way for you to practice self-care during your lunch breaks.
Consider planning meals ahead and portioning out individual servings so you have something ready when hunger strikes.
For example, you could prepare a veggie wrap with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, and feta cheese the night before; this is an easy meal that requires minimal prep time but still contains essential nutrients.
Additionally, try packing snacks such as granola bars or fruit for mid-afternoon cravings.
By opting for healthier food options throughout your day, you’ll find yourself feeling more energized and focused on the tasks at hand!
For more recipes, check out:
- The Workweek Lunch Cookbook: Easy, Delicious Meals to Meal Prep, Pack and Take On the Go
- Healthy, Quick & Easy Bento Box: Over 60 Simple Recipes for 30 Lunch Box Meals Under 500 Calories
- The “I Don’t Want to Cook” Book: 100 Tasty, Healthy, Low-Prep Recipes for When You Just Don’t Want to Cook
Are There Any Apps Or Websites That Can Help Me Practice Self-Care During My Lunch Break?
Yes! Although we recommend a digital detox during lunch, there are some apps that aren’t so intrusive. For example, you can use the Real Subliminal App to listen to Deep Calm or your customized subliminal track.
Note: The information on this website is for general information only, and is not a substitute for medical, financial, or legal advice. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek independent medical, legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. If you or the person you are concerned about appear at risk of self-harm or harm to others, please seek immediate professional assistance.