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Life

Renewal for the Weary: Lunch Time

You owe it to yourself to have enjoyable, mindful, and healthy lunches

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Lunch can be a wonderful time of day — much more than the mere ingestion of needed calories. If approached correctly, lunch can be a time for rest and personal renewal, at least on a small scale.

How often, however, do we force lunch in between work-related activities, such as dealing with staff, reviewing files, undertaking online research, responding to email, etc.?

Wolfing down otherwise nutritious food can, in part, negate the value of what you are ingesting. If you are giving lunch short shrift, from a physiological standpoint you might not be deriving the optimal nutritional benefits from the food you consume.

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Clear Away the Time

Fortunately, you can clear away the time and space to have a relatively leisurely lunch that will help sustain and fortify you to handle the rest of the day’s activities:

If you haven’t already done so, schedule lunch each day. Go to your appointment calendar, or scheduling software, and mark those times during which you designate as lunchtime. Make it longer than it physically takes you to consume whatever you choose to eat.

If you bring your own food, for example, a 30-minute lunch time is usually more than enough time to finish what you have. Typically, a brown bag lunch takes only 12 to 18 minutes to consume.

By scheduling additional time, even if a few minutes, you can eat more slowly and mindfully, properly digest your food, and take a real break from your work.

In and Out

If you eat at a nearby restaurant, make plans so that you’re in and out relatively easily. Perhaps you can have a standing reservation on Tuesdays with one establishment, and then do the same for other days, with other establishments.

Consider the atmosphere and the food served. Is it calming and nourishing? If the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, consider having your lunch at a less busy time.

Reflect upon what you are eating. Is it nutritious and balanced? Whatever you choose to eat for lunch, ensure that it is not fast food. There is no need to recount the negative effects of consuming questionably sourced meat products, fried food, and foods laced with bad fats, sugars, and excess salt.

The cumulative effect of consuming fast food has been well-documented and does not support your health or well-being. So, before you run into that fast food restaurant, take a moment to think about what you will be eating and its effects on your body, for that afternoon and in the long term.

Keep it Light

When having lunch with a friend or staff person, strive to keep the conversation light. Lunch is not the time to dwell upon heavy duty issues. It is a good time to bond with others, to talk about topics unrelated to the office, or to simply shoot the breeze.

By all means, ensure that you have the capability to return from lunch in a leisurely manner.

No matter how unhurried your consumption of food might have been, if you have to hustle back to the office for a key staff meeting, once again, you might negate the benefits of everything that transpired before your frenzied return.

A Rewarding Time

With the right mindset and a few simple guidelines such as those discussed above, you can turn your lunchtime into something a bit more rewarding, if not much more, than it has been.

You owe it to yourself to have enjoyable, mindful, and healthy lunches, and to receive the associated benefits in terms of job satisfaction, effectiveness, and personal well-being.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Sometimes it’s hard to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts

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“…people never are alone now. We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.” ~ Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

In this era, it’s becoming harder to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts. Dr. Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, along with other researchers conducted an experiment with student volunteers. The students were given two options: For 15 uninterrupted minutes they could do nothing.

Or, they could give themselves a small, electric shock. Roughly 67% of the men and 25% of the women in the experiment chose to give themselves small shocks, even though earlier, many had proclaimed that they would pay money not to endure such a shock.

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Anxious for Anything To Do

Why did they opt for the shock? They became increasingly anxious for anything to do over the course of the 15 minutes. Aha, you say! These were probably millennials for whom a 15-minute stretch of doing nothing is virtually impossible.

As it turns out, the participants consisted of adults recruited from a farmer’s market and from a church. They acted in much the same way that you might expect of millennials. They felt anxious and antsy when left alone for a 15-minute stretch with nothing else to do but be with themselves.

The question  for each of us is why is it becoming so hard to take a few moments throughout the day to simply do nothing? Have we become such a driven populace that we cannot even spare a few minutes for ourselves? Do we not recognize the peace of mind that we can experience when we’re not fully occupied every minute of the day?

Weaning Yourself

If you feel that you are constantly seeking to optimize every minute of the day, and perhaps are oversubscribed, over-informed, and overwhelmed, here are interlaced ideas that you can put into practice:

Start small. Rather than attempt a long stretch of doing simply nothing, see if you can last for 60 seconds or maybe 120 if you’re feeling brave. It’s best to attempt this after you finish a task, and feel good about your accomplishment. Marinade in your positive feelings.

Perhaps before you go to lunch or return from lunch, or before or after taking a break, why not allow yourself a little time to pause and, well, simply do nothing.

If you have a 15 minute break, where is it written that you can’t spend 60 seconds at your desk doing nothing, take a 13 minute break, then spend the last 60 seconds at your desk, again doing nothing.

Expand Your Ability

As you build more and more confidence in your ability to take some time out with no thoughts or activities in mind, strive for three to five minutes. If you arrive at work early, you could spend such time in your car with the radio off, not checking your cell phone, and not doing anything, other than simply sitting there.

At your workplace, maybe you can spend three minutes undetected in a conference room, corporate library, rooftop terrace, or elsewhere.

At home, where you have more flexibility, could you attempt a short weekend session? This should be no problem. During the weekday, it’s understandable that you seek to efficiently commute to and from work, although even on weeknights it might be possible for you to carve out a few minutes. Think of all the times you’ve been online, or you flick through the TV channels, and how aimless that can be.

Reinforce What Works

As time passes, giving yourself some stretches here and there where you don’t have to do anything can become reinforcing. You have the opportunity to take a deep breath. You get a chance to reflect, or to clear your mind. You have time to visualize.

Even if none of these things happen, you still get a chance to slow down. Any way you look at it, it’s a good proposition.

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Faith

WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer

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WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer after her beautiful performance of “It’s Okay.” Nightbirde chases her dreams and proves that she is so much more than her cancer!

This is a message you will want to share! Watch below:

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