Renewal for the Weary: Lunch Time ⋆ Politicrossing
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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

Finding Meaning in Daily Activities, Even Now

You are creating your life every day; every choice you make determines the quality of your life

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If you’re like me, each day you shudder to think what new, nation-destroying ploy, or blunder, the Biden administration will foist upon us next. In our own lives, nevertheless, while awaiting November 2022 and the chance to take back the Senate and House, we have the opportunity to find meaning nearly each day.

In her book, My Grandfather’s Blessings, Rachel Remen tells a story about a doctor who had to deliver a baby in the hallway of the emergency room area. He had delivered other babies but not like this. While swabbing the baby’s face, she opened her eyes and looked right at him: he was the first person she had ever seen.

This experience changed the doctor’s way of proceeding. He regarded this as sacred moment. He remembered why he chose this line of work. He felt validated. His cynicism fell away. He became more invigorated, more inspired, and started to interact with more of his patients and his co-workers. Soon, he was invited to events he had never participated in before. His whole world opened up.

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Now, he seeks such moments constantly.

A Capacity that Builds

Finding meaning is a capacity that we build, like a muscle. When you first started in your current career position, finding meaning was not an issue. You were excited. There was so much you wanted to do. You had all kinds of plan. Then, years passed.

Little by little you became jaded perhaps. Why did I choose this line of work? Why can’t I find competent help? Why are customer or clients so demanding?

It is possible, even now in this time of turmoil, to reinvent yourself on the job, to rediscover what initially attracted you to this profession and what the current possibilities might be. Sometimes the re-awakening is triggered by attending a conference or convention, taking a course, reading a vital book, or spending time with a colleague or peer.

Goodbye to Yesterday

Today and the days that follow do not have to be extensions of what came before. You do not have to proceed into the future looking through a rear view mirror. A world of choices awaits, even if in the same old position you’ve been holding down for years.

Will you make new choices? And what will drive those choices?

Discovering or rediscovering meaning is about getting clear on what’s most important to you and aligning your choices with those priorities. It’s about living and working with intention instead of operating on autopilot or by default, where one day looks exactly like the next.

So, What Matters Right Now?

Start by identifying what’s most important to you …today, not what was important five, ten, or 20 years. Is it creativity, or perhaps collaboration? Maybe it’s impact or flexibility?

Next, identify what professional – and this might be different than your current profession! – and personal goals align with those priorities. What does living or working more creativity look like? If, say, collaboration matters to you, how can you incorporate more collaboration into the work you do?

From here, you’ll want to pinpoint actions or choices that support those goals. Where are your current choices in or out of alignment with what you’ve identified as most important? What new, more intentional choices can you make?

Each and Every Day

Consider this: You are creating your life every day. Every choice you make, action or inaction, determines the quality of your life. If not now, when: Making the choice to live and work with intention and in alignment is the key to cultivating a life of meaning and fulfillment.

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Life

Sleeping On It

The unconscious mind appears able to assess information and produce a satisfactory decision

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Sleeping on a big decision, such as buying a car or house, is more likely to produce a result with which people remain happy than consciously weighing up the pros and cons of the problem, based on the findings of Ap Dijksterhuis, Ph.D at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, in his classic article, ‘Sleeping on it.’.

“Complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind to work out, according to a new study, and over-thinking a problem could lead to expensive mistakes. The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions, such as selecting a brand of oven glove.”

A Bamboozle

“Thinking hard about a complex decision that rests on multiple factors appears to bamboozle the conscious mind so that people only consider a subset of information, which they weight inappropriately, resulting in an unsatisfactory choice. In contrast, the unconscious mind appears able to ponder over all the information and produce a decision that most people remain satisfied with.”

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Dijksterhuis said, “We found that when the choice was for something simple, such as purchasing oven gloves or shampoo, people made better decisions – ones that they remained happy with – if they consciously deliberated over the information.”

“But once the decision was more complex such as for a house, too much thinking about it led people to make the wrong choice. Whereas, if their conscious mind was fully occupied on solving puzzles, their unconscious could freely consider all the information and they reached better decisions.”

Expectations Count

The unconscious mind appears to need some instruction. “It was only when people were told before the puzzles that they would need to reach a decision that they were able to come up with the right one.” If they were told that none of what they had been shown was important before being given the puzzles, they failed to make good choices.

“At some point in our evolution, we started to make decisions consciously, and we’re not very good at it. We should learn to let our unconscious handle the complicated things,” Dijksterhuis concluded.

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