I will confess to having done so more than once in my life time. In fact, I've done it quite a bit, and it seems I am not alone.
New research has found that 28% of Australians regularly eat lunch while working at their desk and one in six people skip lunch all together. What is it about being in a workplace that promotes this way of eating? It is of course not conducive to mindful eating or even good health and wellbeing, but more and more people seem to be doing ‘lunch on the run.’ I sent out a tweet earlier today asking people if they ate lunch at their desk and a number of people responded that they did. Is there anyone out there brave enough to share in a comment why? When I think about why I sometimes do it, I feel like I am making excuses. Time poor. Too much work to do. Can’t stop. Frantic. Is it the same for you?
Considering that many people do not actually get paid for their lunch time and it’s not particularly healthy or balanced, I think it would be great if we ‘reclaimed’ lunch. Here’s some of my ideas as to why and also how…
It is vitally important you step away from your desk, laptop, or whatever else is chaining you to something, at LEAST once a day, but preferably many more times than that. You may think you’re being super productive by charging on, but after awhile your productivity is guaranteed to fall away.
No-one can be expected to do a great job without sustenance. Lots of water, lunch and snacks are a necessity to this, so skipping lunch all together is a ‘no go’ if you want to achieve great things at work. It’s also a ‘no go’ for you to be healthy and cognitively sound.
Mindful eating can be hard in a crowded workplace or even a frantic home, but you will have NO hope of eating well if you are doing it while simultaneously trying to do something else. Give yourself a chance to really stop, taste and enjoy your lunch.
You deserve a break! Take it! Don’t give up your recharge time for anyone. Put yourself first and you just might be amazed at what it will do for you.
If you think taking a break over lunch is a chore it may be a good idea to rethink what you are actually eating. If it’s the ‘same old, same old’ sandwich or repeated lunch – why not mix it up a bit? Make something, or treat yourself to buying something, that gets your taste buds excited and really in the zone to enjoy what you are about to eat.
Always remember that no job is more important than you, your health, and your wellbeing. Taking the time to stop, check out and enjoy your lunch break for even a brief 20 minutes, is you showing yourself loving kindness and respect.
For further inspiration on mindful eating you might like to read this recent blog post by former Master Chef host Sarah Wilson.