Making eating lunch special…

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My awesome Tupperware lunch bag…no, they don’t sponsor me… if only…maybe I would get my dream pantry #organisationbliss

Earlier this week I had such a lovely lunchbreak at work…

Hmm…doesn’t seem like something worthy of writing a blog post about does it.  But it really struck me today,  how important that little mini break in the middle of my day was.

It reminded me,  that back in the good old days…BC (before children)… a lunchbreak was something I did quite regularly.  Sure, I still spent many days shuffling food into my mouth whilst multi-tasking out an email or typing up a presentation.  But often I would also go and sit outside in our office garden,  or it would be someone or others birthday/farewell and we’d all be heading down to one of the local restaurants for a quick bite.   I even just had a flash back to taking walks in the forest behind our office…ahh, those were the days.

Yet, since I have had kids, those midday mini breaks have kind of gone out the window.

For me, I think partially the issue is working remotely.  No one to badger me away from my desk or to take on a little wander.

But more, I think it is because I have become a highly productive and streamlined machine since having children.   Taking time out of my day to simple eat, feels like time that has been wasted.  That could have been used to load the dishwasher,  watch a training video for work,  read my email.  Every minute, every hour counts.   Quite regularly I do walk the dog during the day (usually whilst listening to somekind of podcast…still loving my podcasts), which is a good little break from work…but it is still ticking off boxes on my never ending “to do” list.

So…earlier this week, I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch…god forbid…during my work day.  Not going to a restaurant, but just to eat our “packed lunch” together.   I headed out of the office on a beautiful sunny spring day.  The blue sky and sunshine instantly relaxed me.   I heard birds chirping (literally, where are these birds hanging, how come I never heard them before?) and start walking to our meeting spot.   I notice that there are a whole lot of people doing the same thing.  Released from the dark confines of their offices, they are spread out…soaking up sun, reading papers,  eating sandwiches.  There are even people playing a game of touch footy on the grass outside one building.  There is a great relaxed vibe in the air.

And we sat on a bench, chatting, laughing…eating… and by the time I headed back to the office, there was a lightness in my step.  I was truly refreshed and ready for my afternoon.

It is one of those things you hear all the time,  the importance of taking your breaks.  In some ways, it is hard to believe that such a simple step, can have such a big impact.  So it is easy to push it aside.

I feel like I’m always trying to make big changes in my life.  Learning and exploring new things,  looking for the “silver bullet” that is going to revolutionise who I am and what I achieve.   My mind is constantly buzzing (you’ve heard about my fun and games trying to meditate).

And yet usually, it is the little tiny, simple things that can have the biggest impact.   Like sitting in the sunshine and eating my lunch.   Which really isn’t that hard to do at all,  making me wonder why it has taken me so long to remember it.

When was the last time you had a lovely little lunch break?

claire2

P.s Enjoy my little musings? Hope you are subscribed via the webpage,  and feel free to pass it onto your unsuspecting friends..I always get a little buzz when someone new joins the tribe. 

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Thinking…it’s a dreadful affliction…take a brain break

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ahhh…overthinking things, it’s one of my favourite party tricks and one that challenges me on a daily basis. How do I stop my whirlwind of a mind going from topic to topic in a split second, whirring around creating chaos but no real outcomes or results.

My husband came home yesterday after delivering a presentation at work, and was explaining how all through the presentation, he was talking to himself in his head. His mind was saying things like “slow down, you’re talking to fast”, “what did you say that for”, “that’s better, now you’ve got it” “you missed a bit” etc etc. Is this normal? Hell yeah, my day is completely covered by a running commentary from in my head….if I was starring in a film, I’d have voice over narration all the way through. If you’ve seen the show “Offspring” from Australia, they demonstrate this really well by narrating the kind of thoughts “Nina” is having during scenes…hilarious…because we can all relate to it!

“Not being able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realise this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal” – Eckhart Tolle.

So how do I try to slow my mind down, quiet the voice and allow myself to focus on one thing at a time? Of course, you know what I’m going to say here, because we all know it but not many of us practice it every day. Officially known as meditation, but I like to simply call it a “brain break”. Taking a moment from your day where you just slow right down. Stop. Breath. Focus on the breath coming in and out. Notice it. When I first started to try this, I got really frustrated with all the thoughts that constantly bubble to the surface …breath in (“what shall I have for breakfast today”) …breath out (“was that our dog barking?”) …breath in (“I wonder if Bob has sent that email I need”)…breath out…you get the picture. At first I tried not to think, to stop it happening…and just got more and more annoyed when they came. THIS IS NOT RELAXING IT IS ANNOYING!!

It was only when I accepted that having the thoughts is OK, the trick is simply not to follow them. To be an observer, not to react. Oh…look at that…a thought about breakfast…then let it go. Sometimes I imagine my thoughts as balloons, floating up and disappearing. Balloon gone. Re-focus on your breath. Repeat repeat repeat. And after a while, the thoughts do slow. The time passes, and when I return to work, my mind does feel refreshed and ready to go again. Our brains are incredible, but sometimes, they just need a mini-break.

And on that note…I’m thinking it might be time for a little break, some tea, sunshine and big deep breaths on the veranda. Anyone else ready for a brain break?