And no, they don't include eating sad desk lunches.
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There is a temptation when the sun is at its highest point and lunch hour is nigh to procure a sad salad or tepid sandwich and eat it whilst staring at a spreadsheet. Resist this urge. Only the foolish man would consider foregoing the government-mandated break for food as a sign of strength. The rest of us know this is the time for you to do you—and simultaneously cross things off your list so you can pour a well-earned glass of Jim Beam Black® later. So get to it, already, with these six ideas.
Knowing that lunch hour is often an all-in proposition, many gyms and fitness studios offer 45-minute classes, which gives you plenty of time to work up a sweat, jump in the shower, and return to the office flushed but clean and happy. So if you want to be ripped, you can take classes like Equinox's The Cut, which combines martial arts with high-intensity cardio. But as recent studies have shown, even moderate exercise, when done for about 150 minutes a week, offers a vast portfolio of benefits. So even a 30-minute walk around the 'hood your company calls home would qualify.
Get A Haircut
TFW when you come back from lunch and your hair is high-and-tight and cleaned up around the edges, and you feel relaxed and indeed a little pampered, and your coworkers, noticing this glow about you, comment on how much better you look than when you arrived that morning—you know that thing? What transpired was probably a lunchtime visit to the barber or, if you're lucky, to a salon-con-social club like John Allan's—locations in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Beverly Hills, and Toronto—where a shave and a haircut come with the possibility for a billiards game or two.
Turns out that yes, meditation helps your brain and is good for you, and yes, there's an app for that. Forget, for a moment, about achieving enlightenment—it's all about stress reduction. In NYC—where everything becomes a gym and loses its vowels—there's MNDFL, a mindfulness gym with guided meditations and mid-day practice, but another option is the new app Headspace, which features sessions as short as 10 minutes a day, giving you plenty of time to find a Bodhi tree to sit under.
Recent studies have shown both letting your mind wander and letting your body wander have immense psychological benefits. So here's a revolutionary thought: Instead of planning your lunch hour, actively plan to do nothing. Or do this: Take a page from French philosopher Guy DeBord, who coined the term psychogeography, an approach to geography that emphasizes playful wandering and includes instructions for a fruitful walking sessions called dérives (drifts). The instructions for which are below:
Courtesy of MapHugger
Americans spend, on average, 10 hours and 39 minutes a day staring into their devices. It might, I don't know, maybe be a good idea to cut that down a bit? Assuming you're in front of a computer in the course of your professional duties like so many of us are, it's profoundly rejuvenating to disconnect around midday. Try it. Put down the phone and slowly back away. Walk, perhaps, all the way to a bookstore. Recent studies have shown reading literary fiction builds our capacity for empathy, also, as Levar Burton sang, "Take a look, it's in a book, the reading rainbow, I can go anywhere." And in cities like New York, where the Great Big City Book Club encourages all new Yorkers to read one book, it might make you a new friend, too. Speaking of which...
We tend to make fewer and fewer friends as we age (but get closer to those we already have). Despite the fact that we have family and work and worries, which provide ample need for venting or distraction, it's also kind of like, meh, who needs that effort? Hashtag no new friends wasn't lying. But see, a lunch hour is low pressure and there's a discreet time limit. So, make a date. With the coworker who mentions the podcast you, too, are hooked on, the stranger in your gym class seems who mildly intriguing, or even the guy next to you, getting a shave at John Allan's. Same time tomorrow. Lunch.
Please drink responsibly. Jim Beam Black® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 43% Alc./Vol. ©2017 James B. Beam Distilling Co., Clermont, KY. Jim Beam Black® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission.