How have you spent your lunch breaks this week? Do you know what you’re going to do on your break today?

All too often, our patients tell us that they’re rushing out to grab a quick lunch and then eating at their desk while they work. Or, even worse, skipping lunch altogether.

We all know that this is bad for us. It means we have no downtime to relax, de-stress and regroup for the afternoon. Being in a hurry means we can also make bad food choices and not eating at all can lead to overeating later.

Sometimes, especially when work is busy or stressful, it can feel like you’re on a treadmill and it’s hard to get off. If everyone else you work with is doing the same, you can feel bad for trying to reclaim your lunch break. But just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right. Start your good habits today and hopefully others will follow your lead.

This may remind you a little of being in school, but bringing a packed lunch is a great idea. It can be as easy as leftovers from dinner the night before. You are no longer at the mercy of what’s in the supermarket, you can take control over what you’re eating and save money as well. This also means you don’t have to worry about being caught in a long line!

Pick up your packed lunch and head outside! If you’re working in Richmond, you are working in a beautiful area and a walk down to the river to eat your lunch can be invaluable. It gives you a chance to get some fresh air, stretch your legs and breath. If you can’t leave the office – we admit, we don’t much like strolling in the pouring rain – at least leave your desk. Go somewhere else in your building, or treat yourself to a hot drink at a coffee shop and catch up on a book.

If you have shower facilities in your office – take advantage! Bring in your kit and go for a run, even a short run is better than none at all. If you have a gym nearby, see if there are any short classes you can go to on your break. Or you could commit to doing a certain number or squats or push-ups every lunch time. It’s not only a boost to your work out, but will get the endorphins going so that you finish your lunch break on a high!