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5 Ways to Transform your Lunch Break into a Mini-Retreat

I admit it - I am totally guilty of not giving myself a proper break in the middle of my work day.  Sometimes, my to-do list is so long that I find myself working on a project or answering emails while I eat my lunch, or doing the ever-addicting scroll through social media as I chew my food.

And then...the end of the day comes and I feel absolutely exhausted.  When I am on the go non-stop all day, I can feel my adrenals energetically begging for a break, and my mood can be a little...cranky?

So, in order to serve myself, feel better throughout the day, and stay connected to my spirituality, I make it a point to schedule out at least a 30 minute block of time in the middle of the day to eat and take a break.  A break totally disconnected from distraction - no scrolling through social media, no crossing things off my to-do list, no texting...just 100% me time.

And you know what?  When I make that time for myself, I find that I am more productive and in a much better mood at the end of the day.

Whether you have a job where your lunch breaks are scheduled, or you work for yourself, it is essential to take some time just for you, step away, and nourish yourself on all levels - physically with food, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually with a little break.

Or as I like to call it...a mini-retreat.

Here are 5 ways to transform your lunch break into an actual pause:

1.  Connect with nature and get outside for a walk:  This is one of my favorite ways to take a break during the day.  Getting outside and moving my body feels so good - not only am I connecting with the earth and my environment, but I am also physically removing myself from my computer and my workspace.  In this way, I feel like my mind gets an actual break.  I also get to absorb a bit of sunshine and boost my vitamin D levels, which is a great mood-boosting bonus.  If it's warm enough, sometimes I'll bring my lunch outside too!

For a little extra spiritual element, you can see your walk as a walking meditation.  Really focus on how each step feels within your body, and walk slowly, with intention.  Another favorite thing of mine to do while on a walk is to work with a mantra.  Lately, I've been reciting my Lakshmi mantra as I walk.  (PS - My Lakshmi course is a great way to learn more about this goddess!)

2.  Connect with your Tarot deck and give yourself a reading for the day or week:  If you feel uncomfortable about doing this one at work, you may wish to keep a deck of cards in your car, or use an app (the Wildwood Deck is the app that I use) to connect to your intuition on the sly.  To go deeper, bring your journal and write down some thoughts about what the cards brought up for you.  You can also do this with an oracle deck if Tarot isn't your jam.  For me, Tarot is a tool that helps me to get perspective, move forward with goals, and cause an energetic shift.  When I pull a few cards in the middle of the day, it helps to give me guidance for the rest of the day.

3.  Read a couple of pages from a spiritual text:  To dive deep into a spiritual text, even if just for a few minutes, really opens the doors to invite in a moment of contemplation.  I havebeen reading and re-reading The Heart of the Universe and just can't get enough of it, but I also really like to dig into the Yoga Sutras or my Jivamukti Yoga book.  Reading an actual book and not reading something online helps me to really disconnect from my to-do list and emails, but if you don't have a book on hand, you may wish to read some inspiration on your favorite blog or spiritual online magazine.

4.  Close your eyes for a short meditation:  Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes out of your lunch break to recharge yourmind and soul with some time for meditation.  If you work outside of the home, you may wish to go in your car or to a quiet space outside for this.  Meditating has been proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, improve cognitive function, and provides an overall spiritual connection.  Need a little direction when you meditate?  My upcoming meditation album, Aligned, might be just what you need (and it's digital so you can bring it anywhere with you!)

5. Roll out your yoga mat:  When it's rainy outside (which happens a lot in the Pacific Northwest!) or when I feel like I really need to move my body and find focus, 10-15 minutes of yoga provides a great energetic release.  Sometimes I go free-style, other times I watch a video on Cody (Meghan Currie and Kino McGregor are my favorite).  

If there isn't a space for you to do yoga when you work, perhaps try yoga for the hands (also known as 'mudras').  Here's a link to my favorite mudra, but there are dozens upon dozens of mudras to work with.  

Whatever you choose - give yourself the time and space to recharge.  Allow this time to feel luxurious and be totally free from distractions.  If you allow this to be a regular practice, you'll notice an improvement on all levels - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

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