Lunchtime is a great moment to give yourself some time to de-stress and relax. The trick to de-stressing is to do nothing — mindfully. As we all know being busy and hyper efficient causes a lot of stress. So the antidote is to apply the opposite: do nothing, be present and tune into the body, relax. At the same time, we can trust that giving ourselves some space in the middle of a busy day will help us be more productive in the long run. Here’s how to do the lunchtime stress buster.
The Four Steps to De-stress at Work
Step 1. Find a place that is relatively quiet where you won’t be disturbed. The park, an unused office, anywhere there are few or no other people around. Decide how much time you will dedicate to yourself: 5, 10, 20 minutes are all good.
Step 2. Find a comfortable seat, either on a chair, or on the ground/floor with a cushion. Sit upright, hands on the thighs, eyes open and gazing down. (Don’t lean on anything.)
Step 3. Now here’s the main part. Do not do anything. Don’t analyze any problems, don’t think about the future or the past. Just be in your body, feel it, feel any tension, pain, stress, whatever is happening. Breathe into the area of the body which draws your attention. When thoughts come up about about work, problems, the past or future, just come back to the body. Do it again and again, just come back to feeling the body.
Step 4. At the end of your de-stress, take a short walk, feel your feet making contact with the ground. This is an important transition time before jumping back into work. You’re beginning to re-merge with the day. Have a light lunch and then go back to work.
How the Lunchtime Stress Buster Works
The lunchtime stress buster works because we are balancing ourselves. Worktime is like what the Taoists call yang: active, energetic, analytic. If we have to much yang we get stressed, tired, sick and burnt out. So balance yang with the yin: passive, calm, intuitive. Make this a daily habit and see for yourself how to live a balanced and happy life at work. Again, remember to trust yourself that it is okay to take that time just for ‘me’.
To learn more about the benefits of de-stressing through meditation, join us at one of our luxury retreats. The next retreat is coming up in June 2017 on the Greek Island of Lefkada. There are still a few places left!