Everyone knows what vacations are. Now we also have runcations, which are basically just destination races, staycations, which are taking a few days off but staying home, and daycations, which are when you take a trip somewhere but don’t spend the night. I have a new one for you: lunchcations.
I love to travel. If I don’t have a trip planned, it’s pretty safe to say I have wanderlust and am thinking about planning my next trip. Sometimes that’s just not enough. Sometimes, I need a break, like, NOW!!! This is pretty common in the fall. Oftentimes summer vacations are just a memory, and spring vacations are only a dream. So, for pretty much all of my professional life, I’ve taken lunchcations from time-to-time. A lunchcation is a one hour break from work that leaves you feeling refreshed and energized.
I can hear you now saying, “Wait a minute! I get a one hour lunch break everyday. What’s so special about that?” Yes, you get a lunch break, but is it a lunchcation? When is the last time you came back from your lunch break feeling refreshed, energized, and eager to tackle the rest of your day and week?
Most of us take our lunch breaks and either eat at our desk while catching up on emails, run errands, eat fast food in our cars, or the like. A lunchcation is more than that. It’s taking that hour and truly emersing yourself in a vacation-like experience that leaves you feeling de-stressed, lighter, happier, just like you would if you had taken an actual vacation. But how?
Here are a few ideas to get you started on your own lunchcation.
- Get a massage. I don’t know about you but a massage is a real treat for me. It is something I typically only indulge in when I’m on vacation. However, there are so many massage franchises around that it’s not hard to find a quick, inexpensive one. I’ve seen packages as short as 30 minutes, the perfect length for a lunchcation. Make sure you grab that cucumber water on your way out so you can extend the experience all the way back to your office.
- Dine at a local, chef-driven restaurant. Most metro areas have them. This is not your chain restaurant. I’m talking locally-owned, often offering seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine. You might think of this as your special occasion restaurant, for anniversaries and birthdays. It’s also an ideal destination for your lunchcation. These types of places often have lunch menus featuring smaller, more affordable portions. You’ll go back to the office feeling like you’ve been somewhere special, because you have.
- Read a book in a coffee shop. Books aren’t just for the beach, you know. Reading can be relaxing and good for the soul! Redirecting your thoughts away from work, even for just an hour, can be surprisingly freeing. It’s the stuff great lunchcations are made of! Lots of coffee shops are even offering artisanal sandwiches to go along with their brews now, too. You have to eat, right?
- Have coffee in a book store. All of the same from above applies here, too. Sure, these mega book stores have thinned out with the growing success of certain mega websites but there are a few around still, and many of them offer a great café-style lunch, too, perfect for a lunchcation. Fruit tea anyone?
- Splurge on dessert. You treat your kids to their faves when they stay green for the whole week, get all As, and clean their room. You juggle your company’s budget, your kids’ carpool, and your husband’s meeting schedule. Buy yourself a cupcake, for crying out loud! I don’t mean one from your grocery counter, either. I know you have one of those specialty bakeries somewhere near you. Go! Get one! And savor every last crumb! After all, you are on lunchcation!
- Get a mani/pedi. There is little in life that makes me feel like I’m on vacation more than a mani/pedi. With all those pop-up nail places on every corner, a mani/pedi lunchcation is more feasible than ever before. As long as you are making it a lunchcation, spring for the sea salt rub, too!
The best part about lunchcations is that you can take them at any time, as often as you want, with little to no planning. Give them a try! See how much easier they will make your afternoon tasks.
Share your lunchcation ideas in the comments.
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