With an ever increasing workload and stress, I’ve been trying to up my self-care game. One of the newest things I’ve done a few times now is change up my lunchbreak. This is the first time I’ve ever had an entire hour for lunch, and there’s no way I’d actually spend it eating the whole time. While I usually go for a walk or read a magazine if it’s too cold, I’ve found something even better. I make lunch dates. Not with co-workers or friends, but with a cat.
This isn’t my cat. But this cat lives 10 minutes from my job, and I have been invited over. So, I took the offer and started to occasionally have lunch with a cat. It’s the best. It’s often my favorite part of the day. Now, I can’t visit all the time mostly because that’d probably be a little too weird (not being my own cat and all); also, I really enjoy walking.
There is something inherently relaxing when you’re around animals. I suppose it’s why they call it pet therapy. They’re soft, they’re loving, and they remind you to slow down and just enjoy the moment – because they are.
So one easier, small way to change how you deal with things is to change your environment – even just for an hour. Eat lunch away from the office. Eat lunch with someone or something you enjoy. Ask a friend or neighbor if you can visit their pet (honestly, it’s a win-win and there should be more of this). Ask a stranger if you can pet their dog. It will have lasting effects.
You will be immensely rewarded. And make your coworkers smile (and I can only assume a little bit jealous, although that is not the point) and wonder when you tell them how you spent your break.