Recently, I had to take my step-dad back to LAX so he could get back home after a month of hanging out with us. It was a great visit, but he had to leave some time. We rarely us LAX for 2 reasons.

Reason #1: San Diego usually has comparable rates especially when you consider the gas to get back and forth from LA. 

Reason #2: It downright SUCKS to drive for 6 hours straight! Never mind in LA (Orange and San Diego Counties are no dream either)!!! I feel for those who work behind desks for more than that each day!

On the way back, I made a stop for lunch at a generic sandwich shop just a step above Subway. When I pulled into the parking lot, there were traffic cops directing the cars during an apparent lunch traffic in this extremely busy business park area. There were a ton of places to eat in this fairly small strip mall, so the traffic and the lines were incredible! 

I was pacing the restaurant because I knew I had to back on the road quickly or risk perpetual traffic for the rest of my trek back home. While I continued to wait for my name to be called, I was people watching. I am SUPER nosy, so I LOVE to people watch! :) Anyhow, I saw these two young guys probably around 25 years old talking about work. They were both waiting on their sandwiches discussing the work they had left for the day. One said to the other, "I just want to eat real quick." The other then criticized, "You're not going to take your sandwich back to the office?!" The first one in a very hurried voice said, "I just want to sit here real quick and eat." Sound familiar? Maybe not, but if not, it's probably because you know you will ALWAYS eat at your desk- the question would never be asked. 

If you can relate to these young, striving professionals, you're not alone! A 2012 study by Right Management, a talent and career management division of ManpowerGroup, a human resources consulting firm revealed that 28 percent of the more than 1,000 North American employees polled rarely take a lunch break, 14 percent choose to do so from "time to time" and 39 percent break for lunch but stay at their desks!! WHAT?!?! OK people, maybe you don't want to start going to the gym and working out, try this: TAKE A LUNCH BREAK!! Taking a lunch break will help you decompress and lower your hormonal stress response. You may find just leaving the office for lunch will help your waistline shrink. If you're afraid you will be too tempted to eat out rather than brown bag it, try some of these ideas to do during your lunch break:

  1. Take a walk (one where you don't even get sweaty)
  2. Meditate
  3. Read a book
  4. Sit outside in a park
  5. Take a nap
  6. Workout
  7. Meet with a friend (DO NOT TALK ABOUT WORK!)
  8. Call your mother, sister, brother, friend, or anyone you haven't talked to in forever
  9. Stretch
  10. Day dream about your weekend or vacation

I'm certain you can come up with a ton more! The only guidelines are:

  1. Get out of the office and the building if you can
  2. Stay off any electronic devices (with the exception of using your phone as a phone)
  3. More movement=less stress

You will be more productive and useful the rest of the day if you get away. PLUS, you will stop feeling so stressed out! Let me know how it goes.