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Lunch Hack: How to Utilize Your Work Kitchenette

Lunch Hack: How to Utilize Your Work Kitchenette

    We all know the benefits of brown bagging your lunch.

    They tend to be healthier, cheaper and more delicious than buying your lunch.

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    But it can feel like hard work at times. With all that extra planning, it’s easy to see why most of us don’t do it as much as we’d like.

    There is a solution, however and it doesn’t involve being more disciplined or getting up 10 minutes earlier.

    Why not ‘cook’ your lunch at work?

    That way you can still save money and do your health a favor.

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    And it’s a great chance to de-stress a little while you focus on making yourself something delicious.

    Most offices have some sort of kitchenette with at least a sink and a microwave.

    So why not make the most of them and get creative with soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps.

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    How to turn your office into a lunch time kitchen

    1. Stock a work ‘pantry’.
    Dedicate a small shelf or a drawer to lunch things and kit it out with the basics. At the very least some salt and maybe a little disposable pepper grinder. Although I’d also include some olive oil and vinegar so you’re always prepared for an impromptu salad. A packet of dried chilli seasoning and your favorite spice are also great to have on hand.

    A little bag of nuts can also double as a snack. You could even get super organized with cans of tuna, chickpeas, beans or other good shelf-stable essentials.

    2. Equip yourself with some basic tools.
    Depending on your work set-up, you might like to include a little chopping board and a pocket knife in your work lunch arsenal. If cutlery and crockery are scarce it might be a good idea to get a little lunch bowl and fork or spoon.

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    3. Find the best storage solution.
    Most workplaces provide a fridge you can store your lunch. But if not, consider investing in a little chiller bag. Or if you have access to a good food shop nearby, maybe allow time to pick up whatever you need in your lunch hour.

    4. Allocate the time you need.
    Cooking or preparing food is a great way to unwind. So schedule your lunch break for a little cooking relaxation, even if you’re only doing it once a week.

    5. Engage your co workers.
    Take it to the next level and organise your co workers to take turns in ‘cooking’ lunch for each other. Who knows, lunch at work might actually become fun!

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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