National Take Back the Lunch Break Day – June 18, 2021

         Dinner was the main meal during the Middle Ages. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this meal was gradually pushed back to the later evening, creating a gap between breakfast and dinner. This led to the creation of lunch. Similarly, June 18th marks National Take Back the Lunch Break Day. This day is always held on the third Friday in June. The holiday was created in 2018 by Tork (a global hygiene and health company) in response to the decline of the employee lunch break in today’s grind culture.

            Nowadays, many people eat at their desk or skip their lunch break altogether. This holiday encourages workers all over America to take a lunch break. This only applies to workers who receive breaks at their prospective jobs, of course. Employees who take a non-working lunch break score higher on a wide range of metrics, including job satisfaction, productivity, morale, and overall wellbeing. Taking breaks allows people to step into a true sense of humanity. When people take breaks, they are honoring their needs and preserving their energy. Often, humans are wired into productivity culture and worry about not doing enough. On the contrary, we are all inherently enough. Learning to set boundaries around time allows individuals to be the best version of themselves; nourishing bodies at lunchtime is one way to do this. Taking time away from work makes you a better worker.

Do you ever feel guilty taking a break? If so, have you ever thought about what lies beneath those feelings of guilt? Challenge yourself to sit with the possible discomfort you may feel when your coworkers skip lunch and you do not.  Remind yourself that it is acceptable to use your allotted time and try to weigh the pros and cons of taking a break versus not. You will thank yourself later.

Lastly, if you are looking for a lunch recipe so you can begin to take lunch breaks, see below for a refreshing summer lunch recipe.

Watermelon Feta Salad:

You will Need:

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 c. cubed seedless watermelon

1 c. medium cucumber, chopped

1 c. crumbled feta (fresh mozzarella balls or goat cheese would also work)

1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced (To take some of the bite out of red onions, soak the slices in water for about 15 minutes)

1/2 c. coarsely chopped mint

Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

How To: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.

In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, cucumber, feta, red onion, and mint. Pour over dressing, tossing to combine. Garnish with more mint and flaky sea salt.

If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about topics such as the one featured in this blog, and are in the Chicago area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.

Written by Liz, Mental Health Counseling Master’s Level Intern

References

National take back the lunch break day — June 18. (2021, June 14). National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/national-take-back-lunch-break-day/

Miyashiro, L., & Miyashiro, L. (2020). Watermelon Feta Salad Is the Most Refreshing Summer

Side. Delish. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a5739/watermelon-salad-feta-mint-recipe/

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