In today's episode I tell you how to take a lunch break
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Show notes and the transcript can be found here: https://michellekevill.com/podcast
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Hello, everyone, I hope you're well. And if not, I got you, at least you are here. My name is Michelle Kevill. And I help high achieving corporate women feel passionate about their job again, I have almost finished up my new enrollment into my new program, epic Work Life program. It's been great. I've been having a few calls with people, we've got some new people starting in the cohort. And it's exciting. Like, it's just, I also had my sister's wedding recently, like, there's just so much life happening at the moment. And I'm just looking at it just like, whoa, everything's happening. I'm all here for it. And it actually is into a good topic that I'm going to speak about today, which is how to have a lunch break. This is something that I used to struggle with so much, it is something that I've been seeing way clients recently struggling with. And it is something with even with all the amazingness that I'm talking about just happening in my life right now, I have really also had to just reinforce and implement back in again, having a making sure I take that time out for myself in the middle of the day. I've talked about it a little bit before in previous episodes, if you're new here, you should check them out. They're pretty good. But I really wanted to dedicate an episode to this because I feel like the advice given how to take a lunch break, like having a break for yourself is so shit. It's pretty shit. Because think about it. Like, I'll give you an example. I remember at a meeting like months ago, it was like a big water cohort meeting, sitting there. And it was like, Hey, guys, you're coming up towards the end of the year, remember to like take breaks for yourself, remember to just go outside step away from the computer. And you remember to take that lunch break. And I know we've got lots on. But it's important to do that. And I used to hear this all the time. And I'd be like, cake cool. How do I do that? Now at the time, and what you likely do as well as you sit there if you're like me when you hear this, like no offense bullshit, it's MIT they mean well, but you kind of sit there like, How the fuck can I do that? When I have so much work at the moment I have back to back meetings. I'm being pulled left, right and center. I have no idea what's going on. And I'm having to work back just so I can keep up. And now you're telling me to take time for myself. Like it sounds so condescending. And I feel you, I feel you if this is you right now, because I was right there with you. And it used to kill me, like you have all these things going on. All these things to do, how the hell could you even take a tiny step back to take a break, I am going to tell you exactly how to do that. With everything going on your plate, and how when you do this, when you take this break, you will end up getting more shit done. You won't have to work back as much it or at all, if anything. And you will then start to honor these breaks for yourself. Regardless of shit hitting the fan, you WILL FUCKING honor it. Because you will see how crucial they are to just restart and turn on your brain again. And then you will just easily be able to take a break because you'll have all this evidence as to Yes, when I take this break, come back. And I get so much more done. And I'm going to give you the whole spiel as to a little bit into the why and more into the how, because I know that's what people have been telling me as well. Like, give me the fucking hell just tell me how to do it what I need to do. Now some of you ain't gonna fully like what I say as well. Some of it has a little bit of like sitting without feelings, which you know, title of the podcast, which you're gonna fucking hate. Not super enjoyable, gets better over time. And it is a muscle that you need to work. So let us get into it my people. So this is what you're currently doing right? You are just thinking you can only take a lunch break Once all your work is done. Right. And the reason you can't take a lunch break is if you happen to even take a lunch break, right? A proper one note where you're sitting at your desk on half on a call eating your food and quickly muting yourself and unmuting yourself to speak while you're shoveling down food and then probably getting indigestion because you're not eating it properly. I mean, when you go away and you like, you know maybe your colleagues have pulled you away and like no, we're all coming together or gonna have a lunch break something that you know we're all going to eat or something like that. You feel like shit. It feels so overwhelming because you just keep thinking like I have all this stuff too. Do you sitting there with your friends getting distracted, but your mind keeps wandering back to everything you have to do. And the more time you sit here, just you know, dilly dallying is like more time, you'll have to work back and then you're getting home even later. And then it's nighttime like that is what's going on in your head, you don't see the value of taking lunch break, basically, you haven't been proven in your mind that this is actually going to make you know mean that you get more done at a faster rate, and stop overworking why you have absorbed into your mind your subconscious, whatever the fuck you want to call it, this real hustle productivity culture. And it has come from society, you likely have grown up in a family where that was praised as well. I myself have come from a family of workaholics, we love to work, we love to work so much that I induced in an auto immune condition. And if that is just embedded in you, right, if this is like, I'm gonna use some code here for anyone that's like doing and, you know, analytics like me, if you were just repeating this pattern, or this code of how you do things, you've heard this your whole life, whether it's sayings about working hard from society, at school, from family, etc, you know, hard work gets you places, then taking a break goes against that. And your brain is like, no, no, no, no, this isn't how we get things done. You have so much evidence as to why working through your lunch break has served you so well, you likely are going to be looking at your life and thinking well, I work through this. And I got successful on this project. And I got promoted here, etc, etc. Here's the problem with that you just keep proving to yourself that you have to work hard to get where you're at. What if you could have gotten where you're at, and you just could have also worked less, because that's what I did. I worked way less than I have, in my whole eight years in corporate. And within those two years that I slow the hell down. And I stopped overworking and I started to take lunch breaks. I got promoted twice in under a year. And I keep fucking going on about this. Because I think to myself, like holy shit. I didn't have to work as hard as I did throughout my whole career. It was the opposite everything you have been taught about this hustle and stuff like that goes against our innate nature. You think working hard is the solution. The problem is, it's killing you. You're overworked, you're burning out you want I know, deep down. That's why you're listening to this. I know deep down you want to have a lunch break, like you want to just have some respite during the day. And you're just sitting there like, well, I fucking can't, I can't I I want I'm feeling so dragged back to my job. And if I don't do it, then I have to work back even more, I get you. And I am here for you. And I'm going to tell you in a metaphor as to why this doesn't work. So again, you have a lot of evidence as to why it does work so far. Here's why this doesn't work in a really simple metaphor, okay? You're a computer. Okay? Just think just imagine you were a computer. And you are running all these programs and stuff like that. And you got a lot on, like you're talking to me, you think of like an AI or something like that you've got all this stuff on. I'm coming from the outside in as a person. And I'm looking at you. And let me tell you what's going on in your computer world right now. You have 50 tabs open on the internet, you have a massive amount of updates that still you haven't had time to install, because you've been on 24/7. And when you do half the time you just shut down, like straightaway because you've run out of power because we haven't put you on the charger or something like that, you know what I mean? And you're just sitting there like no, I have to keep working through like I have all these tabs open I have all this stuff to do. I'm coming to you from the outside and I'm just like, do your work so much more efficiently. If we run these updates, I get rid of these tabs and I just do like a you know, like a restart. You know what I mean? Now you in that world you can't see all this. You're just like no, I've just got a ton of work that I need to do like I got I got all these tabs open I got all these things I need to do. You can't see it because you are the computer that's why with a coach you can come outside in and be like my guy.
This is all happening all you need to do is restart the computer. That's what you need to do here. That's where the lunch break comes in. The lunch break is like when your computer annoyingly at work in the middle of the day is like we need to restart to do this Software updates. And you're sitting there like what the fuck, let's do a simple software update on you. So that you are optimized, you're at peak performance. And then you're able to do things at a faster rate. Your battery right now, when you're coming to your lunch break is like at 40%. And if you take that work break, we're going to recharge a little bit back to like 80%, you have no evidence that that works. At this point in time, you're just like, No, I just run myself all the way down to 0%. And then I crash at night. And I'm telling you, by taking that break, which part of you I know really wants to take, you are going to be doing more. And if you are high achieving, if you are addicted to work, if you are addicted, a little bit addicted to the like, the stress, and I know part of you is like I don't addicted to stress. But if you have this compulsion to want to go back and like, really, it's really, really hard. There is definitely a part of you that doesn't trust this kind of, you know, relaxing and taking a lunch break. But there's a part of you that wants that wants to be busy, wants to be going wants to be doing things all the time. And it's happening at your own detriment. Now you know what the solution is, you know, this objectively, you know, if you take a lunch break, there is a likely chance that you will feel more refreshed, and you'll be able to get more done. The problem is, you can't trust that right now, the idea of taking a full hour or whatever it is, it feels a little bit overwhelming. And even when you're on the lunch break, you're thinking of like, you know, wanting to go back, etc. And this is where the health part comes into it. This is where you're listening here. And you're like, Okay, Michelle, but how, how do I do a lot, you've given me why you've set the scenario, tell me how the fuck I do that. Now, okay, you need to create evidence that a lunch break. And by the way, it doesn't have to be a lunch break, it is a break of sorts, like I'm not saying for me, it's from 12 to one, it's whatever it is for you, whether it's like your work for hours, and then you take you know what I mean? It's the break that you want to fucking take that you can't take. That's what I meant here. You need to create evidence that this is going to work. So we need to start off really slowly. If it is so hard for you to take a break right now. And like you're constantly thinking of things and stuff like that, this is what I want you to do, I want you to start instead of a full hour or whatever it is, just take 20 minutes, just a 20 minute break. And the 20 minute break is away from your computer, away from where you're sitting, sitting somewhere else, and you are present. With that break, we're present, eating the food present, talking with other people watching TV or being outside whatever it is. And I want you to notice everything around you. Within that 20 minutes, where you're sitting, the sun on your skin, the power the food tastes, you're being very mindful of everything. Now, when your brain wants to take you back to oh my god, like to take a lunch break? Well, blah, I want you to just say to it, I'm only taking 20 minutes, and then you're not being a dick to that part of you that's pulling you back. You're just politely reverting it back to the present. You don't use a thing, you don't have to engage with that part. You don't have to a part of you that's like, let's go back oh my god, and then you start thinking, Oh, I got a sugar back and then you start feeling anxious to engage with it or or you can just be like, right, and I'm only taking 20 minutes, and then go back to being present. Underlying all of that, you will feel like shit, you will have feelings of anxiety, overwhelm. That is okay. I just want you to allow it. Allow it to be there sitting beside you whilst you are having that break. Now I know some of you are like this does not solve my problem. It's solving the problem because it's a muscle that you need to build right now. You have a really weak muscle when it comes to trusting the lunch breaks and your brain and body are like no, I don't like this. I don't like relaxing right now. It's almost like a detox. you're detoxing from all the overwork and the stress and this is how you do it. And then the next day, instead of 20 minutes, I want you to try 25 minutes and then a day after that. I want you to do 30 minutes and then when you come back from your break and you're doing all things at the end of the day, I want you to list what worked out regardless what worked out what was fine. I started Do this in the really early days, I would rock literally, I was like, I could not take a break during the COVID pandemic, my partner had to pull me away. And I would feel physically ill because I wanted to go back and continue working. This is what I did to get myself over it. And what I started to notice by the end of the day, is that the things that I was worrying about the things that I thought was going to happen, if I, you know, didn't keep working, never ended up happening, and things ended up sorting out regardless. And I was like, huh, it's almost like I'm not controlling as much as I think I am. And things were okay. And I ended building myself back up to a full hour. And now, it's gotten to the point where she could be hitting the fan, I'm still taking that break, obviously, there's an emergency, whatever. Sure, I'll go do it. And then I will shift meetings out. So I take my break, because I see the value in it. If for example, the only example I have is with coding, because this is perfect example, if you do any sort of coding or like hard, like, you know, you have to like really think, you know, you really have to like whether it's like creative stuff, maybe you're writing something like writing something like code. I want you if you are struggling, you're trying to run through it, etc. I want you to go away, take this break, whatever the amount you set yourself, come back, notice how you're able to get through it. Like really notice how much like the thing you're freaking out about now that you've looked at it with a fresh set of eyes is so much easier. It's almost like Wait, are you worrying about this? That is the power of a lunch break. And the way you do it is starting really, really small. Like this is the problem. Like there are experts out there that tell you to just go like, do it and be prenup be present with all the feelings etc, yada, yada, yada. I actually think it's too much at the start. Go ahead if you want to. But I actually think it's way too much and too much for your body to handle. And you have so much evidence as to why it isn't working, and your brain will actually want to keep you stuck. So it will give you more evidence if you take that for whatever break. So if you just do it in little chunks, you start at 20 minutes, 25 minutes, etc, and you build yourself up. It also means that when your brain and body is screaming at you to go back, you can just be like, it's only 25 minutes, only 25 minutes, and I'll be back 25 minutes is all I'm taking out right now. That's all I'm going to do. And then I'll come straight back to it. It's like you're meeting a buddy halfway. Really important that you are mindfully redirecting your brain at the end of the day, and even during the day to notice things that worked out. Even when you took that break, ha that email still went through, I still figured that thing out, the thing I was freaking out about whatever it's still worked out, really be present. And notice that because we want to start giving your brain more evidence as to why taking a lunch break. One, the whole company isn't gonna die if you go take a lunch break for an hour or two, how taking a lunch break is actually the most beneficial thing for you. And you'll get more work done. And it means during really stressful periods, when your brain and body is screaming at you like it was for me coming up towards the end of the year, you going to still take that break, because that break is that software update for the computer. And I get it. It's really hard. And for me even when this happened to me, like end of last year, I knew all this stuff. And I still was like but I just want to keep figuring this out. And I was just like, You know what, no, I've done this before. I know my brain is doing and wants to revert back because it's scared. Because there's a lot more at stake or things there's a lot more at stake. I'm going to take the break. And I went for a walk. And I allowed my brain and body to have freaked out at times and I was just with it. And I was like I hear you, you're freaking out. And guess what, every time it came back, I was able to look at things a little bit better fresh set of eyes and it all fucking worked out. And you need that you need that software update. It's really important. And it's breaking down this mentality of hustle culture because you can use the same thing when it comes to overworking late into the night, as well. It's the same thing if you're working or working till eight o'clock like overwork just to 730 and see what happens and keep doing it from there. This stuff is so important to unlearn the productivity and hustle culture that is so embedded in you right now and is sucking that fucking joy out of your job.
And the problem is you're so in it that you can't see a way out. You're like, this is the only way I know this is how I operate and know that when you're learning this new way that I'm teaching you and how to do it is it is a detox and it is normal. for your brain to have a little bit more of a freakout, because it doesn't know that this way that you're teaching it is actually like way better and more efficient has no evidence, it doesn't like it. The brain hates fucking change. And it feels safe with the old way that a new about since it was like six years old in school, like people think on your lunch break, you meant to feel like super relaxed and chill all the time. No, actually, on these breaks, you're actually supposed to detox a little bit. Sometimes it is meant to feel really uncomfortable. The comfortableness that I talk about, and that you probably see on like, my Instagram Stories, is from me, years of me training this muscle. Before that. It was like, there was a lot of emotions coming up for me, because my brain and body were like, no, no, no, I don't like this way, this way isn't safe this way hasn't got us the results, this isn't going to work, etc. And I had to constantly prove that to myself that it is working and it is good. And I learn the new healthy way. And fuck look at my life now. It's fantastic. It is like all these little pieces come together to create a pin fucking tastic job that you enjoy. I'm learning all this bullshit, implementing all this new shit, and accepting that when you implement this new shit, it is going to be hard. And this is where in my epic Work Life program. You take like these things, but you're applying it to all aspects of your corporate life. So you are having such a fulfilling, enjoyable career, that you are still achieving your goals, whether it's projects, getting promoted, etc. And you're loving it at the same time. You're not overworking you're not burning out. You are sustaining yourself. You are resilient in these situations and you fucking advocate for yourself and your needs. So get on my waitlist to hear about the next enrollment for this amazing program. It is curated for people exactly like you. I know you I see you I was you. I'm going to show you how to not burn out and still be achieving your goals. It is amazing. You have to unlearn a whole heap of shit. I show you how to do it for yourself. And by the end of it, it's fantastic. You're fucking getting promoted, and you're enjoying your weekends and you're switching off from work. It is a fucking dream. And it all comes down to managing the drama that your mind is giving you. I'm so excited for you to sign up. But anyway, that is all for today. I will see you next week.