I Took Myself to Lunch…and Here’s What I Learned

I work in an office setting, spending more of my lunch breaks than I’d care to admit sitting at my desk, finishing a task between meetings, or catching up on the news from the morning. Occasionally I’ll pop downstairs to one of the food options in my office building, but even then, I usually grab it and bring it back upstairs to eat. What I’m saying is I have bad lunch habits.

Recently, after the weeks of mid-day rainstorms ended, and on a day when I didn’t feel swamped at work, I walked myself to an outdoor restaurant and sat down to order and enjoy a meal. It was the first such endeavor, but after my experience, I can say it will not be the last time I take myself to lunch. I might even make a habit of it.

Here’s What I Learned

  1. Dedicated solo time is filling for me

Okay, maybe this wasn’t a complete surprise, because I’m a pretty clear introvert, but I don’t spend very much time alone, unless I’m working or driving, and I thoroughly enjoyed my own company. While I didn’t carry on an external conversation with myself, I did use the time to check in on my emotions, assess my mental state, and make some notes.  I chose not to spend the time scrolling on my phone (though some days I might enjoy a few minutes to catch up on social media). Instead, I brought a notebook and did a little list-making. It was nice to let my thoughts wander and to make notes on paper of things I’d been mentally carrying around for some time. It was nice to be able to do this without any distractions, and with dedicated time and space.

  1. I need a mid-day break

My days are often spent in a flurry of emails, a series of meetings, and a barrage of Excel spreadsheets. It often feels like my brain is operating in overdrive. I often use my drive home to attempt to decompress before I pick up the kids, but this mid-day break gave me a bit of reprieve in the midst of the busyness, forced me to slow down, and got me outside for at least a few minutes. I also found that I was more productive when I got back to the office. I think that whether I take myself out to lunch, run down to one of the food vendors in my office building, or simply eat my packed lunch in the office kitchen, I’ll be spending fewer of my lunch breaks glued to my computer.

  1. There are lots of food options to explore Downtown

For my first foray into solo lunch dates, I went to Copper Vine to enjoy their fun and beautiful patio. But I’m also excited to try some of the many lunch spots nearby. My current list includes St. James Cheese Co.’s downtown location, True Food Kitchen, Tava, and Simple Greek, but I’m sure I’ll constantly be adding to it.

What are your lunchtime rhythms? Are you a desk-lunch diner? Do you eat your toddler’s leftovers in silence while your little ones nap? Do you have lunch with your friends or dine alone? I wonder if changing up your mid-day meal schedule could reinvigorate and inspire you, too. And, if you get the chance, I’d highly recommend taking yourself out to lunch as often as you can.

Sarah Brichetto
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah moved to New Orleans in 2009 after graduating from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) and is proud to call New Orleans home. She is a CPA and the Finance Director at a local real estate development company. Sarah lives in the Freret neighborhood with her husband, Matt, and their three kids: Elizabeth, Paul and Isaac. You can often find them roaming the neighborhood streets, taking streetcar rides, or enjoying one of the many local parks. In her non-existent free time, Sarah loves to try the newest local restaurants, cook, read, and write.


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