Looking Forward to Lunch

I have a love/hate relationship with my lunch breaks during the week.  I love it because I get the time to get away from my desk and be free to do what I want for an hour.  I hate it because I don’t have the luxury of having many people to eat lunch with very often.

I’m fortunate to live close to my workplace so I have the option of going home during my break.  This past year I took advantage of going home during my hour of solitude and getting a few things done while grabbing something out of my refrigerator.  

The past few months, however, I’ve grown tired of it.  I enjoy the opportunity to go home but I found that I would sit at my dining room table, eat the same thing every day, and have my head bent over my phone until it was time to go back to work.

This year I’ve made a commitment to myself to look at my lunch break in a new way.  I want that hour to be a time of taking care of myself mentally.

Visit A New Restaurant

I hate eating by myself.  I don’t judge others who do it but I always feel judged in my head if I go into a restaurant and sit at a table by myself.  During my year of being fearless I decided that I would tackle this self-initiated fear.  A new coffee bar opened up last year right in historic downtown Perry called Bodega Brew.  It’s a small bistro that offer small plates for lunch and a variety of coffee and pastries.  It looked cozy so I went one day for lunch all by myself.

It was fantastic.  I sat at a high top table near the front window and ordered the most delicious ham and swiss sandwich.  Even though I did spend a few minutes scrolling on my phone I made myself look around at the decor and people watch through the window.  I didn’t experienced the fear of being judged for being alone. In fact, there were two other women there by themselves working on their laptops.  I felt right at home. I bought a chocolate latte (so yummy!) after I finished my lunch and walked back to my car.  I realized how relaxed I felt. It was a great feeling just taking the time to be by myself and try something new.  And now I found a favorite new spot to grab lunch or a coffee!

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill during your lunch break is easy.  I found a new app a few years ago called Skillshareh. It has online classes for anything you can imagine.  You can watch demonstrations on anything from leadership to flower arranging. They even have classes that are specifically designed to last a “lunch hour.”  You can view many classes for free or pay a small monthly fee to view some of the more intense classes. I’ve watched classes on photography, graphic design, and personal branding.  Learning a new skill with these creative workshops is definitely more fun than scrolling through Facebook for an hour.

YouTube is also a great source to learn something new!  Everything I know how to do in Photoshop, Illustrator, and video editing I learned through YouTube tutorials!  Best of all…they’re free 🙂


Go Outside – Like For Real

I often see the articles that say you should step outside at least once during your workday to get fresh air and clear your mind.  Yeah, I don’t do that. I either feel guilty about leaving my desk or get caught up in a project where I don’t want to leave my workspace until I get to a stopping point.  Your lunch break is a perfect time to do this. I have a colleague that has her own personal table and chair and eats outside when the weather is nice. We have picnic tables outside at work but her setup is the cutest and definitely inviting.  If I do go home for lunch I try to take it outside on my back porch when the weather permits. Fresh air is a great stress reliever and the sounds of chirping birds can be a mood booster.

Brainstorm and Write it Down

This is one of my favorite things to do.  I bought a unicorn notebook that I carry around in my purse for the random thoughts that come into my head during the day.  If you’re like me you have a ton going on in your mind at once. It helps me to write my ideas in my special notebook to clear them out of my head.  I jot down anything that inspires me. Blog post ideas, quotes that have meaning to me, gratitude lists, and anything else that I feel is important. It’s not a calendar.  I have a separate planner for things I have to get done. This notebook is specifically for my creative ideas and things I want to do someday. It’s nice to have this space to empty my mind out so I can make room for the things I need to be focused on during the day.  

Explore Your City

I did this during a recent outing in historic downtown Perry which is only a few streets over from my workplace.  I love it there. I was feeling especially down one day and a slow stroll through Carroll Street was a great way to refocus my mind and enjoy my surroundings.  Is there a specific place you’ve always heard about nearby your work? Maybe it’s a park or a visitor center that you’ve always drove past and never stopped at.  Experiencing the town your work or live in as a tourist can give you a new perspective and appreciation for a place you grind day after day.

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My Favorite Things About Historic Downtown Perry, GA

Perry, Georgia is a magical place.

It is 90 miles south of Atlanta and is home to around 16,000 people. The city is right in the middle of state and federal highways labeling Perry as “Where Georgia comes together.”

I’ve worked in Perry for almost five years and have grown fond of the small town feel that I didn’t have in Warner Robins. The other great thing is that Perry is a progressive city. They have big plans for the future but still remember what makes them a special place to be – the atmosphere of being tucked away in a small corner of the world enjoying the simple things in life.

My absolutely favorite spot is historic downtown Perry. It’s everything you dream a downtown would be like. Small business shops ranging from monogrammed merchandise to elegant home decor. Beautiful potted plants perfectly line the street and add an elegant atmosphere as you browse shops and sit on the comfortable benches dedicated to someone’s memory.

Here are a few of my favorite downtown spots on Carroll Street…

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The landscaping around downtown is absolutely beautiful.  The lush greenery and the potted plants are always well manicured and vibrant with colors.  I am always impressed that the flowers have never appeared to be withered or dead.  Appearance is a huge part of what makes the atmosphere inviting.  You can tell the people taking care of downtown truly care about preserving it.

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This area of downtown has always struck me as a perfect place to have lunch outside. It is covered and has several tables.  This cove is also used to host the Perry Farmer’s Market.  Vendors display their goods and the place is usually bustling with customers.  Having lunch out there is on my to do list.

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Carroll Street is picture perfect with trees lining the one way street and shop fronts that are perfect for window shopping.

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There are so many amazing stores on Carroll Street.  My favorite is Mossy Creek Natural.  It is a “bohemian bath and body gift shop” full of handmade soaps, bath bombs, body butters, and super cute merchandise.  The ladies that run the store are incredibly friendly.  I am alway greeted with a smile.  One year I bought gift baskets full of soaps, charming coffee cups, and body butters as Christmas presents for the women in my family.  The lovely ladies gift wrapped each basket with beautiful trimmings.  The price was very fair for such a unique gift.

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During my recent excursion I had to stop by and pick up a new bath bomb.  The honeysuckle one is my favorite.  Their products are the most luxurious bath bombs I have ever bought.  I was told they use a variety of natural ingredients to include avocado oil.  My skin always feels so smooth and smells great.

I also found a really cute ID holder for the back of my cell phone for.  The item is well made and I get compliments on it.

It is important is shop local.  Many of the shops in downtown Perry are locally owned and operated.  Each year they have “Small Business Saturday” the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday.  I make an effort to get at least a few presents on my shopping list from stores downtown.  I’m still an Amazon addict but there’s something special to me about purchasing at a local store knowing I’m helping them and the economy I live in.  Plus, they have some really unique items!

If you’re ever in the Perry area I encourage you to drop by for a few hours to browse, shop, and eat.  It is truly a prime example of southern hospitality.  Be sure to stop by the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce while you’re there.  They are friendly people who are happy to show you all that Perry has to offer.

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Find more amazing downtown shops and restaurants on the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce website.

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