Having a supportive network of friends has been linked to decreased stress, longer life span, and increased happiness. Today I took the opportunity to have lunch with my friend Brian Owen. We laughed, talked about old times, solved the world’s problem and just really enjoyed a break from the world. I was so engaged in our conversation (and the great food), living in the present moment and letting my cares slip away. So refreshing! Then when I dropped him off at is office, some former colleagues invited me to lunch. My automatic response was, “No thanks. I just ate.” But then I thought, “Wait a minute! Why not enjoy some more time with friends?” So I went to lunch for the second time (I didn’t eat again) and had a great time. I feel valued, connected, and the world just seems like a better place. So if you want to decrease your stress, go out to lunch with friends. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t think about all you are NOT doing while you are “wasting” time. It’s not a waste! Self-care and stress management are ESSENTIAL for good health and increased productivity. There used to be a saying that people were “out to lunch” when they did something crazy. I say going out to lunch might feel crazy, but it’s good for you. Enjoy!