Working an average of eight to nine hours daily confined in an office cubicle sounds as dreary as it is in reality. As dull as the working conditions are, many of us will still forgo or cut short our lunch break just to send an extra email. The best advice—don’t. Utilizing your lunch break efficiently can bring some much needed balance into your life at the office. Instead of boxing yourself in, take part in activities that can make your lunch break a true, well, break.
Literally. Take a walk, exercise, or go shopping–whatever it is, attempt a change in setting. Stretching your legs and improving the circulation in your body can also boost your immune system and metabolism. You can run small errands and get them out of way to save yourself the trouble later in the evenings or on the weekends. Manage your time and health wisely altogether.
Set a change of pace and refresh your mind with different material. You can take a lesson in an hour-long class, read a book or brainstorm. These activities will help you retain focus, keep your mind active and at the same time temporarily detach you from the drivel of your normal work day. Otherwise, take up a hobby and try something that you haven’t done before or work on a side gig. Use your lunch break to switch up your routine and simultaneously increase your knowledge, skills or explore other areas of interest.
Especially if you have been sitting in front of a computer screen all day, take action to socialize with people. Make a phone call or better yet, go out to meet and eat with friends or family who may be nearby. You can also use your lunch break as an opportunity to network and connect with coworkers, your mentor or someone new. Catch up, get to know someone better and steer clear of work-related topics. You will maintain and build your relationships with others while taking the necessary time away from your work.
Sometimes, you just need the time alone to recharge and clear your mind. This can be done simply with soothing music, meditation, or a nap in a designated office space or your car. You can restore your energy and stay alert for the second half of your day. A rest period can also help you to de-stress especially if you had a particularly difficult morning or late night. Take care of your psychological and emotional health with time for yourself away from your work and coworkers.
It’s quite simple—have a meal. A healthy snack or a light mid-day meal can boost your energy and mood. You can be happier and more productive along with other health benefits.
Take up an activity that you will enjoy during your lunch break. In other words, do not over-exert yourself for something that makes you unhappy. A break is aptly named so for a reason. How do you enjoy your lunch break?