Whether you get an hour or thirty minutes, lunch breaks are a great way to reset your day. By taking a break and focusing your mind on something other than work, you can come back to your afternoon tasks feeling a little more equipped to move them into your ‘out’ tray. Here’s our roundup of how you can make the most out of your lunch break and refresh your body and mind.
Actually Take a Lunch Break
So many of us neglect to take a lunch and instead shovel food into our mouths at our desks (we’re often guilty of this one in the Neat office). It’s important to embrace that break in our working day and take the time to step away from work. Once you’ve done that, maybe try some of the below.
Take a Walk
Get outside and let the fresh air blow through your ears! It doesn’t matter if you don’t work somewhere picturesque, or you only find the time for five minutes after you’ve eaten – any time outside will be worth it. Pop some headphones in and listen to music if you need to, while you stretch your legs and just enjoy being away from your place of business for a minute.
Absorb Some Culture
If you’re lucky enough to work close to a museum, art gallery or place of interest, why not spend your lunch break visiting somewhere you’re always too busy to give your time to. How many buildings do you rush past on your commute and not take the time to really look at? Try slowing things down and spend some time observing.
Work is a cause of stress for a lot of people. A lunch break is a perfect time to reset some of those triggers and try relaxing before you head back into the trenches for the afternoon. Remember, meditation doesn’t have to be cross-legged ohm-ming. It can merely be taking time to stop and realign. Apps like Headspace make it even easier.
Check out studios and gyms local to your place of work – most will have lunchtime classes designed for those short on time, and have shower facilities so there’s no need to be afraid to work up a sweat! If group exercise or other people aren’t your things, try going for a run or designing your own HIIT workout for a burst of endorphins. Don’t like running? Try a power walk instead. Or a stair workout. Anything will do – just get that heart pumping!
Download Your Favourite Show
Thanks to video streaming services, you can now take your favourite shows with you. Download an episode of your favourite comedy or nostalgic drama and find some escapism during your lunch break. Television can take your mind off your day and provide some much-needed distraction while your brain works on getting you refreshed for getting back to work. Just don’t blame us if you’re three hours late from lunch because you just had to find out if Rachel went to Paris (spoiler, she didn’t – worst decision ever).
Learn a Language
With 30 minutes a day to spare, learning a language is a great fit. Repetitive by nature and requiring a commitment, mastering linguistics can be a goal you set yourself this year. The best part? Your reward at the end of the year is a visit to a country where your chosen language is spoken! There are hundreds of language apps you can download to make learning a habit.
Call Your Family or Friends
Modern life can leave you with very little time (or energy) to communicate with the people you love. Consider spending your lunch break calling your parents or little sister, Skype with your mate in Australia or your Granddad in Wales. Just think how amazing it will feel to not be nagged about never calling enough!
Do Something Creative
Get your brain focused on something else. Doing something creative in your lunch break will give you some escapism and also get a different part of your brain working - unless of course, you work in a creative job! Try knitting, drawing, writing, reading, even colouring will get your mind focused elsewhere.
Train Your Brain
Use your lunch break to get those brain juices going in a different capacity to work. Sudoku’s, crossword, number puzzles – all will sharpen your mind and could help to stave off longer lasting memory and mental deterioration. Pop down to the local newsagents and pick up a Puzzler for a few pounds.