How To Make The Most Out of Your Lunch Break13 Feb, 20231-2 minutes
Whether you’re office based, work from home or split your time between the two, taking a proper lunch break every day is important.
If you’re looking at an endless to-do list and struggling to see a gap, working through your breaks won’t do you any favours in the long run.
In fact, giving your brain time to recharge will increase your focus and leave you ready to tackle the rest of the day.
The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 sets out the minimum break and rest period entitlements for most workers, to ensure that employers are giving their staff the rest they require.
People who work for more than 6 hours a day in the UK are legally entitled to one uninterrupted 30 minute rest break a day.
If you’re looking for encouragement to spend your lunch break wisely, here are 5 activities that will help you make the most of this time:
Get lost in a book
Gripped on a great book and you’re struggling to put it down?
Getting lost in a story is a great way to distract your mind from work and escape to another world.
Whilst reading can be a solitary activity, there’s nothing rude about taking 30 minutes to yourself, especially in a busy office environment. To completely switch off from work, find yourself a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.
Reading on your lunch break will allow you a mental break from work but ensure that your mind is still active.
You might even discover that other members of your team love reading and a book club could be the perfect way to share recommendations!
Get some fresh air
If you’re in the middle of a busy day and you can feel your stress levels rising, some fresh air will do you a world of wonders.
Fresh air raises the oxygen levels in the brain and increases the mood-controlling neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Therefore, getting outside on your lunch break could significantly improve your mindset and change your perspective on the rest of the day. If you work in the city and your outdoor space is limited, their are plenty of other ways to reconnect with nature in the city!
Staying inside without a change of scene can reduce creative thinking. New ideas are much easier to come by when you change your environment, rather than trapping yourself between the same four walls for hours on end.
A lunchtime walk is also a great way to fit in some light exercise. Why not invite a colleague along? This is the perfect time to catch up and improve your cardiovascular health during the process!
Complete a light workout
Exercising has several physical and mental benefits. It’s proven that people who partake in regular exercise, significantly reduce their chances of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
Along with the physical benefits, exercising can have a positive impact on stress. Endorphins are released in the brain and trigger positive feelings in the body.
If you’re having a stressful morning at work, exercising on your lunch break could help to change your mindset for the rest of the day.
If you don’t have time to complete a full workout on your lunch break, you could try a lighter form of exercise such as a brisk walk, a bike ride, yoga or pilates.
Challenge your colleagues to a game
There’s nothing wrong with some friendly office competition and challenging your work mates is a great way to form bonds and use your lunchtime productively.
If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere which is kitted out with gaming equipment, such as a pool table or a darts board, don’t take this for granted.
Engaging your brain in a challenge which isn’t work related is a great way to keep your mind active whilst stepping away from your work responsibilities.
In addition to this, friendly competition is great for socialising with colleagues on a personal level and it can be an effective way to break the ice with newer members of the team!
If your office isn’t kitted out with activities, there are still plenty of games which you could organise for free. Games such as Pictionary, Two Truths and a Lie, Who am I? and Wink Murder are all great ways to get everyone together.
Fill up on healthy nutrients
The most important thing to do on your lunch break is to eat a healthy, nutritious meal.
Nutrients are required to keep your brain working efficiently and eating a healthy lunch will raise your blood sugar levels to give you the energy boost you need for the rest of the day.
Try to avoid overeating as this could leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy which is not what you need if you have a busy afternoon ahead. Eating your lunch slowly will help to prevent you feeling bloated and lethargic.
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