The lunch break was established so that you could get away and relax your mind, body, and relationships. But, too many people forego the midday break to work.
First of all, we need to clear the air. A lunch break is not five minutes long or stuffing a sandwich in your mouth while working in front of the computer. Both of these situations do not qualify as a healthy lunch break.
A break, means getting away from the work you were doing. Walking outside, driving to the nearest park, or going home for a designated amount of time. If you don’t get away, you may find yourself cranky and burnt out by the end of the day.
Those that skip lunches often rely on vending machines and fast food to supplement their nutrition. Most cram a candy bar or pre-made food source while sitting at their desk. Research shows that those who get away from the routine for lunch often eat healthier snacks. Fresh salads, homemade foods, and sandwiches won’t be found in a vending machine or office kitchen.
Experiencing some low back pain or tension headache? The best thing to do is get up and out. Take a short walk during your lunch break, leave the office, and get some fresh air. Trade the fluorescent lighting for sunshine and a crisp autumn breeze. Your muscles, spine, and posture will thank you.
Instead of yawning in front of the computer screen every afternoon, turn the switch on your computer and brain. Getting up and out of the office will help reduce foggy thinking and diminish tiredness. When you step away from your desk, you become refreshed, especially if the time spent away included a brisk walk and healthy meal. Thirty to sixty minutes away from the office can help invigorate you and refuel your energy.
Lunch breaks offer the opportunity for self care. It is the downtime needed to relieve stress in your everyday life. Whether you are running a few errands or taking a walk, your lunch break should be for you. Use the time wisely and you will feel less stressed when you return. You may even manage your to-do list better if the time is spent checking off items. Lunch breaks are a great time to pick up dry cleaning or mail a package.
While at work, you work. It’s hard to forge relationships with colleagues when you are both under pressure to get your job done. But, lunch is your time. Invite a coworker out to lunch and share funny moments in the day. Vent constructively, if you must, and feel the stress lift from your shoulders.