Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Lunch Breaks Oct 19, 2016 by Sarah (Day Styles)
Are you skipping your lunch when you’ve got a lot of work to do? According to studies, about 1 in 5 office employees skip their lunch breaks - but passing on your break might be counterproductive. Taking time away from your desk to stretch your legs and let your mind rest can actually increase your productivity over the rest of your day, boost your energy, and expand on your creativity. Here are some great ways to use your lunch break to relax and recharge.
When you’re able to step away from your desk for a lunch break, try to leave all your screens behind. Tuck your phone into your desk drawer and bring a book with you instead! Giving your eyes, head, and neck a rest from the screens will help you to avoid straining your eyes (which can lead to headaches, tension, fatigue, and sensitivity to light). Take a walk outside or rest your eyes for a bit at your desk, anything to give yourself a break from a bright screen.
Call A Friend
Spend your lunch break catching up with a friends or family. Instead of sending a text, actually pick up your phone and call! Pop in some headphones and take a stroll while you’re on the phone and you can get some exercise in at the same time. Make plans to get a coffee later on in the week to get out of the office and spend your lunch break catching up - you will thank yourself for it later!
Don’t Worry About Work
When you take a break at lunch, try your best not to stress and fret over work. The point of taking a break is to let your brain rest, your eyes relax, and your mind to chill out after working all morning. Do something that completely takes your mind off of work - whether you dive into a new book, hit up your local gym or fitness class, or go for a walk with a co-worker (just don’t talk about work).
If you find that you don’t have enough time in the mornings or at night, spend your lunch break running some errands that need to be completed. Write a list of things you need to do and make a plan that leaves you enough time to eat. On the one hand, when you’ve finished your break you’ll feel happy and motivated to keep the momentum going at the office - or, at the least, you’ve been distracted from work for a few minutes!
Physical activity can improve concentration at the office. If you work close to a gym, you may want to look into purchasing a membership and using your lunch hour to fit in a workout. Many gyms offer classes at lunch that are about 45 minutes in length, so you have time to get back to the office within the time you’re given. If you don’t work near a gym, then take your lunch hour outside and get walking or go for a run. Anything you can do to get a sweat on will help you reenergize for the rest of your day! If you’re crunched for time, use it to do some stretching and loosen up from sitting at your desk all morning. It will help reduce any aches and pains and increase mental stamina.
If things have been a bit crazy for you lately, try and spend your lunch taking a nap. If there’s an office couch or a room that’s not in use you can have a nap (or you can always lie down in your car or tip back the office chair). After a brief power nap you’ll feel more energized, your attention and focus will improve, your creativity will be higher, and your productivity will increase overall. Don’t just stay at your desk and definitely don’t stay on your computer all day - use your lunch break wisely and you’ll feel better and work harder!