How do you spend your lunch break? Lunch breaks are seemingly obvious times in which employees, well, eat lunch. But more workers confess to working through lunches rather than taking a rest period.
Taking that allotted time for a lunch break is highly encouraged amidst a work day. Not only are they important for the health of not only the company but the employee.
What you do during your midday break might vary depending on your job, company culture or personal priorities—but the experts agree all workers should try to do these 5 things during lunch hour:
1. Enjoy your food.
Lunch should be about having lunch. Treat yourself to something you enjoy that fits with your diet, if you have a favorite place or a particular food you enjoy make sure to go and enjoy it at least once a week. You only live once.
It’s OK to splurge from time to time—but try to stick to healthy meals as often as possible.
2. Use the time to connect with someone new.
If you work in an office of 300 people, so it was pretty much the norm to not recognize everyone in the elevator. Your workplace interactions can be so fleeting that you really never actually get to know the people you spend most of your days with. When you don’t really know those you interact with it’s easy to dehumanize them and take them for granted. Take some time to get out of the office, grab a sit down lunch, and get to know your co-workers.
3. Avoid all screens.
Try to stay away from your iPhone, iPad and laptop. Most office jobs require you to stare at a screen all day—so try to avoid that during lunch.
If you can’t help it for whatever reason (maybe you want to shop online or e-mail a friend), get up from your desk so your body perceives this as a true break.
4. Don’t get stuck in a routine.
Many of us are creatures of habit. Maybe you go to the same restaurant everyday or eat with the same colleague. You might always use your lunch break to run errands or make personal calls. Try to mix things up in order to clear your head and boost your energy.
5. Get away from your desk or work space.
Staying at your desk is a big no-no, there are more and more reports on the dangers of sitting too long, so even just getting up to walk to another room to eat is important, or better still, getting outside for some fresh air and a quick walk can do wonders for the body and spirit.
Even if you don’t sit at a desk, you should get away from your work space during lunch, as it will help you clear your mind.
If you’re allotted an hour for lunch, take it. Maybe not every day, but when you can, use the full sixty minutes to get out, eat, exercise your mind or body, catch up with an old friend or a colleague and/or tackle items on your personal agenda.
You have the ability to make your lunch hour an invigorating boost to your afternoon by doing what you enjoy; be it a brisk walk listening to music, talking with a close friend, being in nature, even if briefly, or spending time on your favorite project or pastime. It’s your time to refresh.