3 Things You Should Be Doing On Your Lunch Break
It’s that time of day, your 1 hour lunch break. Time away from work to do the 3 much needed R’s, recuperate, rest and relax, or is it?
Having a break is dying out. A study by Aviva Health show 1 in 3 workers don’t take a lunch break due to too much work and not having the time, with a quarter of workers only taking a lunch break if they feel their workload allows it.
“Longer hours and pressure in the workplace are leading to bad eating habits and stopping staff taking a necessary break” the Aviva Health study warns.
So do you just have a sandwich at your desk while continuing work? Can you remember the last time you had a real lunch break? Do you even leave your desk?
Here are 3 things you should be doing when that lunch break comes around.
1) Leave that work space!
Get up from that desk, even if it is just to go in the next room, get up and go. This will help clear your mind. Better yet go outside for fresh air if you can. Having a walk will do wonders. It will make you more relaxed, calm and ready to face the rest of the day, especially if your job involves sitting in an office all day. Walking is a form of exercise that is proven to reduce stress. For the busy bee’s who have to do something, still no work! Do some errands you haven’t got around to like going to the post office, bank etc. things you can’t do during work hours. But don’t do too many errands or you will just be swapping one stress for another.
2) No Work!
No work emails, talking about work, thinking about work, no phone, actually no screens! No phones, computers, iPads, give your eyes a break. If that’s too hard to do for this online generation, at least no work calls or mails. Catch up with old friends, talk to work colleagues or even network with people. If you are worried about being absent from your desk, set in place someone to take any calls or emails you may get until you are back. This will reduce and stress or anxiety making it easier to relax and stop you constantly checking work emails or phone calls.
3) Eating Right
Michael Woodward, PhD, organizational psychologist and author of The YOU Plan states “Just like professional athletes, we all need the energy from calories for our minds to function at their best. And we all need a little time to recharge, too.”.
Doug Wright, head of clinical development at Aviva UK Health, said “It’s well documented that eating more healthily can improve general well being and life expectancy, so there are countless benefits to adopting this approach in the workplace. It’s also important for people to take a break from their desks where possible as this can help improve both morale and efficiency for employees. Remove those barriers that still exist to taking a proper lunch break. Employees too need to break the habit of skipping lunch or eating at their desks. A cultural shift in the workplace towards proper lunch breaks will improve overall employee well being as well as productivity.”
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 favourite project or pastime. It’s your time to refresh.
You may think skipping lunch to do more work will mean you get more done but the quality of your work will not be the best it could. Being tried and run down, it will be harder to focus. A break to recharge your batteries will bring you back into the office refreshed and ready to get on with much more superior work.
“You may have their activity, you may have their feet, but you don’t have their hearts and minds,” - unknown.
Having a decent lunch break can make the difference between reaching goals and hitting targets to just getting through the day. So make sure to make the time and enjoy your lunch break!