Your lunch break is for more than scrolling through Facebook. Taking a break allows us to reset and ideas to simmer, which increases concentration and boosts our productivity in the afternoon. (Ah-hem, we’re looking at you, lunch skippers.)
Here are seven things we recommend giving a try on your lunch break.
They say sitting is the new smoking, and the best time to combat sedentary habits is during lunch. An easy way to sneak in some exercise is by trying a new restaurant a few extra blocks away from your office. You’ll barely notice the walk.
If you have time between 3 and 6 p.m., you can take exercise to the next level. That’s when muscle strength is at its peak and physical performance is greatest.
Lunch may be the best time to check in with family and friends, but if it’s not essential to do so, don’t do it. In fact, 67% of cell phone users check their phones when they’re not even ringing or vibrating, making it “the new yawn.”
One of the main things we use our cell phones for is social media, which is becoming an addiction. Unplugging removes the temptation to browse these networks, reducing our feelings of jealousy, comparison, and even loneliness.
Unplugging also makes it easier live in the moment, engage with those around us, and even be approached by strangers (see number 4).
Eat your lunch
Seriously. It may be obvious, but many people tend to skip lunch. Aside from a growling stomach, not eating lunch increases brain fog in the afternoon. Other perks of actually eating your lunch include increased productivity, focus, and even happiness.
Talk to a total stranger
Whether you reach out to a co-worker you’ve never met or ask to sit with someone new in a café, communication has major benefits. Along with strengthening our listening and speaking skills, interpersonal communication is essential to developing other life skills such as problem solving and decision-making.
Talking with strangers adds bonus points as you’re able to learn the perspective of another, and you may even broaden your network. Plus, reaching out to a stranger is an easy way to take more risks.
Take a nap
In the middle of the day? Absolutely!
Our circadian rhythm naturally compels us to sleep in the afternoon, and adding just a 5 to 20 minute nap can improve our memory and cognitive function for the rest of the day.
Not feeling it? Meditation is a great alternative.
Give corporate lunch catering a try
Give yourself a leg up on number 3 by having your lunch delivered right to your office via a corporate lunch catering company. Not only do you save time (and avoid having to trudge through snow, rain, and other miserable weather), you’re more likely to order a lunch you actually like- and a healthy one at that.
Work towards your dream job
Your future self will thank you. Start by setting goals and steps on how to achieve them. Update your resume and search for job openings, or, if you’re hoping to start your own business, write your business plan and get going on your social media accounts.
Your lunch break will be worth taking. Bon appetite!
Meg is a dreamer, entrepreneur, and homesteader based in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She loves her cats, feasting, and road trips in her green VW Bug.