Lunch break is for more than just eating lunch. It’s a time to recharge our brains, refresh our energy levels, and is an excellent opportunity to improve our focus in the afternoon.
We’re sharing our top tips on how to use your lunch break to improve your mood and concentration, helping you power through the day!
Step away from your desk.
Only one in five office workers report leaving their desk for their lunch break, which leads to a decrease in productivity and focus in the afternoon.
Conversely, workers who left their desks even for 15 or 20 minutes can sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the afternoon better than workers who stayed at their desks.
Unplug and be mindful.
Just leaving your desk doesn’t always lead to increased focus, however. If you continue working or mindlessly scroll through social media, you won’t reap the full benefits of taking a break.
For part of your lunch break (at the very least), unplug and be mindful. Absorb your surroundings and enjoy every delicious bite of your lunch. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful the world looks and how tasty your lunch is when you live in the moment.
Not only that, a study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found that call-center workers who took 20 minute meditation-like breaks found decreased stress levels in the afternoon versus workers who engaged in small talk for the 20 minute period.
Enjoy a nutrient-dense lunch.
When we eat a healthy meal for lunch our focus increases by 46%! Not only that, our productivity can also skyrocket to as high as 150%.
We’ve all heard of “brain foods” that have been proven to help kids perform better on exams, and these same foods can also help us focus better at work. Foods with healthy fats such as avocado promote brain health, while flax seeds contain nutrients essential to mental clarity.
Incorporate a few from our list of 5 Foods For Focus and watch your afternoon shift!
Take a nap.
Why is it that we always feel sleepy in the afternoon? Sleep researchers have discovered that it’s not necessarily a heavy lunch that puts us to sleep, our bodies were actually meant to have a midafternoon nap.
Between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m., our body temperature drops and our melatonin levels rise, causing us to feel sleepy. Just a short afternoon nap is all we need to improve alertness, concentration, and accuracy
So take a lunchtime siesta for improved focus in the afternoon hours!
Try the 7-minute workout.
Studies have shown that physical performance and muscle strength is at its peak in the afternoon, so why would you want to waste that time behind a desk?
Try the 7-minute workout to reduce stress and improve focus. High-intensity interval training provides many of the same fitness benefits as prolonged endurance training in less time.
Looking for added benefit? Take your break outside in the sunshine! Whether you eat your lunch, nap, or go for a walk, spending time in nature increases our focus and improves our mood.
So step away from your desk and enjoy a lunch break that will increase your focus for the rest of the day.
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.