7 Mindful Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Lunch Break
Time is precious and fleeting. And we have far too little of it. This couldn’t be more true, especially for people who work long hours. For many of us, our precious time is spent laboring at our jobs or careers; immersed in whatever task is on our plate of to do’s. Before we know it, we’re scarfing down lunch at our desks before we’re back at it again. Even if you absolutely love your job, far too many of us don’t spend nearly enough time investing in ourselves and our mental health.Did you know that 30% of your life is spent working? Click To Tweet
A trend sweeping across the nation is that of workers forgoing their lunch breaks altogether. According to the Washington Post, “this trend is fueled by the notion that the most dedicated, effective workers are constantly available and on-task, and that taking a lunch break is counterproductive. Fewer than 20 percent of American workers regularly step away for a midday meal, and 39 percent usually eat at their desks, according to a survey done by Right Management. Research shows that there are tremendous performance advantages to stepping away from your computer, and even more pluses if you can get outside.”
Ok, so maybe eating at our desks is something that we will probably continue to do. Bad habits die hard, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still take your break and use that time to do something great for yourself. Maybe it’s time to take back your time, even if it’s just one hour midday!
So go ahead and eat at your desk, because we have much better ideas for ways to spend your precious time! Here are a few ways to make your hour a relaxing and mindful one, just for YOU!
Weather permitting of course! It sounds simple but when was the last time you went for a leisurely stroll? Even if it’s a loop around your office building, school or local park, taking even a small portion of your lunch break to get some fresh air can reinvigorate you. It can also help break up your day. Do some research and see if there are any nearby attractions in your area. Here at Shoplet, we discovered a lovely jogging path that is just steps away from our offices in downtown NYC. Employees frequently take walks and use their time to get some much needed R & R. “It’s refreshing,” says one Shoplet employee. “When I’m stressed out, being outdoors and in the sunshine, even when it’s cold, helps to brighten my mood.”
Did you know that nearly 40% of people never disconnect from their cell phones, even while on vacation? Another 44% of people claim they couldn’t go a day without their cell phone. Our dependence on a little device intended to make our lives easier can actually leave us feeling drained, distracted and tethered to our work. Even while on break! Leave your phone on silent or better yet, at the office while on your break. Allow yourself to experience one hour completely unplugged. That means no checking social media, no trolling celebrity websites and no answering work emails. Instead, take some time to do some writing, read a book, talk with a colleague or even take that walk mentioned on the previous slide. You’ll realize that leaving your phone behind isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Tired of sitting in that cramped office chair all day? Go ahead and burn some calories! Exercise is an instant mood booster and can help you think more clearly. Exercise also boosts creativity and can instantly reinvigorate your day. It also helps promote better sleep! Join your local gym and spend that hour burning off some steam. You’ll feel sooo much better!
Learn something new
If your leisure time is plentiful after work hours, why not use your lunch break to take advantage of your current work flow? Have you been meaning to learn more about the latest excel updates? Want to teach yourself coding or learn how to set up your own blog? Use your lunch break to learn new skills! Read relevant articles, watch tutorials and even subscribe to online courses to build your skill set. We love Lynda.com for their short, sweet and to the point video tutorials on just about anything. You’ll be surprised how an hour every day can really add up to learning some pretty wonderful things!
Write… like, with a real pen and paper.
Going back to the old school way of doing things can be super refreshing and grounding. Get yourself a classic well made notebook like Moleskine or a Black & Red notebook and allow yourself to write down whatever comes to mind. Journaling encourages fluid thought, is relaxing and promotes personal introspection. Many of the things that today’s workers are denied.
Staring at your computer screen all day can make you feel pretty isolated. Instead of trolling your Facebook feed, why not get some much needed human interaction by getting together for lunch with some of your coworkers? There are many benefits to using your lunch break to socialize with your coworkers. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Alexander Kjerulf, an author and speaker on happiness at work said, “If you’re not able to relate to your coworkers as human beings and build positive relationships, your career will suffer. Socializing and getting to know them as people will help you to communicate better, trust each other more and work better together. Also, employees who have positive workplace relationships are happier at work (in fact, good workplace relationships are one of the most important sources of workplace happiness) and we know that people who are happy at work are more productive, more creative and more successful overall.” So get off your phone and into a real conversation!
This is not something most people can do every single day of the week…unless you’re a baller like that. But once in a while, it’s nice to just unwind and pamper yourself. Take your lunch break to get a manicure, massage or reflexology. If you’re in an urban area, these types of services are fairly easy to come by. For those of you that aren’t close to such services, there are many ways you can do this on your own. One of our Shoplet employees said, “I love to do my own nails on my lunch break. After work it’s all about picking up my daughter, cooking dinner and other chores that need to be done. By the time I have some time to myself, I’m pooped. Taking an hour in the middle of the day is a nice way to treat myself to something relaxing and girly without interruption.”