40. The average number of hours we have in the workweek. Some people even more, but let’s take 40 hours for argument’s sake. Seems like a lot of time, would you agree? Almost two full days of work activities, and let’s be honest and say that we are NOT all working those full 40 hours. There’s lots of meetings, getting sidetracked, and just plain “messing around” time.
So if you think about your work week realistically…why is it so difficult for us to take a proper lunch break?
Isn’t that goofy? For a group of working adults, we feel this strange guilt to usually eat at our desks or work through our break, but we don’t think twice about searching Amazon for a new iPhone charger.
Here’s the thing. We need a break.
In a perfect world, I think the 45/15 rule is pretty effective: 45 minutes of work/study and 15 minutes of relaxation/rest. However, most jobs don’t allow for that type of schedule, so the best we can do is take FULL advantage of the 30-60 minutes we get for lunch.
- LEAVE YOUR DESK – Even if you bring your lunch to work, which is such a great habit, take it away from your desk. Find some outdoor seating or a nearby park, go meet a friends somewhere, or heck just take your lunch into the break room or a separate common area to decompress. But don’t you dare eat in front of your computer. Because all you’ll want to do is check emails and do things. Remember: we’re trying to not do things right now.
- Exercise – Depending on how long of a lunch you have, use this time to move around a bit. Take a short yoga class or at least plug your headphones in and walk around your office complex. Better yet, snag a coworker to go with you and make it a routine! Getting your body moving in the middle of the workday will make you feel exponentially better, trust me.
- Take a Nap – I personally am an anti-napper, but I’m weird. I know a lot of people that take quick cat naps in their cars during lunch or if they live close enough, will run home and just rest for a bit. I’m a big proponent of doing what your body is asking. If you’re tired, rest. Done.
- Read a Book – One of my favorite options! I don’t have a lot of time to allot to reading in general, so making time during your lunch break to disconnect and pick up a good book is an awesome way to add value to your day.
Just be creative with your lunch break. Run to Target, watch an episode of Netflix, or just call your mom. But I 10/10 recommend using your lunch break for you. You don’t have to wait until the work day is over to treat yourself to some self-care. And you will be shocked at how much more energized and happier you will feel when you have to return to your desk afterwards. Give it a go.