Taking a lunch break is important. It’s time when you can step away from your computer and have a little “me” time. Your lunch break should be a time when you can unplug and stop thinking about work so you can reenergize to make it through the rest of the day. Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of working through our lunch breaks and some of us even skip lunch entirely, which is not healthy.
To help inspire you to do something better with your lunch break, we’ve compiled this list of seven ways to take advantage of this time:
1. Work on a side project.
What are you passionate about? Your lunch break is a great time to give your cooking blog some love, or maybe work on your poetry. Find whatever it is that excites you and then throw yourself into it just for fun. But make sure it’s something that helps you relieve stress, not create more of it.
2. Catch up with a friend or loved one.
We often get so caught up in the day to day, we forget what – or, more importantly, who – really matters. Use your lunch break to catch up with a family member or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Not only will it make their day a little brighter, but you’ll likely come back from lunch a little extra pep yourself.
3. Have lunch with the most interesting or inspiring person in your company.
No matter how experienced you are, you can still learn a lot from other people. Ask them what their day-to-day responsibilities are, how they stay organized, what they do to stay motivated and what they most enjoy outside of work. Not only could you learn something that you could apply to your own work, but you could gain a friend in the process.
For executives and business owners, taking the time to learn about their employees has made a tremendous impact on their bottom lines. You may be surprised what you learn. You could find out about issues or inefficiencies in your company that you didn’t know existed, and then take action to remediate them.
4. Get outside.
Weather permitting, go eat lunch outside. Post up on a park bench and read a book, or ask a coworker to toss the ol’ pigskin around. Depending on how much time you have, you could also go for a walk or a bike ride. Research has shown that taking a break in nature can do wonders to lower your stress levels and improve your mood, and being active outdoors is extra beneficial.
5. Learn something new.
Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn, but just haven’t found the time? Maybe it’s a new language, Parcheesi or HTML. Why not use your lunch break to finally learn?
Meditating has been shown to improve concentration and help us relieve a lot of that stress that builds up throughout the workday. Click here to learn how to meditate.
7. Challenge your neighboring office to a competition.
Challenge the office next door to a friendly office chair race or a game of soccer, ping pong, pool, foosball, capture the flag or cornhole!
How do you carpe prandium*? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
*Latin for “seize lunch” (See, you learned something new already!)
Originally published on the SAGE Blog