5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Precious Lunch Break

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Precious Lunch Break
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It appears a lot of employees have an odd relationship with lunch breaks — while they’re definitely not discouraged from taking them by employers, there seems to be this underlying guilt associated with taking a full half-hour or hour-long smoko.

Perhaps it’s the rationale that you’re somehow skiving by leaving your desk, or that coworkers take less time than you do, or a combination of both.

Regardless, lunch breaks should be taken seriously, especially now that so many of us are working from home. That brain of yours needs much-needed R&R now more than ever.

Here are some habits to get into during lunchtime that will make your outlook on life just a touch more positive.

1. Actually take one

Yes, a great lunchtime habit is to actually start taking one.

If you can manage to put aside that weird feeling in your stomach when you see other coworkers eating at their desk — which is easier not to feel weird about when you work from home — you’ll find these lunch breaks morph into something you look forward to on the daily.

Anything that gets you even a little bit excited during the week should be cherished.

2. Tackle life admin that’s nagging at you

It can be easy to get distracted by a piling stack of laundry taunting you from the corner of the room while you’re working away.

So, what better way to get rid of these distractions by banishing that pile of laundry to the depths of a washing machine during your lunch break? You’ll be thankful for when you return to work in the afternoon to a clean house and a cleaner mind.

It’s important to note that if cleaning is something you dread, don’t feel obliged to do it on your short time off. It might work for some people, it might not for others.

3. Start mentally planning the rest of your day

Studies suggest taking a lunch break actually encourages your brain to do some light housekeeping of its own, using the downtime to make sense of the information you’ve loaded it with prior.

This is perfect for when you’re nearing the end of your lunch break and realise you’re about to launch into a few more hours of work.

This isn’t to say you should eat into your lunch break by doing additional mental work, but occasionally it’s nice to create a rough plan in your head so when you’re back in your seat, the thought of launching straight into it doesn’t seem as daunting.

4. Eat a decent meal

Given you now have a bit more time to work with (assuming you’ve followed tip #1), use some of that time to put together a decent feed.

Running down to the bakery to grab a quick sausage roll is all well and good a few days a week, but it’s also nice to treat yourself to a sit-down meal that’ll actually keep you full and, in turn, less antsy for the rest of the afternoon.

Sausage rolls are spectacular though, that goes without saying.

5. Recharge

It should be noted that all of these tips shouldn’t be crammed into the same half- or one-hour, otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for a lunch break that’s just as stressful as the rest of your day.

It’s all about picking and choosing. Some days you might feel like inhaling a sausage roll and taking a nap, others you might want to be more active – just follow your brain.

A strong recommendation would also be to look at your workday and figure out what’s making it stressful. If you can be on top of your work, a lunch break won’t feel as much like time away from the madness.

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