How to Reclaim Your Lunch Break

The lunch hour has become non-existent. Between our 24/7 work culture and the busy nature of our work days, we rarely take time to really enjoy our lunch. Instead, we eat cold sandwiches or scarf down boring salads while replying to emails at our desks. But taking a mid-day break will do wonders for your mental health and will help you regain your focus for the rest of the day. Here are 5 ways to reclaim your lunch break.

1. Get Outside

Spending some time outside can stop you from getting so many colds. That’s just one reason to go for a short walk during your lunch hour. The fresh air will wake you up and the exercise will inspire you to get back to the office and be super productive all afternoon long. Take your iPod and listen to your favourite songs to boost your mood, or invite a co-worker for some company.

2. Bring an Exciting Lunch

eat lunch big

We eat with our eyes first, or so the saying goes, so why not pack an interesting, creative and delicious lunch that tastes as good as it looks? You will look forward to lunch all morning long and it will make the early hours go much faster. Make a vegan Mexican-inspired bowl with brown rice, black beans, avocado, and red peppers, or go the other way and bring a homemade burger with BBQ sauce to liven up your lunch hour.

3. Get Some Exercise

woman doing press ups on tire

If you work near a fitness club or yoga studio, why not take a class during your lunch hour? Some places have "express" classes that are only 45 minutes. If you’re able to take an hour-long lunch break, you can always eat at your desk before or after, and use the time to break a sweat. And if you feel guilty for stepping away from your desk, you can always come into work an hour earlier or stay an hour later. It’s a win-win situation: you still get all your work done and you get some exercise, too.

4. Read For Fun

read a book

We spend so much of our time reading and responding to emails and looking through work-related documents. Why not use your lunch break to read something you really want to read? Whether it’s a celebrity gossip magazine or a juicy novel by your favourite author, don’t hesitate to take your reading material into the breakroom for a quick time-out with your sandwich. You will feel recharged and ready to get back to work.

5. Take A Coffee Break

Who says you have to eat lunch in the office? Head to a nearby coffee shop and order a latte and sandwich, or just order the coffee and bring your lunch. This time to relax and recharge will give new meaning to the term "coffee break" and the mid-day boost of caffeine will help your afternoon productivity.

Your lunch hour doesn’t need to be spent at your desk. That will only stress you out and make you feel more than a little overwhelmed. Follow these 5 easy steps and reclaim your lunch break, using the time to eat, but also to relax a bit, so you’re ready for anything the afternoon sends your way.