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How to Make the Most of Your Lunchbreak

Only a third of UK workers say they take a proper lunch break, with many giving reasons such as workload, stress levels and workplace culture as barriers.  But are you really helping yourself or your employer if you decide to work through?

Well, studies have shown that taking only 15 to 20 minutes break is a proven way to keep up your levels of concentration and improve your productivity.  Not only that, a little bit of self-care time for you improves your mood and gives you a chance to think about and plan for the other aspects of your life outside work.

Healthy lunch

Here are some ways you can maximise your break:

  • Make sure you actually take one! You’ll gain energy and focus after stepping way from your desk for a while, and it can help reduce stress by allowing your mind to rest and recharge.  If you don’t, you may find yourself more tires and irritable by the end of the day.
  • Eat! Might sound obvious- but plan your lunch- have something delicious and nutritious, not too heavy so that you’re well set up for the afternoon and don’t get left with a mid-afternoon energy slump.
  • Try not to scroll through your phone while you eat- be aware of what you are eating and enjoy it!  Don’t be tempted to do anything mentally stimulating while you’re mid-salad either.  For example, continuing to answer those emails (or watching TV or playing video games) as research suggests it stops your body registering how full it is so you’re likely to eat more.
  • Move away from your desk, walkabout, grab a coffee and hit the outside. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do to get those brain cells firing again.
  • Go for walk, get your steps up, if you can’t meet with others, give a friend or family member a catch-up call. Connecting with others helps us all.
  • Get a dose of mindfulness: CSSC’s online resources can get you started.
  • Work out. Take twenty minutes to get active, we’ve got plenty of ideas in the Active Indoors support tools.
  • Spend time in nature to refresh your attention span. It will also help with mental health, reducing levels of anxiety and depression.
  • If you’re working from home why not spend your lunch hour doing chores which would otherwise take up precious weekend time. You will be doing the future you a real favour!

So, in answer to the original question, I think it’s fair to say you’ll be doing everyone a favour if you take your full lunch break.  How will you spend yours?

A woman runs through a park, the sun has recently risen behind the trees