11/22/2022 0 Comments
The Importance of Taking a Lunch Break
Lunch breaks are beneficial for productivity, stress levels, and personal health. Taking a break in the middle of the workday can boost productivity. We have all experienced moments at work when we feel stuck or have hit a mental roadblock. Stepping away from the desk and giving your brain a break from the task at hand can spark creativity and generate new ideas. Returning to your desk after a short break may help you finish whatever you were working on more efficiently.
Do your best to take your lunch break away from your workspace. If you can, spend a few minutes of your break outdoors. Taking some time outside during the workday can help reduce stress levels. A porch, patio, or deck can be a great place to have lunch if you work from home. Want to boost stress reduction even further? Add a little movement! A short walk outside before or after eating your lunch can reduce cortisol levels. The Park is a perfect example of a workplace that invites movement throughout the day, boasting a 3-mile walking path throughout the campus.
It is also important to take a lunch break for the sole purpose of eating during the day. Many people work through their lunch or forget to eat. Skipping meals, especially lunch can make it even harder to get through those afternoon work hours. Food provides our body, and more importantly – our brain – with the energy it needs to think critically and complete tasks. Taking the time to eat a balanced lunch containing vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and some healthy fat can leave you feeling satisfied and energized to take on the rest of your day. A proper midday meal can also ward off overeating later in the day because your blood sugar levels remain steady and you never reach that “starvation” level of hunger.
If you feel as though you don’t have the time to take an extended break just yet, try to spend just 10-15 minutes away from your workspace to eat your meal. Eating without the distractions of the computer or phone can help you eat more slowly and mindfully. Paying attention to what you’re eating can help you feel more content and satisfied with the meal. Another helpful tip – a collection of 2-3 different snacks can be paired together to form a meal - you don’t have to prepare gourmet or elaborate lunches! An example may be veggies with hummus, a yogurt cup, and a piece of fruit with nut butter. Alternatively, if you are back in the office, take a few minutes to peruse the options in the cafeteria. Look for options like grain bowls, salads, or sandwiches prepared on whole grain bread.
Shifting the mindset about lunch breaks from being “unproductive” to a time to refresh, recover, and recharge for the rest of your day can be the key to making this change in your routine.
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