Push Pause: Why Taking a Lunch Break is Important

Work days can get long + planning a break halfway through is an important part in productivity. Taking the time away from work + let your mind reset is another way to avoid a midday slump.

WHY IS A LUNCH BREAK IMPORTANT?

Taking a break is a part of recovery. While we are so used to hearing that for workouts, it is just as important mentally. When you’re running out of ideas, constantly checking your phone, or your mind is wandering, it is probably time to take a break from your computer. Taking a break has been proven to boost productivity + keep you alert throughout the day. It is also a time to decompress from work + get ready for the afternoon. Taking a break keeps you fresh, alert, + creative. When you eat while you work, you aren’t able to fully concentrate on your work or your food. You can end up eating a mindless amount of food, or presenting something that is not your best work. Find the balance between focusing on your work + taking a [well-deserved] break.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE SURE TO TAKE A LUNCH BREAK?

Plan. Most companies will allow you an hour for lunch. If you aren’t sure how long your lunch is allowed to be, talk to your manager. Whether salary or hourly, consider taking the full amount of time for lunch. If your schedule is starting to get busy during a typical lunch period, block a meeting with yourself so that the time is reserved. If you can take 30 minutes, take the time + a shorter break later in the day. Stand firm in your decision to lunch. If you’re at your desk + co-workers are asking you questions, let them know you can help them when your lunch is over. Taking a break is important for everyone. Plan for your lunch + don’t be afraid to let people know you will get back to them with a full tummy + a clearer mind : )

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON A LUNCH BREAK?

#1] EAT ; ) 

Practice mindful eating + focus on what you are putting into your body. Lock your work computer, put your phone to the side, + find a place to enjoy your lunch. Take the 10-15 minutes it takes you to eat + indulge in your meal. If you have to eat at your desk, orient yourself away from your computer so that you get a small change of scenery. If you have outdoor seating, take advantage of the beautiful weather + eat outside!

#2]  PLAN YOUR #SWEATSESH

If you get a full hour for lunch, pack your gym bag + plan your workout for your lunch break. Make this a part of your nightly routine + add your pre + post-workout fuel to your lunchbox. If you don’t think you have enough time for a full sweat sesh, break up your day with a longer walk. Keep sneakers + clean socks at your desk so you can easily slip them on during your break. If you are dressed up for work, keep an extra t-shirt handy + change in the restroom. Log your steps + fully utilize your lunch break!

#3] TAKE A NAP

If you live close enough to work to sneak in a 15-minute nap — go for it! If you can’t get home, there is no shame in heading out to your car, reclining, + getting a little shut-eye. You’ll come back rested + alert for the afternoon.

#4] READ A BOOK

If you feel like you don’t have time to read at home, read a book during your lunch. You can take the time to learn something new, develop yourself professionally, or just get lost in someone else’s story. Not sure where to start, we have tons of recommendations on the blog!

Taking a lunch break is an important part in developing your flow + ideas. What is your favorite thing to do on your lunch break? Let us know in the comments below or on Instagram!

+Virginia [@notwestVirginia] // Columbus, OH

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