If you find yourself regularly feeling overworked with a million tasks to finish before the end of the day, it can be all too easy to skip out on your precious lunch break time just to get everything done.
You’re not alone if you nip out of the office quickly to the local newsagents to grab a sandwich before heading straight back to your desk. Squandering your lunch break immersed in emails and tasks, and falling into the mindset of work, work, work can have lasting effects on your health though.
We totally support everyone making the most of their lunch break and enjoying well-earned time out of the office. Letting yourself slip away from thoughts of work can actually make you much more productive come the afternoon.
So here are seven things we encourage you to try and squeeze in in that precious lunch hour.
Wander the City
There’s nothing quite like a bit of fresh air to rejuvenate your spirits ready for the rest of the day. Wander around the city and value this little bit of quiet time. If you have a local park, a brisk walk (we’re guessing it will have to be brisk because it’s always so cold!) can help you to tune into yourself and offers a momentary escape from the bustle of city life.
Even on the most miserable of days or if it’s hammering it down with rain, it’s still good practice to head out of the office for a walk. If you’re like most people and sat at your desk constantly, your body is probably feeling a little restless and craving some movement come lunchtime. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and always carry an umbrella just in case and would definitely advise this! Or keep a spare umbrella at the office.
Related: How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City
Sign Up to Language Classes
Channel your creative energies into learning a new language. Having the ability to speak a second (or third!) language can be really beneficial to your career and may open exciting doors along the way. Mastering fluency requires regular short bursts of activity so it’s the perfect skill to pick up when you’ve got some minutes to spare.
Consider attending Meetup classes so you can actually have a conversation with other language learners. A quick search online will pull up various opportunities depending on where you’re based.
Alternatively, just download an app such as Duolingo or Babbel, and practice to your heart’s content. Combine this with a wander around town (although be careful to look where you’re going so you don’t bump into anyone!), or a coffee break in a café. The bonus of having an app is that you can also use your commute to get in some valuable language practice time.
Tune into a Podcast
Move over Netflix! Podcasts are taking the online world by storm. Tune into your an inspiring talk, a light-hearted comedy, a think-piece on a topic you care about, an interview with your favourite author, or a meditative exercise.
There are so many podcasts now that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Two apps that are brimming with podcasts are Pocket Casts and Overcast – both have simple search features so you can find something to take your fancy. And did we mention Spotify have now launched podcasts too?!
The thought of exercising on your lunch break might not sound so appealing and might bring to mind plenty of different panicked thoughts…(Where/when will I shower? Will I have time to fix my makeup? Will I have to head back to the office all sweaty?) But bear with us here.
Yoga and Pilates are two forms of exercise that are perfect to fit into your lunch break that won’t have you working up too much of a sweat. Channel positive vibes, let go of all of your stress and stretch out any aches in your body with a lunchtime detox session. More and more yoga and Pilates studios are popping up nationwide and plenty offer specific lunchtime sessions for professionals on the go. That little bit of ‘ohmm’ might be just the thing you need if you’ve had a hectic morning.
Unwind With a Book
Browse the shelves of your local library or nestle down with a good book in your favourite café, and momentarily escape to a completely different world. Now that school and university are long since over you might be reluctant to pick up a book for pleasure but reading has many benefits:
- it can significantly improve your memory;
- it can widen your imagination;
- it can keep stress levels to a low;
- it can improve your language, writing and communication skills;
- it can enhance your vocabulary;
- it can boost your concentration.
And that’s not a conclusive list either. With that in mind there are no excuses not to find a book to get your teeth stuck into!
Go on a Lunch Date
If you’re sick of the sandwich choice at your local supermarket or just can’t find the time to rustle up your own packed lunch, why not treat yourself every once in a while to a lunch date. Catch up with friends at the chic café over the road and tuck into something far more interesting than your usual Egg & Cress sarnie.
Feeling brave? Why not organise a blind date on your lunch break. London-based dating website Only Lunch describes itself as a ‘personal matchmaking site for professionals’, which is perfect if you don’t have the time to date in the evenings. Don’t worry if you’re not in London – you could arrange a date with that cute guy or girl you’ve matched with on Bumble.
If you’ve got a busy schedule both inside and outside of work it can be hard to fit in a bit of pamper time. Use your lunch break to head to the beauty salon and treat yourself to a haircut (whether it’s just a cut and blow dry or a complete restyle), a manicure and pedicure, or brow threading. Many salons have drop-in appointments but you might want to book in advance to beat the lunchtime crowds.
Boots stores nationwide now have Emporiums so you can sit back and relax as a makeup artist gives you a makeup refresh or full makeover – just what you need with the bleary winter months closing in.
What do you usually do on your lunch break and what do you want to try? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @celebriciouscom.