Have you fallen out of love with your lunch break?
When was the last time you took the full hour youíre legally entitled to? Recent research suggests that the average worker in Britain takes just 34 minutes for their lunch break. If youíre one of those workers or you regularly skip lunch, you could be missing out on up to 240 hours of your own time each year.
STOP! You need a break.
Nowís the time to fall back in love with your lunchbreak, and use that time to do something for you., we think you should fall back in love with your lunchbreak, and use that time to do something for you. No more hurriedly munching a sweaty pre-packaged sandwich in front of your laptop. In the UK we work the longest hours out of the whole of the rest of Europe, itís time to claim some of your free time back and focus on you.
What could you do with 5 hours free time each working week? Weíve put together some suggestions:
1. Go for a walk
This might seem like the most obvious lunchtime activity, but it really has some incredible benefits. Even 30 minutes brisk walking outside means you grab your daily intake of vitamin D (essential at this time of year), and you get moving. Put your phone away and take in your surroundings, you might notice something youíve never seen before.
Going to the gym or swimming is another obvious choice, but a great way to spend the middle of the day. The chances are youíll feel refreshed for the afternoon, plus if you usually exercise after work (probably when itís the last thing you feel like doing), then youíll be home earlier. 30 minutes is all you need each day.
3. Make plans
Whether it be planning out dinners for the week, writing a to-do list or even planning your next holiday, your lunch break is great time to organise your personal life.
4. Lunch al fresco
Maybe not one for winter, but when the weather improves, why not take advantage of mother nature, find some green space and enjoy eating lunch in the fresh air whilst catching some rays? The natural light will do wonders for your melatonin levels ensuring your feel-good hormones are boosted before returning to work. Take time out with a favourite book or magazine too and completely switch off.
5. Meet friends
Socialising at lunchtime away from the office with old or new friends may provide much needed therapy, especially if your morning hasnít gone as expected. Head to a cafť or restaurant for an added midday treat and let the advice and comfort of your friends heal even the hardest of working days.
6. Meditate or try a Yoga class
Try something calming, peaceful and refreshing to increase your mental clarity. Meditating or joining a yoga class once a week could give you much needed downtime and allow you to totally switch off from the events of the day. We guarantee itíll improve your mood.
7. Learn something new
We as humans never stop learning, so why not use your lunch break to join an art class, learn a language or a new skill? Learning something new can trigger feelings of wellbeing and satisfaction. If you donít fancy joining a class, why not listen to a podcast or tutorial instead?
8. Treat yourself
Why wait for the weekend to pamper yourself? Treat yourself to a new haircut, or get a 15 minute massage, or even a manicure/ pedicure. Youíll come back to the office feeling fully rejuvenated.
9. Help Others
A great way to spend your lunch time is by helping others. Volunteer once a week at a school, college, food bank or elderly peoples home and give something back to our local community. You could even use your time to Give Blood.
10. Fall in Love
If youíre single, why not use your lunchbreak for a date or to look for love on social media? If youíre attached, use the time to meet up with your partner.
With so much to fit into your lunchbreak youíll wonder how you had time to work through it. Next time you think about skipping, take time and think about how this could impact on your health, wellbeing and workplace productivity. Why not fall in love with your lunch break today and enter our lunchtime quiz for your chance to win a fitbit.
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