Let’s admit it! Lunch break is our favorite time of work day. It is the time at work where you can meet and talk with friends at work, eat that delicious meal we prepared early in the morning or just simply taking a breather from a stressful task.
But good news for people working from home. It is also the perfect opportunity to do catch up with errands at home or spend a bit of time with family.
Here are fun and productive ways to spend your break time.
The most logical thing to do is to eat during your lunch break.
Stay away from junk food. Eat a well-balanced meal to energize you for the rest of the afternoon.
Opt for foods with complex carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains, and beans than foods with simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta or cookies. Complex carbohydrates contain more fiber and are digested more slowly. This makes complex carbohydrates more filling and can help manage post-meal spikes in your blood sugar which gives you that sluggish feeling in the afternoon.
Eat enough proteins like fish, beef, or chicken to fill you more and lessen hunger pangs in the middle of work.
Snack on healthy fats like nuts and avocados to boost your energy.
Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee a day. Sometimes the caffeine in the coffee you consumed late in the afternoon can cause you to feel restless and mentally active late at night, making it harder for you to get some sleep. If you really need a mental boost, opt for green tea instead.
And don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated. If drinking plain water bores you, try having a lemon water for a short burst of sweetness. It’s much healthier than fruit juices or soda.
One advantage of working at home is the chance to catch up on household chores during y our lunch break.
Sometimes, it is easy to just waste your time away on Facebook or video games after a stressful day at work, leaving your chores to pile up. It better starts doing your chores during lunch time so you can do more important things later after your work shift. You can wash the dishes, do a bit of laundry, go to the grocery or clean a small area of your home during your break time.
Doing little bits of errands during weekdays adds up, which could free your weekend for recreation and go out.
Take a break from Facebook or Instagram by taking a power nap. A 20-minute power nap is mentally rejuvenating especially if you did not sleep well the night before.
So lie on that couch, dimmed out your lights and set your timer for 20 minutes to ensure you don’t go over your break time.
Go Outside/Take a Walk Outside
Getting stuck in a rut? Changing your scenery can do wonders in tapping into new ideas that were previously hidden.
Take a walk outside and let the sunshine lift your mood. Take advantage of nearby parks for your leisure walks. Sometimes looking at flowers or the people hanging out in the parks can refresh your mind from staring at your emails and work documents all day long.
Walking outside is a good way to burn some calories especially if you had a heavy breakfast. Or crank it up a notch with a short jog around your neighborhood to shed more calories.
Call/Talk to a Friend/Family
You can call a friend to catch up or spend time talking to your family members when you have your lunch at home.
Don’t let stress consume you. Rather than keeping it to yourself, it is healthier to talk out what’s bothering you with people close to you. Chatting about your feelings and issues can alleviate that emotional load from conflicts and problems you are facing at work. Your friends or family members can also suggest you insights and solutions that can help fix your problems or provide ideas which can make you perceive things in a different light.
On the lighter side, sharing a joke or funny stories with friends or family members can provide that feel-good emotion making you more receptive to working harder. As you know, happy people make productive workers.
You read that right! You can fit in 25-30 minutes workout during your lunch time.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is excellent for people with people short on time. HIIT blends intense periods of exercise with short recovery phase. This type of workout pushes your heart rate up, causing you to burn faster even after you exercise. And even better, you don’t need to go to a nearby gym because you can do HIIT workouts using only your own bodyweight in your own living room.
If HIIT sounds too hard for you, you can also try a short yoga session. As they say, yoga is the way to happiness, inner peace, and good health. It relaxes your body and mind from the built-up tension, giving you a healthier body and more positive mindset.
Watch Your Favorite TV Show or Read a Chapter from your Favorite Book/Novel
It is better to do these things during lunch rather than do them during in the evening.
Do you want to know why? You get caught up watching your favorite TV show or reading your current novel that you forgot about time and stayed up all night doing these activities. One chapter can lead to six chapters or one episode can turn into a half-season.
As mentioned, it is better to do these things during your lunch break because it forces you to think that you only have one hour a day to do these things so you can prioritize more important activities after work since you already had your TV/novel fix. Avoiding these habits before bedtime helps to clear your mind so you can sleep more peacefully.
Listen to your Favorite Music
Instead of watching the TV or going out, you can just chill and listen to your favorite music.
Listening to music lowers the amount of stress hormone cortisol in your body. What your brain does is to produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter that produces feel-good feelings. This explains while you feel happy listening to your favorite tunes. In the long run, music improves your overall health by boosting your immune system by reducing your stress.
Music can also help improve your learning and memory. Take it up a notch and try learning playing musical instruments to boost your language and mathematical skills.
There were studies that listening to classical music can help you relax more and improves the quality of your sleep too. On the other hand, listening to extreme music, like rock or heavy metal can help you calm down, especially after a very stressful or frustrating situation. It does not really matter what kind of music you dig, as long as it is something that you enjoy listening to.
Lunch break can be time to unwind or opportunity to squeeze in mini errands or tasks. Either way, the important thing is to enjoy it so you can go back to work refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon.