Whether you're working from home or peddling around the office, we all feel the 2 o'clock blues. You know what doesn't help? Skipping your lunch break. We're all guilty of working straight through from time to time, but if it's a habit for you, followed by frantic trips to the coffee pot all afternoon, try some of these re-energizing tips during your lunch break (that don't include mindlessly scrolling Insta and TikTok) to help you get the most out of your afternoon.
1. Take a Walk
The duo of sunshine and exercise make for a nice, warm break in the middle of your day that increases your blood flow and serotonin levels. Grab your sunnies and soak up some of that delicious vitamin D (with SPF, of course). Leaving your desk or workspace even for a short stroll around the block can help you feel like you truly are taking a break and check in with yourself.
2. Talk to a Friend
We all have coworkers we love (and some we may not love so much), but sometimes what you need to break up the monotony of your work day is to talk to a friend you have outside of work. Grab lunch together or catch up over FaceTime (preferably after you're done chewing).
3. Plan Your Evening
Give yourself something to look forward to after work, whether it be trying out a new recipe, hanging out with friends or settling in to watch a movie. Also, if you take this time to make a game plan of what you need to accomplish after lunch, you'll be able to keep yourself busy so that the afternoon goes by faster.
4. Desk Yoga/Meditation
Get your blood moving in your body and your mind. Clear your thoughts of any deadlines or meetings and center yourself by doing some breath work and light stretches. Really take this time to disconnect from your tasks or stressors and focus on you. Put down the phone and avoid all screens to give your eyes a much-needed break, too.
5. Take Care of (Personal) Business
It happens. Sometimes you need to mail a letter or go to the bank during work hours. Doing this during your lunch break will give you the time you need to take care of your personal affairs without falling behind on your workload, as well as the satisfaction of crossing something off your to-do list. Bonus: It gets you up and moving, even if it's just to your car.
6. Try Something New
There's too much to experience in life to just do the same thing over and over again. Reclaim your lunch break as an opportunity to experiment. Go to that restaurant you've never been to. Make a new friend. Eat your lunch in that park you drive by every day. That fun consignment store with the cool window display? Take a peek inside. Who says exploring is just for the weekend?
7. Organize Your Space
If you feel like you just can't get away for lunch for any of these other activities, at least take the time to straighten up the area around you. Put those emails on the back burner for five minutes and give yourself the gift of a less stressful environment. Decluttering your space can help you declutter your mind.
8. Chew Your Food
Really. Enjoy your meal. Take a second to savor the flavor, even if it's just a PB&J. Don't inhale it just to get back to the next task. It's a break. Take it.