Lunch Break Activities to Help You De-Stress
If you have a stressful job, you know what it’s like to get home from work completely wiped out and unable to do much more than lie on the couch and zone out for the entire evening. Most of us hate the feeling that we don’t have the energy to spend quality time with our families or focus on hobbies after work because our jobs take so much out of us. Fortunately, the majority of jobs have mandatory lunch breaks that are yours for the taking. If you tend to work through lunch or wolf down something as you finish that presentation, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Here are some ways to take a stress break during lunch that will hopefully help you face the afternoon with more energy and arrive home with some gas left in the tank.
Take a Walk
Getting outdoors and into the fresh air is a great way to take a short break and let nature energize you. Even if you work in the city and there’s barely a tree in sight, the breeze and sunlight can often be enough to break you out of your stressful routine. Consider a brisk walk to the corner deli to grab some soup or just a few trips around the block before you settle down for an afternoon of meetings.
Meditation doesn’t have to be done in a yoga studio or even in your own home. With mediation apps you can download on your phone, any empty cubicle or meeting space can be transformed into your own personal meditation retreat. As little as 10 minutes of meditation over your lunch break can lower your heart rate, clear your mind, and give you that extra boost you need to get through the day.
Treat Yourself to a Lunch Date
Sometimes having lunch with a co-worker or friend can be even more stressful than eating at your desk. If you find that drama and other people’s problems add to your stress level, consider taking yourself out for a lunch date to your favorite restaurant. Enjoy your meal, people-watch, relax, and return to the office with a whole new lease on life.
Call a Loved One
It’s easy to feel disconnected from friends and family members, especially if your lives have moved in different directions and you don’t live close to each other anymore. Consider planning a phone call with one of your favorite loved ones during your lunch break once a week. You can order in a tasty meal and catch up while you both eat and take a break from the stresses of the office.
Do Something for Someone Else
Do you get so wrapped up in your to-do list that you sometimes lose perspective? If this is common for you, consider taking one or two lunch breaks a week to do something for someone else. It could be taking the homeless man on the corner lunch, running to the animal shelter to play with some dogs, or bringing coffee to the receptionist who never seems to get a chance to leave her desk. Putting others before yourself is a great way to keep stress levels low and fulfillment high.
Though it may be tempting to grab something from the vending machine for a quick lunch behind your computer, never taking a mid-day break can lead to burnout and high stress. Considering planning one of the above de-stressing activities during your next lunch break and see how it affects your entire day!