6 ways to have a mindful lunch break

Study shows a correlation between employee engagement and the long-lost lunch break. How you spend your lunch break reflects on your productivity for the rest of the day, so your lunch hour is a great time to break away from the office and refuel for the afternoon. A report conducted by Sodexo found that one in five employees didn’t leave their desks during their lunchbreak so we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most of your lunch hour.

  1. Eat the right foods

Instead of reaching for a meal deal, think about the food you consume, as eating the right stuff can improve focus and memory to fuel your afternoon. Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries and strawberries are proven to enhance your concentration and cognitive ability. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are linked to improving learning capacity and can reduce mental decline long-term. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are filled with healthy fats that will help you to stay focused and boost your mood.

  1. Do something mindful

You don’t have to spend your whole lunch hour doing yoga to practise mindfulness, but even a few minutes in a quiet spot to focus on your lunch and surroundings can improve your mood. Download a mindfulness app to your phone or a relaxing playlist, put your headphones in and relax.

Studies suggest exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong in cities are associated with higher levels of mental well-being so if possible, try and get outside and head to your nearest green spot.

  1. Exercise

Afternoon work outs will help give you a performance boost and reduce the chances of an afternoon slump. Destress and let off some steam by going for a short run or brisk walk to feel less anxious and more relaxed during the afternoon. If you are worried about time, ask your manager if you can take an extra 15 minutes lunch so you have time to shower and make it up after work.

  1. Get to know your colleagues

Make a lunch date with a colleague and get to know them better outside the workplace. Send them a message or email and ask whether they fancy going for a wander or simply sit out outside together to have lunch to get away from the office. You never know what you might have in common!

  1. Run errands

Tick things off your personal to-do list by getting it done in your lunch hour. It’s the perfect window of opportunity to return the item of clothing you’ve been meaning to do for weeks. You’ll feel less stressed having one less thing to do from spending your lunch break wisely.

  1. Ditch your phone

Science clearly shows that timeout from technology helps us to work better and feel better, so on your lunch break try and stay off your phone. Technology overload can actually make us less productive so use your lunch hour to unplug for at least 30 minutes.