If we’re honest, we often get so into work that lunch breaks are forgotten. You have missed a few this week alone, and you find it hard to squeeze in some time for yourself. Experts from every corner of the world continually insist on the importance of taking a break, but it often falls on deaf ears.
According to doctors, a lunch break is essential for your sanity and overall health. You might not think it essential, but that short break can help improve your productivity. Researchers have conducted several studies on the importance of taking a break and why most people don’t take one.
Why do most people forego their lunch break?
You can verify if any of these reasons are true of you:
Workload – You get too caught up in work; you forget to peek at the clock, and before you know it, it’s time to pack up and go home.
Workplace culture – You don’t want to be the only one taking a lunch break. Most people look around their offices and find that most people aren’t taking a break, so they forego theirs.
Interruptions – You don’t want to interrupt your workflow. For a lot of people, the slightest interruption can set them back; they will therefore stay glued to their desks until that particular task is completed.
Skipping Lunch – A lot of people skip lunch and don’t see the point in getting up from their desks or taking a break if they won’t be eating.
It does not matter how large your pile of work is; it is important that you take breaks between tasks. It is essential to your health and productivity. Often, you’ll find yourself stuck on a task because you have no motivation for it, but you don’t take a break because you only want to reward yourself a break after it’s complete. This is a vicious cycle that, in the end, robs you of your healthy break time and affecting your overall productivity.
So, the next time you catch yourself slotting in work during your work break, remember these four reasons why your lunch break is essential:
It gives your mind and body time to rest and recharge
You’ve been working all morning, and you keep telling yourself to power through the rest of your workload, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Your mind and body need breaks; you can’t hold your concentration for eight hours in a day. Therefore, you need to give your mind and body a little time to rest, recharge and refocus. Take tiny breaks during the day to give your brain time to recover. If you work manual jobs, it is important to take breaks to avoid strain and injuries.
It helps rest your eyes.
If you’re working at a computer, your eyes are bound to get exhausted from staring at a screen. No one should gaze at a screen for hours on end without taking breaks. Your eyesight could be affected by the light, and the short breaks are what you need to keep your eyes focused.
Reduces stress levels
Your work pile is making your head spin, and when you factor in the million and one other things that you need to get done in your life. Taking breaks to refocus can help ease the stress and give you fresh eyes to relook at getting your work done for the day.
Re-energizes your body with food
Food fuels your body, and skipping lunch is not an ideal thing to do. You need that fuel to help you through the rest of the day in keeping your concentration and helping your mind and body remain productive.
How to take a break
You’re now sold on the importance of taking breaks, even if it’s 15–20-minute breaks throughout the day. How do you take these breaks? The best way is to structure your day early on in the morning. Just like you outline your to-do list, include breaks in that list and ensure to stick to your break times.
Many people don’t know what they should do during a break, which is why they’ll take a 5-minute recess and get right back to work. If you don’t know how you should spend your break time, here is five ways how:
Meditation is one of the most reliable techniques to achieve relaxation and stop your mind and body from going stiff. You can escape mentally and spend a blissful time listening to your inner self. This helps you better prepare for your afternoon work. You don’t even need a mat or an extended break to get this done. Experts have said that sitting quietly and being introspective is meditation.
Small acts of mindfulness, being present as you eat your lunch instead of eating distractedly, can help improve your breaks' quality. A 20-minute break of progressive relaxation can help you improve the quality of your health, sleep, and work.
Wherever you’re working from, at home, or in an office, you can carve out 20-minutes for mindful relaxation.
Take a nap
Taking naps has been proved to improve memory. It allows your body to rest and re-energizes your brain. Taking a nap in an office or your work area can be a bit uncomfortable. If you’re working from home, you’ll get to your bed easier, however in an office setting, how do you take a nap?
Taking a nap on your seat will defeat the purpose of your break since you’ll wake up tired and sore. Your desk's height that is required for working is very different from the ideal seat to desk height for a relaxing nap. The best solution, therefore, is a standing desk.
In case you’ve not heard of them, standing desks have become extremely popular due to their functional benefits that help workers have a wholesome working day. A standing desk is a height-adjustable which means you can adjust it to the perfect height for you to take a nap. The FlexiSpot EN1(EF1) standing desk is a perfect example.
The EN1(EF1) desk is an economical standing desk that combines an all-in-one keypad, sufficient workspace and fits perfectly into limited workspaces. It not only saves on space but combines the features of modern technology and practical work desks. It weighs 70kg, and when you adjust it, you can take a very relaxing nap during your lunch break in readiness for a productive afternoon.
You have enough time in your lunch break to slot in some time to connect with others. You can spend some time getting to know your colleagues; this helps build a stronger team at your workplace. Remember, most of your time is spent at work; therefore, it is a great place to meet new people and make friends.
Lunch breaks can also serve as the time that you have a date. You are pressed for time; a romantic café rendezvous might be just what you need to amp up your productivity in the afternoon.
Spending some time being social is good for your mental health and social wellbeing. Having people to talk to socially at work can boost your mood and help you approach challenges better than if you’re tackling them alone.
Have a hearty lunch
Eating three proper meals a day or having small meals throughout the day is very important to keep your energy levels up. When you skip meals, your productivity is directly affected, and it impacts your metabolism, especially coupled with stress from work.
Your lunch break is meant to be the time that you have a hearty meal, or snack, to keep you energized through the rest of the workday. Healthy foods like fish and nuts, fruits, and whole grains are great for your health.
A hearty lunch also means that you are present as you eat your meal. It is important that you walk away from your desk and have your lunch somewhere else. Having lunch at your desk often encourages you to keep working as you eat, which is not a healthy way of taking a lunch break. Mindful eating is imperative.
You’ve either been seated or standing for a long time; if you use a standing desk, your body needs a break from this repetitive activity. Even if you’ll just go for a walk during your break, it goes a long way to help your muscles relax and de-stress. If you want to have a proper workout during your lunch break, you can go to the gym, do some stretches or go for a short run. Exercise has been found to activate your body, make your mind alert, and do wonders for your blood pressure.
The bottom line is that your lunch breaks are incredibly important, don’t take them for granted. In case you didn’t know what to do for your breaks, now you have a couple of ideas you can use. You don’t also have to stick to one routine for every lunch break; mix it up to surprise yourself every now and again! With the Flexispot standing desk by your side, you have yourself a great solution to alternate between work and relaxation during your breaks.