Lunch breaks can be helpful when it comes to boosting your mood, productivity, and health. However, reports show that only one-third of workers actually use that time for a proper break. A large part of this is due to workload, stress levels, and workplace barriers. Here’s how to break the mold and get the most out of your workday lunch break.

Make It a Real Break

It can be easy to take a lunch break and end up eating at your desk while juggling projects. A helpful tip to consider is to try and prioritize a regular time each day where you take a step away from your workspace or office and enjoy a nice meal whether that’s in the breakroom, outside or a restaurant nearby. While doing so, try and make an effort to not check your emails or “to do” lists. If you’re going to take a lunch break, dedicate that time to solely focus on taking a step back and relaxing. This can help you clear your mind so you’re more energized when you get back to work.

Connect with Colleagues

Lunch breaks can be a great opportunity to get to know your coworkers better and strengthen the bonds within your team. Consider grabbing lunch with coworkers regularly to get to know them better and maybe even problem solve. When you step outside of the traditional workspace and socialize with your colleagues, it can help in a variety of ways including building trust and respect. If you have a new coworker or member of the team, make an effort to schedule a lunch with them once a week for the first month. Not only will this help you step away from your work for an hour, but you’ll be helping someone adjust to their new position.

Not Hungry? Get Some Exercise

While taking a lunch break may seem contingent upon eating lunch, you can actually use this time to prioritize your health in other ways if you’re not hungry. Consider taking a walk outside and getting some fresh air, or opt for a more traditional workout, like going for a run or doing some simple exercises. Exercise has many benefits that can be helpful throughout the workday, such as reducing stress, improving your mood, and boosting your concentration and confidence.

Consider trying these tips the next time you’re tempted to skip a lunch break.

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