5 Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour

Sometimes the best way to increase your productivity and stay focused during work is to give yourself a little break and take it easy for half an hour or more. Your lunch doesn’t need to be spent sitting at your desk and watching YouTube videos. While that’s a good way to blow off steam – no judgement here – there are other ways to make the most of your lunch hour and set yourself up for a constructive last-few-hours of the day. Why not try one of these five relaxing ways to spend your lunch hour that will keep you recharged, productive, and dare we say, fulfilled..

One of the best pieces of work advice I’ve ever received—and yes, it was from my mother—was to make sure to take my lunch hour.

Like many professionals busting butt in the office, I had gotten into the unhealthy habit of eating lunch at my desk, never seeing sunlight or feeling outside air on my skin for 10-hour stretches of time. And after a while, I definitely started to notice an impact on my overall mood .

So, from the first day I started a new job in January, I resolved to take my lunch hour every day. And you should, too! Of course, allow for some rolling with the punches—your boss schedules a noon meeting, you’re gunning towards an end-of-day deadline—but, in general, leveraging that midday hour of refreshment is a surefire way to enhance your productivity, mindset, and well-being .

1. STEP OUT TO LUNCH WITH A FRIEND

Getting some fresh air, clearing your head, and chatting with a friend is a great way to distance yourself (literally and figuratively) from work. An hour spent taking your mind off your tasks will lift your mood, give you a change of scenery, and serve as a reminder that a personal life is also important.

2. MEDITATE

All you need is ten minutes to benefit from the calmness that meditation brings. Taking the time to meditate during your lunch break increases productivity, reduces stress and anxiety, and allows you to neutralize your emotions.

3. EXERCISE

A quick and efficient sweat session will boost your energy, give you those endorphins,  and provide an outlet for frustrations and anxiety. Oh, and there’s that little benefit of living a healthy life and staying active.

4. GO ON A WALK

Take a stroll around the neighborhood to clear your head and cozy back up to nature. You’ll be able to process things you shelved due to work and have the space to think about what you have going on the rest of the day.

5. GET TO KNOW YOUR COWORKERS

You spend a good amount of time together, so why not get to know your coworkers better in an non stressful environment? You may find that your “work friends only” can turn into people you see on the weekends.