Just under 20% of today’s workers take their allotted coffee and lunch breaks at the workplace.
But while it’s rarer than ever to take a real rest in the U.S. work environment, it’s necessary for your productivity, as well as your mental, emotional, and physical health.
It’s not only your legal right to take breaks at work; it will also make you a more efficient worker and can also better your overall wellness.
Read on to learn how to make good use of your lunch and coffee breaks at work.
Today’s workplace often stretches our brains thin…too thin. We’re expected to respond to emails, have face-to-face and video meetings, and complete our projects all at the same time. Our breaks are our time to recuperate and focus.
Even a five-minute practice in mindfulness during your lunch or coffee break can help unscramble your addled brain, decrease your anxiety, and even increase your lifespan and overall health.
If you have a long or flexible lunch break, you could try a yoga practice.
If your breaks are briefer, try a short walk, a “mindful lunch” (where you eat your meal slowly and turn off your phone, focusing only on eating and chewing), or a breathing or meditation exercise using a mindfulness app.
We often forget about the real point of lunch: nutrition! Instead of stocking up on carbs and sugar-loaded fast food, take the opportunity to fuel your brain with healthy fats and whole grains.
For a boost in productivity and cognitive function, try avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, lean protein, and/or fruit.
Taking a breather in the middle of the workday, especially with a turned-off phone and no access to your trusty work computer or laptop, is key to improving your overall concentration.
Just the act of heading to a cafe or the work cafeteria, either alone or with a friend, and shifting your environment, can improve your creativity, concentration, and productivity.
Take the chances you’re given to head out of your office and immerse yourself in a different environment, and you’ll likely see your work performance improve.