Now more than ever we are connected to everything and everyone as a society. We have allowed technology to reach us at all hours of the day in the form of voicemail, email and texts. Though this is a great advantage in a world that needs us to multitask in order to work and live, sometimes the line between our personal and professional life begins to blur. From checking our inbox while on vacation to checking our social network while on the clock, our lives are in a constant state of checking in when sometimes we need to be checking out. At what point during our busy day can we find some time to ourselves? If you follow a few of the tips presented here, you can learn what it takes to relax at lunch.
Allow Yourself Some Rest
While sometimes a business lunch is unavoidable, a majority of the time many of us just grab a quick bite to eat at our desks in the name of productivity. Though this seems like a better way to work, it may, in reality, be counterproductive, in the grand scheme of things. As much as our brains and bodies crave stimulation, they often also need periods of rest so that they can process stress and unwind tension. If you can compartmentalize your day into sections of work and leisure, not only will you be more productive, but the stress you are experiencing will dissipate over time. Your lunch break at work is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Pack Your Healthy Lunch the Night Before
The first thing you might want to consider doing is packing your lunch the night before, at home. Not only does this tend to help you make healthier food choices, but it can cut down greatly on your monthly food expenses. Pack things like fruits and vegetables, which will give you energy without that afternoon crash that many processed or sugary foods can give you. Another good tip is to pick a lunch hour that fits your workday and try to take your lunch at the same time every day. This will allow you to, not only focus your workload into two halves, but will give you something to look forward to if you begin to feel the stress of the day looming over you.
Take Yourself Out for a Performance Review
You don’t necessarily have to pack a lunch to enjoy some quality alone time during work hours. Instead of going to the local lunch spot with a client, how about taking yourself out for a performance review? Many diners and restaurants cater even quicker to single guests than most any other number, thanks to plenty of seating near the bar or front counter. Now, while it is not advised that you take this opportunity to go ahead drink too much alcohol, a single beer or glass of wine can help you forget about the hectic morning. On top of this, the servers or bartenders are usually more attentive than the waiters dealing with the busy lunch crowd, so you can get your food quicker without feeling rushed.
Keep Your Phone Silent
Circling back to the topic of technology for a moment here, you may want to think about what you take with you on your lunch outing. A laptop is probably too much of a work related distraction, unless you plan to read an online newspaper, but you should probably opt for a smartphone or tablet with the same capability and less chance for you to want to finish that quarterly report. Even if you do end up taking your phone, keep it on silent and out of sight until your break is over. Remember, the whole point of this is to have some time to yourself where no one can reach you.
Though it is up to you if you want to invite a coworker or friend, it might be a good idea to try taking at least a few of your lunch breaks by yourself. Find a nice spot outdoors and grab a newspaper or put in your headphones and just enjoy the moment. By following these few pointers, you will come back to work feeling less stressed and more energized to take on the rest of the day.