4 Things You Should Be Doing During Your Lunch Break

work, lunch, office

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Your lunch break is a great opportunity to not only nourish yourself but also engage in activities that can enrich your life and improve your overall sense of well-being. Instead of scarfing your lunch down while you sit in front of your computer, use this time to take a walk, meet new people, and build your knowledge. Here are four refreshing, productive options to explore during your daily break from work.


1. Exercise

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Exercise is beneficial for both your body and your mind. Regular exercise has cardiovascular benefits, creates a spark of energy that can give you the focus you need to get through your workday, and provides an outlet for stress relief. Some of the cognitive benefits of exercise include improved productivity and a boost in creativity. If you’ve been skimping on exercise because you’re short on time, rearranging your workday so that you can exercise during your lunch break is a great way to overcome that hurdle. You can do a short 30-minute workout and use the other 30 minutes to eat. If the gym is far from your office, try walking, running, or biking in the area near your workplace. Exercise doesn’t need to happen in a gym to be effective.


2. Network

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Source: Thinkstock

Use your lunch break to get to know your coworkers and establish connections with other professionals both inside and outside of your industry. Remember that few people reach their goals in isolation. It takes the help of others to make great things happen. Connecting with others is a good way to not only share resources but also establish valuable relationships that could last a lifetime. Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, puts it best:

Over time, I came to see reaching out to people as a way to make a difference in people’s lives as well as a way to explore and learn and enrich my own; it became the conscious construction of my life’s path. Once I saw my networking efforts in this light, I gave myself permission to practice it with abandon in every part of my professional and personal life. I didn’t think of it as cold and impersonal, the way I thought of “networking.” I was, instead, connecting—sharing my knowledge and resources, time and energy, friends and associates, and empathy and compassion in a continual effort to provide value to others, while coincidentally increasing my own. Life business itself, being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships.

3. Expand your knowledge

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Source: iStock

It never hurts to learn something new. Why not use some of your free time to take an online course or read an industry journal or book? Expanding your knowledge will not only make you a more interesting person but also help you acquire new skills you can use at your current job or use to pursue a new career opportunity. One great place to begin your search for an online class is Coursera. You can also go one step further and look for an online certificate program.


4. Relax

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

You don’t need to be busy during every moment of the workday. While it’s great to use your breaks to get more done, you also need to de-stress during the work week. Some great ways to relax are practicing yoga, meditation, or just sitting in a corner of your favorite restaurant or coffee shop with a good book. Take care of yourself so that you’re able to give your best.

Says career coach, Kitty Boitnott:

The fact is that no one cares if you are putting your health at risk in your effort to impress the boss with your Energizer Bunny dedication, unless, of course, you get sick because you have been working too much and not taking care of yourself. If you are out sick for any period because you have compromised your health, you will get noticed all right, but for all the wrong reasons.

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