Yeah, we said it. Take a break!
Less than 1 in 5 workers actually leave their desk during lunch, but a break from work is the necessary jump start to the rest of your day. Why are we all so comfortable spending our legally allotted break time stressed out and working? Why can't we take a page out of Spain's book and have a two hour long siesta in the middle of the day?
While a nap and wine at lunch would no doubt lift our spirits, this is the U.S. And the whole world knows: we don't sleep when it comes to work (and sometimes we don't eat either). We're all lucky if we can sneak out for a quick sniff of fresh air without getting death stares from coworkers eating salad out of tupperware at their desks.
If we all took lunch breaks, the "they're leaving for lunch" resentment would vanish. So let's start the movement, you trendsetter you. Take a break, whether it's for lunch or not, and if you need some ideas (because you're the hardest worker in the office, right?) we've got them for ya:
1. Run errands.
The least fun but most practical plan for your keyboard hiatus, running errands gives you a great thing: peace of mind later. Your brain won't be swimming with all the things you have to do after work, and your personal health will thank you. If you're the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable relaxing in the middle of the day (you're in Work Mode), this is the perfect solution. GSD (get "stuff" done).
2. Call your mom.
Depending on your mom, this one can be a real mood booster in addition to showing your mom some love. She'll stop pestering you to call already, and you'll actually keep up with all the family gossip. Two birds, one stone.
3. Tool around on the internet.
Yes, this means you'd stay at your desk. Rainy days, moody days, and days where you don't feel like getting up exist, and there's something to be said about some self-indulgence. Go ahead, waste some time online, it might not put you in a better mood but it's the work equivalent of watching Netflix for half an hour before diving back into emails. Which brings us to our next suggestion..
4. Watch an episode of something.
This one is tricky, and best used if you have a work-wide lunch break or your own office. Nothing annoys people more when they're working than hearing someone guffaw at some Netflix standup on the screen next to them. So stick to the dramas, turn your screen away from view, and make sure you've got some kind of food in front of you so it is a known lunch break.
5. Walk outside.
Even in winter, people! Do it. Get some temperature fluctuation, invigorate those nerve endings, breathe in the smell of whatever gyro place is down the street, and absorb all that freshness. You would be surprised at the perks of a lunchtime work walk. Stress reliever, enthusiasm booster, and relaxation enforcer, a walk will do your productivity and happiness wonders.
6. Bring a friend.
If you go somewhere for lunch, bring somebody. Walking? Bring somebody. Running errands? Bring somebody. a) This will increase the number of people leaving for lunch (you're not the only one, see?) and b) You'll get some friendship time out of it. If you need to rant in the middle of a challenging day, or just need help figuring out what to do this weekend or what to make for dinner tonight, throwing a friend into the mix will make your lunch break feel productive in a multitude of ways.