Unexpected events, overworked, emergencies, meetings… there are all sorts of good reasons not to take a lunch break. However, it is strongly advised to take a 30 to 45 minute break to disconnect (from screens), relax, move and of course to eat. An overview of activities to do at noon.
Take the time to eat
Good lunch break habits don’t seem to be very common: 2/3 of Canadians eat in less than 30 minutes (Visa Canada survey) and 47% of them take their lunch on the spot – feeling guilty about leaving the office to take a one-hour break. It’s essential not only to take the time to eat, but also to enjoy eating and not do anything else. Why? Because eating while working increases stress levels, thereby increasing cortisol levels, which then promotes accumulation of fat and disturbs the brain (no less). So the feeling of fullness will come slower and there is a greater risk of eating more faster, with digestion problems on top of everything else. In other words, know how to appreciate the colour of your salad, the texture of the fries and the fragrance of your Chinese paté. Sharing your meal with colleagues is also a good way to converse, find common areas of interest and strengthen team spirit.
Taking time for yourself
For some people, it’s not only professional life that is intense; personal life is equally so. So the noon hour is a good time to have fun (shopping, beauty salon, exploring the neighbourhood), to relax (write in your diary, listen to music, read, make calls to your family, surf social media) or even just rest and recharge. The famous power nap is not only recommended for if you had a bad night, it is a good idea to get off on the right foot for the afternoon by being relaxed, focused and productive. This 15 to 20 minute siesta (no more, otherwise you will fall into a deep sleep and being woken up by your boss doesn’t have the best effect!) is a way of resetting your internal biological clock, which is also responsible for the sensation of fatigue. If you are a fan of a siesta, apply for a job at Ben & Jerry’s, PwC, Uber – everything is shaped around quality siestas.
An ideal time for sports
Did you know that your body reaches its peak physical performance in the early afternoon? The noon break is therefore a good time for a sports activity; you will feel the benefits for the whole afternoon: a reduction of stress and increased confidence. While some people will pump iron in the gym, others like fresh air, running, cycling or going for a walk – an activity close to hand for everyone which compensates well for health problems (cardiovascular problems, overweight and bone fragility). If you are a bit allergic to sports, flexing your head and neck will let you return to work fully relaxed… without the slightest effort.
Whatever your mood, your schedule or even the weather, there will always be an appropriate activity that will let you come back relaxed and focused at the office in the afternoon.