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Making the most of your lunch break – re-energize, regroup and recharge

By Sara Neidle
28 January 2021

By Sara Neidle

How do you spend your lunch time? Do you quickly eat a sandwich whilst flicking through your phone? Do you finish house chores? Put a wash load on? Or rush around the house doing the hoovering? Or do you even forget to have lunch as you are glued to your screen and have too much on?

Too often, we all make excuses for not taking any time out of the day to allow ourselves to recharge. Working at home has made this for many even worse. During lockdown it has been extremely strenuous, and being a parent of two little ones, it can be a struggle to take time away from the screen.

What you do over lunch has a huge impact on your whole day…particularly in the winter months. By taking an hour out, it can improve your level of productivity for the rest of the day. I find when going out for a walk and having fresh air, it helps with the afternoon lull, and really makes the rest of my day more productive. By allowing yourself to have a break during the day to re-energize is good for the heart and mind – it can make you healthier and feel happier!

At SEC Newgate UK, we place our employees’ wellbeing at the very heart of the business. We recently launched a campaign ‘Making the most of your lunch hour’ and as part of this, we have provided colleagues with some useful tips and ideas on how you can use your hour and recharge your batteries.

Here are our top five ideas:

  1. Make yourself a healthy lunch to enjoy – being at home comes with its pros and cons. One big pro is being able to make yourself a nice healthy lunch. When working in the office, I tended to be one of those people who would have a sandwich every day, but now being at home I try to spruce it up a bit - making one day a jacket potato, tuna and sweet mayo, grated cheese, and tomato salad. Or another day scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and green salad. Whatever takes your fancy, enjoy your food.
  2. Do some exercise that will help you re-energise – walking, cycling or a workout – the idea is to get out and do something that will make you feel better about yourself and happier. Going outside and getting some fresh air (and sunshine) is an excellent way to beat the afternoon lull. I personally find it helps re-energise and makes me much more productive in the afternoon.
  3. Listen to a podcast to provide some escapism – news, drama, comedy, you name it. Lately, I have been listening to podcasts whilst doing chores or before bedtime, but it is a great way to escape and allows your brain to recharge and switch off. Not only that, but supposedly people who listen to podcasts regularly have a stronger and vivid imagination and become much better listeners.
  4. Read a book to allow yourself to relax – I find reading a book allows me to enter a new world that distracts me from the stress of everyday life.  It does not matter what you read whether it’s a novel, poems or even cookbook, it’s an excellent way to destress. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.
  5. Have a nap to refresh and unwind – put your hand up if you get sleepy during the day? Another benefit of working from home, it that you can walk upstairs or across the corridor and have a nap on your comfy bed. Napping can help us feel more awake and perform better in our job. A recent study published in the journal of General Psychiatry showed taking a regular afternoon nap could help boost mental agility.  Even the PM has admitted to catching forty winks!

We are living through difficult times now and therefore, it is even more important now to give yourself that time to re-energise, regroup, and recharge. So, think twice before skipping your lunch hour, and hopefully you will feel much healthy and happier as a result.