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Lunch Break Activities That Relieve Stress and Improve Your Well-Being

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Your lunch hour gives you the opportunity to take a break and mentally recharge for the remainder of the workday. It is important that you use this time for an activity rather than work through your lunch, so you can regenerate your creativity, focus and energy. There are a number of activities that help relieve the stresses of work as well as preserve and improve your well-being. Here are some of the best lunch activities you should adopt into your daily routine:

Gym

Use your lunchtime for a quick, brainpower-boosting workout at your local gym. There are 24 Hour Fitness centers conveniently located throughout the country where you can break a sweat. Exercise creates new brain cells and improves overall brain performance through the increase of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels. BDNF, a family of proteins that helps develop and maintain neurons, recharges your brain and helps you with decision making, higher thinking and learning. Exercise also increases your serotonin levels, which help reduce stress and anxiety and increase sustainable energy levels.

Meditation

Take about 10 minutes during your lunch period to practice mindful meditation. This provides mental and physical benefits, such as lower stress levels, increased focus, greater creativity, lower blood pressure, improvement in your immune system and increased energy. If meditation is new for you, use a guided meditation program like Headspace. This tool offers 10-minute guided meditations that help you work through job stress, relationship qualms, blocked creativity and a struggle to focus. The program can be used on your smartphone, tablet or computer and can be practiced at your desk, in your car or outside.

Get Outside

Don’t eat your lunch in front of your computer screen. Instead, take a break and get outside. Soak up the sun and let the vitamin D you acquire from sun exposure help boost your immune system, metabolism, energy and mood. While sunlight exposure has many benefits, you need to wear sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher to protect you against the risk of skin cancer. Take a 10 to 20 minute walk around the vicinity of your workplace to increase your blood circulation and provide you with an endorphin boost.

Read

Stay mentally stimulated on your break with a good book. Reading has been linked with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as it keeps your brain active and exercises your mind. Reading material can provide you with a wealth of new knowledge, which helps stimulate creative ideas and gives you a larger scope of global understanding. It also expands your vocabulary, bolsters your level of articulation in your meetings and improves your writing skills. Reading is an intellectual form of entertainment that reduces the stress you acquire from work, as a good story can transport you into a different realm of existence.

Socialize

Create a lunch group with people from the office, so you can explore restaurants in the area surrounding your workplace. Connection with others benefits your mental and emotional well-being. Social scientists believe that social interaction is an important factor in the preservation of mental health and bolsters memory and cognitive functions. Socializing with your co-workers improves your experience in the office as it encourages teamwork and helps you build alliances. Make sure you spend time with your co-workers without “work talk” and engage in conversations that help you learn more about one another.

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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