Getting through an entire day in the office is a serious accomplishment. And if you manage to make it without accidentally dozing off, you’re basically in the realm of the gods. Americans have some of the longest hours in the world, working around 40 hours a week (or more…I’m looking at you investment bankers). These long hours contribute to stress, fatigue, and ultimately, burnout. There are lots of things you can do to prevent and combat the effects of working long hours, and one of the best ways is learning to hack your lunch break.
It’s called a break for a reason. Your boss might think differently, but the half an hour or so you get for your lunch break should be time that you take for you. Don’t eat while working at your desk. Don’t schedule meetings for lunch. Stop thinking about work for a little bit and listen to a podcast, read a book or the newspaper, or just sit outside in the sun. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
You might be thinking: But if I do anything, it’ll just make me more tired. You’re wrong. Taking a short walk gets your heart pumping, which oxygenates your blood and results in higher levels of energy. It also gives you a chance to get outside, away from the fake LED lights inside the office and into the sun, helping to reset your circadian rhythm so you can sleep better at night.
I know, everyone and their mom has been telling you what to eat and when and how much since the moment you arrived on this Earth. It’s annoying, but they might be right. Studies show that eating proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates keep you from more energized for longer. Pack your lunch full of healthy foods like turkey, boiled eggs, almonds, apples, blueberries, and dark chocolate. Make sure to stay hydrated, and if you need an extra pick-me-up turn to natural caffeines like green and black tea!
This sounds like a weird one, we know. But science shows that laughing helps to boost your mood and give you more energy, changing your body’s physiology while burning calories. Laughter is known to positively affect blood flow, immune response, blood sugar, and your ability to relax and sleep. If you’re feeling drained at lunch, search up some funny YouTube videos, stream a short clip of stand up comedy, or better yet: socialize with some of your office pals!
If all else fails: take a nap. Some days you’re just too tired to go for a walk or hang out with your office friends, and that’s okay. Sleep is an important part in the process of storing memories. When you nap, it acts as a kind of reset: storing important moments from the day into your long-term memory bank and getting rid of all the extra you don’t need to be thinking about. Be sure to cap your nap at 20 minutes – any longer and you’ll feel groggy after!
Working all day, every day is hard work. Taking time for yourself at lunch is an important part of keeping yourself healthy and happy. Even if you love what you do, you’re bound to feel the strain sometimes, which is why these lunch break health hacks are so important!
by Insider Envy Staff