Why Is It So Important To Take Your Full Lunch Break?

Lunch breaks are an endangered species in this country; 60% of us don’t take a lunch break at all, and the rest that do rarely take a full hour to focus on nutrition, relaxation and nothing else. The average UK worker takes a lunch break of about 29 minutes, and don’t pretend you don’t spend that time nervously checking your phone or emails.


Sometimes, there genuinely are occasions in which you’re required to work through lunch, but turning it into a regular thing can be damaging to your wellbeing. You may think that not stopping will allow you to leave earlier, but more often than not you’ll end up working through lunch and not leaving on time, and this adds to accumulative stress building up over the day. However, Kumud Gandhi of Mental Healthy says that frequent breaks actually help to improve your concentration and reduce your stress in tiny amounts. So what other ways can help you de-stress at lunchtime?


When it comes to your lunch, make sure you include an orange with the peel still on. According to Prevention magazine, citrus aromas can curb stress and anxiety, as well as help with digestion and nausea, so peeling an orange can help to reduce some of the morning’s stresses. Avocados are also a great choice for your de-stress diet, as these have been shown to lower blood pressure. If you want more foods to help chill you out, turn to salmon, almonds and spinach.


For your lunchtime activity, a great way to lower your stress levels is to get out of the office. Research shows that a short walk in the park helps to reduce stress and allows your brain to recover from tension. While you’re at the park, sit down and read a book. While you might feel a bit uneasy about spending all of your free time reading, evidence suggests that even reading for six minutes can lower levels of stress – providing you’re not reading your work emails on your phone, of course. If you can’t get away from the office, find a peaceful place nearby for a ten-minute session of zen meditation. All you have to do is clear your mind and focus on your breathing.

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