Ahhh… summer, a chance to get outside a bit more, enjoy a walk, some air, lunch perhaps.

When is the last time you put on the brakes and stepped away for lunch? A REAL lunch break, not at your desk, without work…. you know, a true break? Do you more often grab your lunch and eat it in front of the computer? Do you tend to buy a muffin or gobble down a granola bar as you’re rushing off to your next meeting?

It goes something like “I’m so behind, I just need to get caught up! I can just eat my sandwich at my desk.” Or maybe you notice that others in your area are not taking their breaks and it just doesn’t feel right to do so yourself.

The thing is, it turns out not taking a proper break could have serious implications for your health and well being, not to mention a serious drop in productivity. Breaking for lunch gives you a chance to unwind, let go of stress that may be building up, move, laugh with someone, nourish your body and actually notice and savour what you’re eating! Chances are, you’ll return to work more energized, more focused, more creative and more productive in the afternoon.

Need some inspiration for taking back your lunch break? Here are some ideas to challenge you:

  • Commit to taking a lunch break at least three times a week for the next month (too much? How about every Wednesday…)
  • Make a date with a friend
  • Get outside and expose yourself to some natural sunlight (within reason of course!), take a walk or sit on a park bench
  • Eat a healthy, balanced, awesome lunch and enjoy each bite
  • Relax and unwind with a good book, some music, a mindful practice

Watch out for feelings of guilt around taking a break – you and your workplace will be better for it!

Want to read more about the benefits of breaking for lunch? Check out these articles:

Lunch break benefits – wellbeing and productivity?

Please stop eating lunch at your desk

Canadian lunch habits