What is one thing you look forward to during your work week? Actually, during your day at work? If someone asked me that question, my answer would be my lunch break! I love to eat, I could eat all day really. But sometimes I’m not hungry during my lunch hour. Instead I eagerly await for that time to take advantage and do some other activity. Things that will keep me active, make me smile or just let my mind have some fun.
Here are a couple of ideas of what I’ve done in the past and maybe you can try out as well (besides eating of course!):
Go for a Walk
I work at an office and sit for at least 5 hours of the day. That is a really long time to sit which means that I welcome movement. I don’t work too far from the Chicago Riverwalk, so I try to get and walk for a bit. Getting harder to do with the cold but the views are still so beautiful. In the summer it’s an even better place to people watch. On sunny days, it’s perfect to get some Vitamin D and get some exercise in. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking is beneficial since it can improve your mood and prevent some medical conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. Even if it’s just a 10 minute walk, your brain and you will return to the office feeling hopefully refreshed and be more productive as well.
Read a Book
Nowadays people are so busy with work, school, and after work activities that a lot of us (myself included) have not read a full book in a long time. Even 30 minutes of reading, which is a short time, adds up and eventually you will complete that book you wanted to read for months. Reading allows you to travel to a different country, learn about history or just fall in love with that main character. It is an escape from reality and for the most part, you won’t regret reading a book. One of the goals I have this year is to read more, so here I am, working on that.
Mini Spa session
As a way to destress, go get an express mani or a mini massage. A few places in the loop offer 15-30 minute services which can definitely make an impact on the rest of your day. I enjoy getting a mani or a massage because I feel like a brand new person after the service. Sometimes the building offers chair massages and you pay by the minute, really, that’s even more convenient. No need to escape and face the cold.
Take a Nap
I remember being a kid and hating naps, but now as an adult, I welcome them. I don’t always have time to take one, but if the opportunity presents itself, try it. A nap can help with performance and becoming alert, especially if you did not get a good night’s rest. A 20 to 30 minute nap is really all you need.
Meet a friend for Lunch
I love to catch up with friends during lunch. You can try a new location or a new cuisine. Even with the friends I usually eat with at our work cafeteria, it’s nice to sometimes just go out and try a new space.
Go to a museum
I went with my friend Hanna on one of her lunch adventures and we met up at the Fed Reserve Museum. They have free tours during the week or you can make your way there and entry is free (plus you get a souvenir at the end). If you’d like to explore or try somewhere new – here you can find a list of all free museum days. In February the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium have a lot of FREE days. Who’s up for going to one then?
Get a Workout In
A midday workout is never a bad idea. These are great for days when you can’t make a morning or evening workout and don’t have a rest day planned. You can have a 30 minute intense workout and still have enough time to shower and get ready to conquer the rest of the day!
No matter what you decide to do, enjoy it and have fun. Give yourself a break and take some time for yourself. You will be thankful and after recouping, you might be even more productive. What other things do you do during your lunch time?