If 5 of you were sitting down with me having a glass of wine, going over our workdays, only one of us would share that we took a lunch break. You read that correctly, only 1 in 5 Americans step away for a midday meal. Most working people eat at their desks or not at all!
Why is the lunch hour disappearing? The outline of a typical workday has changed drastically over the decades because of the common use of technology and non-traditional work environments. We are being asked to be available 24-7 with the tap of a screen and if you aren’t available you run the risk of looking unmotivated and less productive.
The problem is, people are not aware how much they are sabotaging the quality of their work and overall quality of life.
Top 5 Reasons You Need A Lunch Break
- Better brain function. Your glucose intake directly affects how productive you are for the day. If you are not feeding your body the nutrients it needs to power through the decisions and workload you put your brain through, you are more likely to make mistakes or not produce the quality you are after if your body is too distracted trying to operate with no gas.
- You will gain productivity. All the small tasks and decisions we make throughout the day deplete the psychological resources we have, even the smallest decisions such as right or left, hot or iced, zaps energy. However, taking an actual break (yes, stepping away from your desk) for as little as 15 minutes is proven to sustain concentration and energy for the remainder of your day.
- Mindful eating. I can’t emphasize this one enough, the secret to naturally lose weight or gain health permanently is mindful eating (I will do a post). When you sit down and concentrate on nothing else but chewing and tasting your food, you will be surprised at how much less you need to consume and how much more you get out of the experience of eating.
- Get in steps. The afternoon is a perfect time of day for movement. Your body is warmed up, your limbs and joints are likely ready for some stretching and blood flow, and your mind is absolutely ready for a healthy dose of endorphins. I always take a mid-day walk, even when I’m not at work.
- Spark creativity. I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this, but I would bet a large amount of us have. When I’m in the shower, exercising, meditating, falling asleep or sometimes mundane tasks like folding laundry, I get some of my best ideas. When my brain is allowed to turn off a little bit, my creativity gets to shine. If you need to solve a problem, come up with a creative perspective or power through a tough load at work, try getting up to stretch your legs and be outside in nature, it’s the best trick in the book.
Being able to get away for as little as 15 minutes from your workday, you will see improvements in many areas of your life. Once I started taking a walking lunch outside to get in the sun, be in nature and turn off all the white noise for a little while, I noticed an extreme boost in my usual afternoon slump.
It doesn’t take much to contribute to your health, and having a fit mind, body and soul can start with something as simple as taking a lunch.
Do you take a lunch break? I would love to hear how you power through your day!