Even though you have a healthy office setup, you can use your daily lunch break to relieve stress from your job. Adopting minor changes that improve your mental health can help you deal with stressful situations. However, dealing with stress depends on finding the right relaxation techniques. Here are some tips that may be perfect for your lunchtime routine.
1. Take A Walk
Going for a walk is a brilliant way to relax. If your workplace has a garden or there’s a park nearby, that would be the perfect place for a walk. Also, instead of driving to a restaurant for lunch, you could take a walk. A 25-minute walk can improve your mood, burn calories, and keep you healthy. Plan your route to see how far you’ll be walking and factor in the time it’ll take to make it back to work, and if possible, pack some comfortable shoes.
2. Connect with Your Co-Workers on a Personal Level
You see your co-workers daily, and you spend more time with them than you do with your friends and family. But this shouldn’t cramp your style. You can turn this “forced” friendship into a real thing by getting to know your colleagues better.
Learning more about what your workmates do outside of work can help you relax during lunch. Finding out about what your co-workers are interested in, what concerts they attended, or where they went hiking last weekend can spark conversations that can provide a midday mental break. This can improve your mood and re-energize you for the afternoon.
3. Take a Power Nap
Taking a nap at work is no longer a taboo. Research suggests it can boost alertness and performance. However, you must learn the habit of napping only 20 or 30 minutes during your break, as napping more than that reduces the benefits. This may be easier, especially if you’re working from home, but you can still master this habit even at the office. To leverage the art of a power nap for reducing work stress, these tips can be helpful:
- If you drive to work, retreat to your car to nap. Having a separate space from your office or work environment to take a power nap makes nodding off easier.
- Put your phone on silent mode.
- If you aren’t lucky enough to have the haven of a private office or a car to retreat to, you can turn to white noise. This will help you drown out the outside world, and it’ll be easier for you to catch some zeds.
4. Listen to Music
Listening to music is a fantastic mood booster and stress reliever. Energize your body while de-stressing your mind by listening to your favorite music on your lunch break. Enjoying music is a passive way to program stress relief into your workday. Often, music sways us to feel one way or another. Listening to fast-paced music can energize and motivate you. While listening to slow music can keep you relaxed and it can calm you down in preparation for the next half of the workday. Research shows that some songs offer better relaxation to listeners. So, create a playlist of songs that relax and calm you down, and use your lunch break to refocus your mind and relieve stress with music.
5. Squeeze in Some Workout
Although you may not be able to do a full yoga routine during your lunch break, you can still relieve stress by exercising at your desk. You can even do a full “deskercise” workout routine using just your desk and chair. Stretching relieves neck and shoulder pains, reduces stress, and improves your blood circulation, which is good for your mental and physical health.
6. Read a Good Book
Fiction books offer a fantasy world where you can escape to for an hour or so, but if nonfiction is your preference that’s good too. The most important thing is that you’re calm, collected, and focused on relaxing during “me time.”
You don’t have to read the entire book, even 20 minutes of the story is enough to create an emotional recharge for you. Reading a book during your lunch break keeps you emotionally and mentally engaged in something that has no consequence in your life. This improves your mood and it re-energizes you for the next half of the workday.
7. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is taking over as a stress reliever technique. During meditation, you become more aware of your surroundings, subconscious thoughts, and feelings. This helps you make better decisions and the longer you practice mindfulness, the better you respond to stressful situations. Find a quiet place and use one of the many mindfulness techniques available online to meditate and refocus your mind.
After setting up an ergonomic and healthy work environment, you must find the right balance during your workday. Leveraging your lunch break to reduce your stress levels can help you become more healthy, productive, and happy with your job. Using the seven tips mentioned above, you can develop healthy, relaxing habits that will help you reduce your stress levels within the minimum amount of time.
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